Thursday, May 22, 2008

On Being a Student Again....FINALLY!

I have not taken a riding lesson since I graduated from college in 2001. I did take driving lessons within the past 7 years however. I miss being a student of riding. :(

I started Dreamy under saddle in 2003, but did not actually start doing anything "for real" until the end of 2006. We were successful at the "ameoba" levels in 2007, but I knew I had taken her as far I as could without an instructor. There were holes in her training that I knew I needed help with. Mostly I knew I was not riding her correctly, as seven years without instruction does lend itself to BAD HABITS. And boy do I have some.
Look at those ELBOWS! UGGGG.....

Riding HUNT SEAT in a dressage saddle! UGGGGG!


I love the area I live in....usually. There are downfalls, such as finding a (good) dressage instructor. Not only do I NOT want to drive 45-60 minutes to take a lesson, with gas prices I just cannot afford it.

So I finally found an instructor about 20 minutes from me in the neighboring town. Judy is fantastic. So far we have taken 2 lessons: May 6 and May 20. I can only budget two lessons a month (every other week) for now. My instructor is very willing to work within my budget and gives me lots of homework. :)

The first lesson was mostly about getting my hands where they should be. I tend to ride with "piano hands", where I basically break the line in my wrist to the bit. And I tend to ride with my reins too long. And think about seven years worth of riding this way every day. :)

And of course Dreamy decides she cannot pick up the canter. Oh fun! So we did a bunch of transitions, mostly her running through all of my aids. But at least Judy got to see us at our worst and she did not kick me out of the ring! :)

Our May 20 lesson (last night) was SO MUCH BETTER. We actually have canter transitions now! :) I worked very hard getting Dreamy to engage and balance and step into the canter, rather than plow into it. ;-) And Judy could tell! Yeah! We did some leg yielding and canter exercises. Things are starting to look up.

Next lesson is June 3. :)

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