Hi everyone! It's Jess. Just wanted to let everyone know that Pony Club has been great! I've had a few lessons so far and feel like I have improved a bunch already. I had my first two lessons just working on 20 meter circles and I realized how much I was fussing with their mouths....the mare I was riding was one of the more advanced ones, so all of my mistakes showed. By the end of that lesson I was able to just use my legs and body movements to control her direction and speed, which I'm realizing is very important in dressage and jumping.
And then the Pony Club instructor decided to put me on an OTTB named The Boy. He is 7 and very beautiful, but has a very spunky side to him, as most Thoroughbreds do. I am sort of doing her a favor by riding this horse because the younger kids can't ride him, and the college riding team students don't like him, I guess. Or perhaps they just don't want to deal with him. He has jumped about 2'6, but it became too much for him so they just worked him over gymnastics cross rails and stuff, which is what I've done with him. I'm still trying to figure him out, but I've ridden him about five times now, and every time I connect more and more, and I am also working hard on sitting back with my shoulders back and down, lots of leg, and other position issues. I think it will be a great skill to be able to switch from hunt seat position to dressage.
Sometimes I have my doubts about whether or not The Boy will work out for me, because he is so young and I am still trying to figure it all out, but then we have those moments where the head lowers, he's engaged, and we're together, and it feels AWESOME. I think he is a good mover and pretty talented, so if we work together this coming year, maybe we can progress through the PC levels too If not, this barn has plenty of other horses for me to use, as long as I work hard in my working student position. I haven't been able to work that much because I live kinda far, and I can only go 2 days a week, but they have still been giving me lessons because I paid to be in PC. I have already made good friends and everybody is SO helpful. The girls my age stay after and help me run through my dressage tests for the rally coming. And all of this has been helping my riding of the horses from my critique video (if you watched it).
This has actually been very humbling because I am now one of the least experienced of the older girls, so I feel like I have a lot of work ahead to catch up, but I am ready for it
Soooo glad you took our advice and have now started to really learn how you influence the horse and ride. So happy for you. Work as hard as you can in the ws position it will only help you along your path.
Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole