I've been wanting to do a little lesson log for a while now, and thought I would get down my experiences of past lessons while I have a week off from being sick. But of course I was too busy napping while I was sick to actually write anything, so I'm typing all of this up after returning home from my most recent lesson.
Lesson 1 - Intro
My first lesson primarily focused on the trainer kind of gauging where I was in my riding. We did walk, trot, canter and a six stride line a few times. The line was… ugly. I felt it. I saw it on trainer’s face. But hey, I stayed on! After having not jumped in about 7 years, I was just surprised that I was brave enough to actually do it.
It also really helped that I was riding a very lovely warmblood mare who is just very honest and has a great, predictable jump and pretty steady canter. Though, she does occasionally have an attitude problem and really tested me on my first ride. She can get very sticky in corners with an exit and at one point stopped and we had a little argument. I really don’t mind things like that, though. It’s important to be able to navigate all sort of ‘questions’ when riding and I appreciate being able to learn on such a quality horse without having them be push button. She is also very look-y which is fine as she hasn’t actually spooked with me, but again, it’s all good experience and she is very forgiving of my many mistakes otherwise. So we put up with each other.
Lesson 2 - Waterskiing
I rode another mare for my second lesson, a hot blooded jumper mare who has had a very prestigious career and is jumping lower because she’s coming back from an injury or attempted breeding, or both (can’t remember). Anyway, I was a little weak this lesson and pretty much didn’t have enough leg to keep this poor mare contained. Kind of waterskied the entire time and I really hope I didn’t tug on her mouth too much. Jumping on her was awesome though and my jumping position felt more secure than lesson one.
Lesson 3 - Rollback
I think this was the best lesson I’ve had so far. My jumping position felt amazing. I rode the mare from lesson one, and she was super. We mostly worked on a line down the center of the arena and did a rollback through the line to a Swedish oxer angled off the side of the second jump in the line. I think we went through the entire exercise three times and my position seriously had never felt better. Had to describe, but see figure below. My leg position felt so much better, actually strong enough to get my heel under myself instead of my good ol’ chair seat.
Lesson 4 - Gridwork
My grid work lesson was not the rainbows and butterflies that the rollback lesson one. I rode my favorite mare again and we did a little grid exercise: jump in, bounce to another jump and canter through the poles. Oof. The concept of not sitting up and popping the sweet mare in the mouth was hard to me to catch onto at first. Of course it never helps that my lessons are late at night when the barn owner checks on the grounds and stops to watch me FAIL. But it finally clicked our last time through the grid and I just stayed in my two to three-point throughout the exit poles of the grid and we ended on that good note.
Lesson 5 - WEAK
I had two weeks between my fourth and fifth lesson because I had a ridiculous summer flu and had to skip a week. Unfortunately, those two weeks were me going to work, coming home and lying in bed until I went to sleep, so all of my muscles that I worked so hard to earn pretty much atrophied.
My favorite mare had hives so I got to ride the beautiful Leo, who I’ve heard many good things about. He used to be a big eq horse until he decided he didn’t want to show anymore and so now he’s the world’s nicest lesson horse (and I really hope he’s still around when I can afford to lease!). He really is super sweet though, and cuddly in the cross ties. Of course, he’s huge and has the biggest (albeit nice) trot and I was strugglin’. Also legit could not even get him to canter I was so weak. We did a few jumps which were quite rough. He did refuse at one, but it was more like I didn’t have enough leg and he was drifting and as we got closer to the jump I just kind of stared at it and he was like, No, we’re not doing this, definitely not a dirty stop. Although the jumping could have gone better, I did really like Leo.
A woman at the barn was having her new horse delivered during my lesson which my trainer had to help with so we just kind of got to walk around on a loose rein and enjoy the evening and it was just a really gorgeous night. The woman waiting for her new horse was also super overjoyed and anxiously waiting at the gate for the trailer to arrive so she could film it and I was like, Go girl! That’s gonna be me!! It was really sweet.
Anyway, off to do my squats and crunches and get this booty back into riding shape!
Also, today's my husband's birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY HUB. Get ready for fancy, shmancy Chinese food and banana cream pie tonight but also for the next amazing 25 years spent with yours truly. And I'm sorry the best gift I've ever gotten you is late...