My trainer finally returned home this past week and I was both excited, and dreading my first lesson.
Excited for obvious reasons - lessons are great, I improve a lot, I love the "ah-ha" moments I get in lessons, and in general I like to push myself or be pushed.
Dreading it because I haven't had a lesson in ohhh - I don't know, four months (CRAZY!!!). Gavin got kicked in December, was off for a month or two, then I built up the amount of work he got, and then my trainer was gone to Cali for 6 weeks. So - I'm a little lesson rusty.
I tried to keep myself on track as best as I possibly could - by reading books, blogs, visualizing, making goals, etc. But there are some things I don't even notice myself doing. I have a bad tendency to curl in to the right (when going to the right), and I also have a tendency to go a little bit on auto-pilot (which means Gavin gets to do some of the navigation!). So - yep, those were the things we got to work on in my lesson. We also worked on canter departures (Gavin was awfully confused that suddenly running into the canter to the right wasn't acceptable). See a pattern - the right is definitely my harder direction.
I have to admit - I feel a little stuck. I've been riding for a long, long time, but I'm no trainer. I have a hard time understanding the process of "teaching" a horse something. More specifically, how to break up a process into little building blocks that the horse can understand. That way of thinking does not come naturally to me, so I've always found it useful to work closely with trainers. I don't know why I feel that people can judge me on this fact, but I do. It's like there is a point of pride in people going out and doing it on their own, but I have a really hard time doing that.
Having said all of that - I'm really excited to announce that starting April 1st - Gavin and I are going into full-time training with my trainer (Glenda Needles)! I don't know how long it'll last, considering her schedule, and my level of poorness (horse rich, cash poor), but I'm going to enjoy the shit out of it while it goes on. It is 17 rides in a month (roughly 4 a week). And that can be any amount of lessons, or her riding him. I definitely need work, but I think that there is a lot of value to be had in someone with uber-experience riding a relatively green horse. If Gavin were a school master - I'd say - 17 lessons all for me! But since he isn't, I think some ride time with the trainer is a good idea. I've been thinking more and more about it. My current idea is 2 lessons a week for me, and 2 rides a week for him with Glenda. I am hoping to watch as many of their rides as possible (because I can learn that way).
The take away is that I'm so excited for April, and to get started with my horsey bootcamp! :)