|Unrelated sunrise shot. Missouri has been knocking it out of the park with sunrises/sunsets lately, I have so many photos.|
I have no idea that I'll ever get around to catching up to the months it's been quiet here, but I have a few minutes to jot down some thoughts about my lesson, so here goes! The weather has been all over the map here lately, but we seem to have settled down into something vaguely resembling fall. The week after the CR clinic, I was super motivated and rode almost every day. Saturday was forecasted to be a gorgeous day, so I set up a lesson for late morning. I had grand plans of a leisurely morning getting ready, and then that *poofed* when we ended up needing to run quite a few errands, putting me back at the house mere minutes before my instructor was due to arrive. Not exactly how I wanted to start this new adventure, lol.
|Ruby trying her new heavyweight, since she outgrew the one she's been wearing for the last few years.|
Thankfully Ruby was fine with my rushed grooming and tacking job, and then we started! (side note: I had the Pixio all ready to film and then I fucked up the start process, which is still something I do a good 40% of the time when I'm in a hurry, so no video. Those of you who are intimately aware of my Pixio issues are not shocked, I'm sure. For those of you considering a Pixio, please don't get scared by my constant failures with it, most people use them with no issues..... haha.) I went over some of our history with dressage trainer (let's just call her DT for now). Then the real work started -- fixing me! I'm sure it surprises no one (myself included), that I cause 99% of the issues with my horses. The good news is, DT had really nice things to say about Ruby's gaits, natural balance and self-carriage, desire to please, and just overall attitude. It was a bit windy and Ruby had a few days off before the lesson, so she was a bit *up*, but the extent of her naughtiness was just showing off her beautiful canter at every chance, even if I hadn't asked for it.
|DH wandered over for a few minutes and snapped a handful of photos, but the camera was still on the indoor settings from the clinic so they're not super. But it's all the media I got, so you get to suffer through it.|
We talked a little bit about the CR principles, since DT is a fan of Sally Swift and her teachings, so the first order of business was breaking down my "building blocks" and resetting them. It's going to take some time and a significant amount of work to reset my muscle memory, and some commitment to some additional stretchin to help keep my hips looser (something I've struggled with for years), but we worked on keeping my legs further under me and wrapped around Ruby more effectively, and separating my shoulders from my hands -- my hands belong to Ruby, and my shoulders belong to me, so I need to use my elbows and not let myself get pulled forward and hunch in the fetal position.... gee, the hunching and chair seat have only been problems basically.... forever? I'm nothing if not consistent, ha.
Ruby was a really good sport about just carrying on quietly while I contorted myself on top of her, trying to remember to put all my body parts in the right places... with moderate success. I got a little kick out of the fact that I told DT one of the reasons we haven't been showing or doing much lately was that I broke the right lead canter depart, and then of course Ruby picked up the right lead canter perfectly about 8 times... Because of course she did? e also talked a little about the upcoming show at the local university, and she was encouraging about entering. So I may take Cinna up for some intro classes :) we also talked about recognized shows *gulp*. Maybe I'll be breaking out that beautiful Annie's coat sooner rather than later? #goals. Basically it was a good reminder that my horses are truly only limited by me -- they have the gaits, conformation, attitude, brains, and overall aptitude to do basically ANYTHING I want with them, I just have to be willing to put in the hard work on myself.
It was a really productive lesson and I'm very much looking forward to our next one! (hopefully later this week, if the weather cooperates). I'm not sure the budget will allow weekly lessons all winter, but maybe I'll explore some side hustle options so I can have a dedicated income stream just for continuing my education. I've been bad in the past about letting that slide, but realistically the only way to get better is to take lessons. I spend so much time and money and effort on the horses, why even bother if I'm just going to stay stagnant in the same place? I haven't talked much about my new job on here (because it's a horse blog so I'm sure you don't care about my day job) but something great that's come out of the new position is the realization that I'm worth investing in -- my new employer has been sending me to training sessions and giving me the tools to improve myself, knowing that my continuing improvement will benefit the work I do for them. It's a nice feeling and it's bleeding over into my non-work life -- I'm worth the investment and it's okay to spend money on making myself better at something I enjoy. So. Expect more lesson recaps! (hopefully with better media, haha).
|Not only am I worth it, but these mares are worth it. They are NICE mares, and I need to get better to do justice to them. They shouldn't be limited by my (in)abilities.|