Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Lesson Recap

(Wait!What? A lesson recap?)

My last lesson was...the end of March maybe, and I haven't been taking regular lessons since before Christmas. It definitely feels weird (and exciting!) to be scheduling and recapping weekly lessons again!

My first lesson back on Audrey was a bit...rough. I'm terribly out of shape. Riding Bridget on the trails bareback might theoretically be good for balance but in reality does nothing for my cardio or position. More home time in the form of watching Netflix with G while snacking after dinner, also not helping :)

So, I was all sorts of puffy and wobbly. Audrey, however is a star. She definitely lets me know when I'm getting things wrong *cough*bucking and kicking at my annoying outside leg*cough* but is equally quick to forgive when I try harder to get it right.

Our lesson was pretty basic walk/trot/canter each way, forward and back in each gait, having her collect a little and lengthen a little, mostly me getting a feel for her again and her remembering I'm not always so awful, that I'm not intimidated by her, and that we can get along.

Audrey: "You are here to ride ME?!"

Take homes: I've reverted to using too much leg and holding it on longer than I should (almost always in up transitions). Bad habit, and one I often need reminding about, with Bridget's tendency to tune me out and my go to response of just getting louder :( On the plus side, I had it pretty much figured by the end of the ride. It was that or Audrey was going to lawn dart me (and deservedly so!), lol.

I'm weighting my outside seatbone on the circle again. Ughhh...why? Audrey tattles on me by doing changes or leg yields. Such a good mare.

Again, with holding/being too handsy in the transitions. B and I are at this place where she pulls on me, or else hides way above the bit, so my go to is apparently to keep my upper body way too braced and my reins too short. Not helping, T.

B is looking quite sporty right now, though!

Mostly, my riding fitness really needs to improve.

We spent a bit of time discussing next steps with Bridget, and here's where I let you in on my dirty little secret. I've been feeling a little (a lot) out of place in the horsey community at home lately and have been second guessing pretty much everything about my riding. I'm not saying it's a horrible, terrible place, because it's absolutely not. There are some really great people there! There is, however, a small crowd of not so kind people who seem to feed off backhanded compliments and every bit of negative gossip they can manufacture, and who are most definitely judging you every time they watch you ride. I'm well aware I'm not perfect, but it still sucks to hear nasty things being said about myself when I really do put 110% into being the best owner I can be for my horses.

Yet more poor iPhone pics of pretty Audrey mare. I'm crossing my fingers hard Sophie grows into a mini version of Audrey - because I love Audrey! They are really so much alike mentally it's a bit spooky, because Audrey is, well, ...special ;)

I'm angry with myself for letting it affect the joy I find in my riding and barn time and letting their comments be part of my decision making process when I ponder next steps for myself, B, and even Sophie.

EC gave me a mini pep talk, and honestly I got a little teary because she knows my abilities and goals better than most and doesn't BS anyone about those particular topics (or really, anything, I guess :). So, yeah...all the feels.

So, I guess even though I technically had a tough lesson, I'm actually feeling pretty empowered and confident about my goals again. I'm ready to get back to working hard, I'm going to get better, and most importantly, riding Audrey is so.much.fun. And isn't having fun what it's really all about?
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12 comments

  1. <3
    Hugs. So many hugs. You are a good horse momma, and I am glad you are finding your fun again!

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    1. Thank you <3 At least I am nothing if not stubborn, lol :)

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  2. It is SO hard, if not impossible, to quiet the critic in our own heads - and when that critic is being fed by some outside source, well shit - you're doomed. I don't have any great advice, but I feel your pain. I kinda hate riding in front of other people. I'm glad you worked through it with your trainer. Rail birds are the worst.
    Bridget is looking great in that body shot!

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    1. It's so sad, really. Such a toxic environment for everyone. I'm vey lucky to have such an amazing support system here with blog readers, and in real life at EC's barn.

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  3. Blah. Some people. >:/ But horray for getting back to lessons! Audrey sounds like a great horse to be learning on!

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    1. She's unbelievable...and I'm truly not worthy! It's very humbling - shes so talented it's a bit like learning to ride all over again - I feel like I am constantly a little surprised by how quick/big/expressive her movement and reactions to me are. I'm so excited to learn as much as I can and hopefully use it towards my girls.

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  4. glad even though it wasnt a perfect lesson you had a lesson on Audrey. And keep on going! It will all help in the long run.

    As to the negative people around you, oh boy. A barn I boarded at was like that (not my current barn!!) and it really got to me how everyone had something bad to say about everything else. Tune those people out and just keep being you. Those type of people usually making fools out of themselves. I hate when people gossip just to gossip and make themselves feel better. IGNORE them. You have two of the cutest ponies around AND you get to ride Audrey! Head up.....eff everyone else :) You are amazing :)

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  5. Audrey is such a cool mare - glad you were able to make the lesson happen! There’s something so special in riding such a well schooled horse who will let you know when you’re not quite right but will also reward your good efforts with great work!

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    1. She's very cool! She's a really neat mix of difficult/quirky, but not actually going to hurt anyone/very forgiving :)

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  6. Audrey sounds like just the perfect horse to get you back in gear! And the pep talk you got from EC reminds me of the many, MANY pep talks my own trainer has given me. It's so priceless to have someone on your team who will bolster you when you need it most!

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    1. Right? I love coaches like ours. I'm so lucky to have such a good team.

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