So I have updated you all on my handsome pony, now it is time for an update on me. So in the past 11 months since ending my lease on Lucky I have ridden a grand total of…4 times! All of that over a 2 week period with the same trainer. All of it in the past month. So does that mean I am getting back into riding? I don’t know.
I had wanted to start taking lessons in the spring at a nice hunter/jumper barn. The trainer is great, the horses are quiet, the price is fair. The problem was that the trainer was so good she didn’t have any openings! Well, that is not entirely true. I could have done a group lesson…with a bunch of teenage girls. I happen to like being alive though (I have always been more on the timid side of things) and tearing around courses with 4 super brave riders who are too young to know better just didn’t sound like fun.
About a month ago at this point a friend called me up and asked if I had any interested in taking lessons on one of her horses while the horses leaser was away on business. I was already gung ho, but my friend did even better. Since the lease has lessons included in it, I would only have to pay half price for each lesson. Score! How could anyone say no to that!?!? I spent the next two weeks getting excited to ride again (which I think is a good sign).
I was a little nervous the day of our first lesson, but I was so ready to ride! The horse, a massive palomino, eyeballed me like “crap, this one knows what she is doing” as I tacked him up. I have seen him go many times before and was hoping I could get him going and look all nice in our first ride. I got on him, encouraged him to step forward and I frowned. He had put his head up in the air, was beyond hollow and was barely moving. My easy ride was clearly not in the cards, but at least I was on a horse!
That lesson I realized just how out of shape I was, and just how great of a trainer my friend is. Having been out of the saddle for so long my timing was off and this horse was not going to give me anything, I needed to earn it. Making a bad transition earned me about 20 more transitions until I got it right. I started to huff and puff before we even started trotting for real. It was sad! Before I knew it the hour had passed and I had not even cantered! I was sweating, my brain was fried from so much thinking, but I was so happy!
I stopped by to see Gen on the way home, but it was a rushed visit because I was exhausted! The worst part was that my second lesson was set to be the next day. I left work at 3:00 but didn’t get home until a little after 9, by the time I had dinner and took a shower I was not looking forward to getting up early for work the next day. I took two advil and hoped it would be okay.
It wasn’t 😛 At 4am I woke up hurting I was so sore. I could barely walk and stretching painful, not giving me any relief. I was so sore I just lied around until it was time to go to work, giving myself advil all day until my lesson. After the hour and 45 min drive to the barn I tried to ignore my aches and pains to give a good ride again. My friend could tell I was hurting though, and that I was struggling to get my timing back so my second lesson was spent working on my position and my timing…at the walk. You would think an hour at the walk would be boring, but take away your stirrups, throw in lots of lateral work, and the time just flys!
By the next week I was already getting my game face on. I really hate being a suck rider so I spent the weekend working on my position from the ground and really thinking about correct timing of things. My third lesson was mentally challenging, like my brain hurt by the end! I still hadn’t been able to canter and I was getting frustrated at being so bad. By my last lesson I could absolutely see an improvement. It wasn’t perfect, but my timing was coming back and things were getting better. All of the pictures were from that last lesson.
So if I got better in 4 lessons, why aren’t I riding every week now?? The barn is really far away from my house and from my work. I was averaging 3.5 hours in the car each day that I took lessons. Added to that the lessons were work. They were fun too don’t get me wrong, but they were a lot of work. I just don’t know if I want to work that hard. Dressage is so freaking hard. Why does dressage have to be so hard??? So I am not ruling out taking lessons, I know my friend would be very happy if I stopped being a baby and started taking weekly lessons again.
I just don’t know if that is what I want. In fact, I haven’t a clue as to what I want besides for Gen to miraculously heal himself and also become more docile so I can ride him. I don’t think that is going to happen any time soon though…
How do I want to proceed as a rider?