So, I bought my very first horse two months ago, after three years of lessons. I'm an older novice and my only ambition is trail riding. After some initial troubles (mainly me being a scaredy novice), I'm now perfectly confident and happy with my mare.
The trouble is that both my instructors are focused on getting her balanced and slow. I love riding her as she is, forward and not too refined. Basically, since my riding is not too refined, and never will be, I just get frustrated when they try to get us into an outline, going slowly and doing all these dressage moves which neither the mare nor me know how to do. I see no purpose in doing this. The mare is foreward and faster she goes, easier she is to steer. She has amazing breaks so we're never out of control.
Basically, we have the best rides when there is no one telling me what to do. Maybe it's not pretty or correct but we both relax and enjoy it.
Should I continue with the lessons or just carry on riding "dirty"?
I rode for many years, at least 15, before I ever took one single lesson. \
If your horse works well on the trials for you, that is your interest, why have instructors?
In fact, if you really want to take some lessons, combine them with what you are doing, There are trail riding clinics, and if you wish to get into something more serious, there are extreme trail ans other trail type competitions and clinics
I started colts, rode many mountain trails, packed into wilderness, ditch rode, rode in parades, all before I took one single lesson
In fact, I got into lessons through a quirk of fact. My friend's sister, who showed Paints, invited me to attend a clinic with her, about the time I decided to raise horses, and when proving those horses then, under saddle, made clinics in various disciplines useful. Had I just continued to trail ride, doubt I would have ever taken a lesson!
My husband trail rides, and has never taken one lesson