Update on my lessons...with cantering! (bit long)
Hello fellow COTH'ers!
It's been quite awhile since I last updated everyone on my lessons (search my threads...I'm the one that fell a lot, got really hurt and questioned wth I was doing lol).
They were going as expected; frustrating, not getting forward enough, gasping for air, overall omg what am I doing, until about late Sept, early Oct. I decided it was a good idea for my hubby to come and watch, AND video me. It turned out to be a gawdawful lesson of course! I couldn't do anything right and just wanted to jump off and go cry so many times. Afterwards, he left and I took my guy inside to untack and groom. I seriously had a 6 year old tantrum when my coach and I talked about it. Complete with tears. Need I say I may have been PMS'ing on top of it all? Only thing missing was a foot stamp. I cried all the way home, had a shower, and went to bed to mope.
When I could finally talk about it with my hubby on the weekend, he said "If you don't change your approach, nothing will change in that arena." I knew then that maybe I wasn't really trying - like what was mentioned by some of you in my earlier posts...you think you are, feels like you are, but you aren't really. It hit me then, that something did have to change.
By the next lesson, I had pep talked myself like crazy. I had started walking and made the committment to get to a gym. Most of it was attitude though I think. When I am scared or frustrated, acknowledge it, swallow it down and ride on. Plus, I started taking Rescue Remedy. Not sure if that's more mind over matter, but so far, so good! My lesson was GREAT! Even my coach commented on it (and I apologized for being such an emotional wreck lol).
Since then, it's been getting steadily better! I can get a trot now without heaving on him or feeling like I have jello legs. I can even keep it going too! My lesson now is lots of circles, working on keeping him straight down the quarter line, trot poles (I love trot poles!), and.....cantering!!!!!!!
My guy has something off in his legs/hooves, which I won't get into detail about much b/c it will become a book. We've talked about it and I trust my coach that it's nothing horrible or anything that is putting him in pain or distress by riding him. Anyhow, it makes his gait off and he will stumble a bit so it's up to me then to help him by moving him forward and helping him shake it out (like moving helps stiff joints). Well, the one lesson he took a few steps of canter and my coach says "Go with it...let him tell you what he needs." Um. What. Canter? But. I might die. EGADS!
However, back to going with it and trusting her...so next time he did it, she told me what to do and I cantered!!!! Omg it was amazing. Scared poopless of course, but great! It's not the canter I remember from a TB/Clyde cross...much bumpier, but then he's a Paint and not a couch lol! So, we've been adding that in ever since (maybe 4 lessons now?). Last week was a bit tougher - did one direction fine, but he tripped, went to a trot, then back to canter and by then I was too twitterpated to focus so when we did the other lead, I couldn't get off his face to let him do his job so hoping to work on that this week.
So, on one hand good that he did this...by forcing me to canter, we probably shaved a year off from when I would have decided I was ready lol! At the end of the first time lesson, my coach said "How about that...she MOOOVED! And, she didn't die!" Had to laugh at that.
My coach is great...she may not be super outgoing, but I'm really starting to trust her, which helps me trust my horse and has made my lessons better. And, really starting to bond with my guy. He's more affectionate with me and I feel that he's looking out for me too now. I'm pretty sure I'm not always asking for the canter right, but he figures it out and does it for me. Lots of treats for him! :)
Anyhow, just wanted to let you all know that I'm still sticking with it. I'm sure there will be more frustrating days in the future, but it's finally nice to be over the hump that I seem to have been at for so long b/c I had to keep starting over from being hurt.