Here`s another thing to consider. There will be a pretty long period of time from when you start riding to when you begin to get much good at riding. If you let this reality beat you down, you may not slide through to the other side. So accept the struggle as part of the deal. Ignore criticism from those who may or may not have your best interests at heart, because even if they do, they don`t get it that you just need time and mileage. You can do this, and there`s no set time table. The best thing someone can say about you, especially right at this stage? "That girl has a lot of try in her." Denny EmersonI don't know if you follow Denny Emerson or Tamarack Hill Farm on facebook but if you don't I highly recommend it. Denny always has some little nugget of truth to impart whether you want to hear it or not.
I am especially grateful for the above quote because it is so true and it is so true for such a long time. Even when you start to "get good" at this thing whether it be hunters or eventing or dressage or reining, etc there is always more to learn or something to improve. As I was looking through the photos of our lesson on Thursday I was reminded of this. There was a lot I liked but still plenty that I see that needs improvement. There are still those pesky bad habits that just refuse to surrender!
Here are a couple of my favorite shots:
1. I need to lengthen my stirrups more when working on the flat. I think this is mostly a lazy thing. I've just gotten out of the habit of doing it and it's more comfortable to ride with them short but I already have short legs. I need all the length I can get.
2. The canter still needs lots of work. I didn't include very many canter photos because most of them just were not that great, not horrible but just flat and long and/or inverted. I think more than anything we just need the miles, though. I think we are improving and he is getting stronger but I also need to get stronger. He is so big and so long that it is very easy for me to get pulled forward and off balance which doesn't help his balance either. I need to do a lot of work on strengthening my core.
3. Loki is behind the vertical in some of these photos. I don't think this is a "normal" thing for him but definitely something I want to be careful about. My trainer had me shortening and lengthening the trot while (trying to) maintaining the rhythm. Loki can still be difficult in his downward transitions and I find myself using more rein than I'd like. A friend has suggested that I try lifting the reins up when asking Loki to slow down instead of just pulling back. I tried that a bit tonight and while not an instant cure it did seem to help some so we will continue playing with it.
4. There is a lot that I Love here. Loki's shape is definitely changing, especially at the trot. He is starting to round and push from his hind end more. In a couple of the trot photos he looks very uphill and I think that we have a very good chance of doing well in the dressage if we keep it up.
I love riding! I absolutely love it. You can spend your lifetime, every hour of the day that you are awake riding and studying riding and there will still be something new to learn or something to improve. I feel like Loki and I are starting to sync. We are getting our communication sorted out to some degree. There is just no other feeling in the world than the silent communication between a horse and a rider!