Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lesson Win

I started taking lessons last summer with my old trainer and it was amazing. It felt great to have some direction and be on broke horse. I generally am not someone who likes to have weekly lessons. Being on your own really helps develop independent thinking as a rider. I've seen people who get so wrapped up in their weekly lesson that they never improve. They can't think on their own or think outside the box. I never wanted that for myself. I love the puzzle of riding and the satisfaction of solving it on my own. 

However, there is such a thing as being too alone. Even the best rider (which I am certainly not) goes to clinics or works with other people on the ground. Toiling away alone is a great way to pick up all kinds of nasty habits. It's also a great way to get stuck in a rut and set in your crotchety ways. Plus it's just plain lonely. 

It was a relief to hand over the drivers seat to my old trainer last summer. It was ideal because she knows my foundation and we didn't need to establish what I do and don't know. We just jumped right in. Sadly they are low on lesson horses so the lippizan mare is getting used for all the beginner lessons. The Arab in rode is now being leased. The other horses are older or ponies. Nothing for advanced riders to be had. I had just enough lessons for me to realize how badly I need them. 

I was nervous to start up lessons w Dickie's event rider. I've some bad expiriences w trainers. I didn't want to find out I don't like lessons w her and have it be awkward. I love what's she's doing with Dickie and she's unbelievably patient with me. She's always willing to let me bounce ideas off her and is a walking enclypedia of saddle brands, bits, anything horse. It would suck to ruin that relationship. 

I've spent enough time with her now to know if it didn't work out she doesn't take things personally so I went ahead and scheduled a lesson on her big bay OTTB. I've started a love affair with him during my many visits to raid her tack room. She evented him to prelim (maybe even higher) but he couldn't make time due to roaring. He's cute and she said he is a patient teacher. I told her I want to work towards jumping but I have little confidence and even less fitness. We are starting by just simple poles on the ground working on my strength and timing. It ended up being so much fun. She was kind and very encouraging. She seemed to get that it's hard to be a decent rider then feel like your starting from scratch again. She zeroed in on all the bad habits but helped me fix them in a positive way. I so appreciate that she treated me like a someone coming to the table with a strong knowledge base. Most of all she was positive. I can handle a hardass clinician but I need a softer touch from my every day instructor. I left feeling like a used my brain and body. And I felt good about myself. 

I think we have a winner! She is five mins away from Dickie so it's super easy to lesson then work him. I'm over there enough stealing tack or picking her brain I might as well ride. And did I mention how awesome Frankie is? His trot is fanfuckingtastic. As soon as we started trotting I needed to take a time out to tell about how amazing he is. It's huge and springy but he puts his feet down so soft. He's a Cadillac.  His canter is ginormous but crazy smooth. He makes a great teacher because he responds the second you use your body correctly. He's not crazy tall (16.3) but has dinner plate feet and is built like a moose. I don't know how a horse that big can move so daintily. I'll be taking semi regular lessons finances and school permitting. I can't wait until I'm strong enough to jump that fancy moorse! 


  1. Cool! Glad that worked out for you :)

  2. Things have a way of working out if I keep my eyes peeled. I feel pretty dang lucky to be at my current barn. It is rare to be surround with so many good people.

  3. Moorse! Love it! You should get a picture of his so we can put a face to the name. :D I'm glad you found a way to continue to have lessons! I desperately want to take lessons again, but we just can't afford it. Hopefully something will work out soon. :)