Schooling Fjords

I had Veteran’s Day off so I scheduled an extra lesson with my trainer. It went really well. Normally I’m very sore in my shoulders and thighs after a lesson because lesson horses are used to packing small kids around and not working hard to carry themselves. I’m glad that I’m the go-to rider to give these lesson horses a good schooling, which also helps me improve my skills, but it’s really hard work. Like…just so tough, considering after the time change I haven’t been able to ride my own horse to stay conditioned. I need arena lights.

Luckily Small Fry, a cute little Fjord mare, and I were clicking really well so the lesson was smooth and she was really soft and responsive. I got comments on how long my leg looked, which is great since I’m 5’3” and work really hard to squeeze out as much length as possible. We hit the sweet spot several times where we were moving along in a great frame and I made Small Fry look like a bigger horse. Overall, super happy with my trot work.

I’m still not doing well with the canter. I don’t feel comfortable sitting it. It’s not that I feel I will fall off, though that was a huge fear of mine when I first started lessons, I just don’t feel my seat. My trainer is constantly telling me not to stand in my stirrups, relax my leg, and to sit down, but even though I’m making a conscious effort it’s not happening. I didn’t feel this way when I was riding the larger lesson horse but now that I’m sitting at the Fjord table (there are three of them and they have been my lesson life for over 2 months now) I can’t seem to get my groove. I think part of it is the short stride is hard for me to get into rhythm with and part is that Small Fry really leaps up when she’s cantering which pops me out of the saddle.

I really feel I need to canter without stirrups. I don’t know where that crazy line of thinking is coming from. Something tells me my old riding confidence is starting to crawl out of whatever pit it hid in but I also wonder if I’m ready.

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