Now that New Trainer is back, open enrollment is over, and the renovations are in a more reasonable place, I finally have time to get back in the saddle and start taking lessons again. I was so thrilled to be able to hop back up on Gus on Monday. It’s been almost a month since I’ve ridden him and about three weeks since New Trainer has been on him.
Let me tell you, those two training rides and then a break did him a world of good. He was so relaxed and so much softer in the bit then I remembered. I was thrilled. Monday we really just hacked around. I spent a few minutes in the arena but then went and explored the farm.
For my lesson on Wednesday, I was worried that the trainer effect would wear off but thankfully it didn’t. Because I took my stirrups off for the lesson, we worked a lot on transitions and me using my seat more to lift Gus up and into the transitions. The difference in when I got it right was awesome but now my core is very very sore. Still, it’s a good soreness and I’m looking forward to getting better.
Lessons and rides with Gus have been interesting of late. Jumping lessons and jump schools have been top notch. Dressage days? Not so much.
There are always good moments. Brilliant moments, actually, where I feel like a real dressage rider. Then there are moments where I will make a mistake (like accidently goosing him with my spur) and he will shut down. Sometimes we can get him back and sometimes not.
But that is something he will have to live with because I am an ammy and I’m still learning. I am going to do stupid shit sometimes and I need Gus to not block me out. We’ll get there.
Which leads me to the other issues with dressage lessons. They are just plain hard. New trainer expects a lot from me, which I appreciate, but it does show me just how many holes I have in my training. And it’s getting a little disheartening.
But it’s all worth it. Because those moments where it all does come together are amazing and do make me feel like I’m growing as a rider.
Sometimes it is just too hot for a proper ride. That’s when I hop on like this:
Yup, don’t even care about the redneck fugly of it all.
This was how we rode on Tuesday and it was an interesting ride to say the least… but it was a ride! That’s something I guess.
Last night was our first real lesson with LT and I am very pleased with how it went. The two times she’s coached me before we really just dived in and made it happen but now we were able to actually focus on where Gus and I are. I told her to expect more from me because that’s the only way I learn. I don’t want to be coddled and told I’m doing a good job when I’m not. I want to get better!
This weekend is the Elisa Wallace clinic and meet up with this awesome duo (quartet with dogs?!). Can’ wait!
I am finally getting over this dang cold! Had to cancel my lesson on Thursday because I couldn’t even talk and I let the boy have my lesson on Saturday with N. No surprise, he did fabulously. Dandy and Eric really get each other but it definitely makes me jealous.
I still went out, of course, and brought the golden pup with me. I figured with me on the ground it would be a good time to install some more barn manners in her. Harley is actually really good at the barn and she tries really hard to behave even when N’s puppy tries to tackle her. But this was Harley’s first time having to sit through a lesson and she was not happy about. Lessons are boring.
Dandy seems to be settling in well into his new stall. Not that I thought he wouldn’t but you never know with him. He’s stabled next to JLE’s Rolex horse, Jack. Jack is coming back after a bad injury so he’s not competing but JLE wants to do everything right. I hope Jack is a good influence on Dandy!
I had a lesson last night with N as JLE is down at Woodside. N is awesome for flat work lessons but Dandy did not make it easy for either of us. He was being really argumentative. We rode through and had some good moments with our leg yields. The only other problem though was that I was super sore from a new workout I had started that morning.
Note to self: it is not a good idea to start a new workout the morning of a riding lesson!
But anyway, I’ve started doing barre classes which are a high intensity ballet inspired pilates type class. It was insane. My legs were shaking all through class and today I am so so stiff. I can’t really lift my arms at all and every time I coughed or sneezed this morning my abs protested hard. But, it was such a fun class and I can already tell I’m going to be toned in no time if I keep going.