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Discussion Starter #1
Once again, I just NEED to SHARE with someone! I have no friends that ride and my bf kinda gives me a blank stare when I try to talk about leg pressure and posting the trot. :p

I've been previously taking lessons on a spooky mare with attitude because the horse I want to learn on and lease has been in recovery for the past several weeks. To my surprise, I showed up today, and the owner said he was okay for our lesson. This was my first time riding him, but I fell in love with him on my first visit to the stable. He's a 13 yr old paint gelding that is gorgeous and so sweet and loving and I've been DYING to test drive him.

What I didn't know was that he has been extensively trained and shown in dressage, and today was like a whole new riding experience for me. I've never before ridden a horse so light in the mouth and so responsive. I only had to tap on the reign with my pinky and give a little leg pressure and he was turning in the direction I wanted to go. Easy stops, easy go. It was amazing, and he seemed so happy and eager to be back at work and ridden again.

My trainer was also pleasantly surprised at what a good match we were. She told me that the person previously riding him was usually on edge with him, so he would be tense and wanting to go the entire time. She couldn't believe how relaxed he was with me and how smooth our first lesson together went. I'm so excited at the idea of continuing lessons and leasing this guy. The trainer said I will be amazed when I see what all he can do and knows, so I'm looking forward to learning from him as well!
 

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Congrats- sounds like you got a wonderful schoolmaster. I got two rides on a school-master then I got handed an ADD qh who had been on stall-rest for a month and a half and told 'ride this but don't kill yourself' two years later he was state champ at training level. So enjoy the wonderful school horse and try to remember EVERYTHING because you'll want that later.
 

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Well what do you know? I got the same chance today too!!
I got the chance to ride a Prix St Georges dressage horse that my instructor owns. I got on so well with him (and I'm told nobody else except his owner has gotten him to go as well as I did!!), that I am to compete him at Advanced Medium, ride him twice a week, and get dressage lessons on him with a paralympian! It was amazing, and I did travers, half pass, simple changes, flying changes, shoulder in, and medium tort (his mediums are MASSIVE!!!).
Its amazing isn't it?! Schoolmasters are by far the best teachers...
After riding this horse, just once, I had major breakthroughs and a beautiful ride on Diddly, who is unbalanced and green. Diddly did some lovely leg yields and shoulder fores, and felt much more balanced, and I knew what to look for as I was using my core... I had no choice but to engage my core and hold to do the movements.
Vey excited for the opportunity to compete and school on this horse!!!

I hope you got on well and learnt loads!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I literally came away from that lesson in awe of everything I've been missing. It's been over 20 years since I've gotten the chance to regularly ride again and being back in the saddle is like filling an empty void in my life all these years. There's nothing I love more and I'm so happy to find an outlet to share my experiences with! My trainer says that I have an amazing "natural seat" for a beginner, but this horse and his training and knowledge makes me feel comfortable and confident in the saddle. The funny part is that during the lesson, when I made a mistake, like over correcting or giving the wrong signals, I kept apologizing to the horse like, "Argh! Sorry Lucas!" Lol. He was very forgiving though. :)
 
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Congrats on your opportunity! I know exactly how you feel. I've had a bit of the same thing going on. I've been riding and taking lessons for more than 10 years, but decided to switch to dressage last year. It was time for a change and a new challenge!

Since my own horse was out of commission due to a health issue, I was taking lessons on my mom's gypsy vanner gelding. He's extremely green, and though I'm not a beginner rider, I'm certainly a beginner in dressage. We spent all season working on the basics and hit quite a few road blocks.

This spring I found the opportunity to take lessons with someone who owns a second level schoolmaster. She's a lovely thoroughbred mare named Cloud. I've accomplished more with her in three weeks than I did with my mom's horse in an entire season! Now that my own horse is back in business, I'm riding the schoolmaster in lessons and then taking what I learn home to my own horse to practice. It's going quite well so far! =D

Happy riding and learning to you! These experienced school horses are definitely the best for getting a grip on new concepts!
 

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Tihannah - I love the updates!! keep them coming -
 
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