My normal lesson on Saturday was not as good as my lesson on Friday. I was on Small Fry again but this time I requested double reins, at the request of R. Double reins are no big deal. I’ve been riding in double reins my whole riding career. The only bits I owned until earlier this year were pelhams. Well let me tell you something. Apparently I’ve been riding in double reins wrong.
I don’t know how and I don’t know when but at some point some of my old trainer’s students were taught differently. I checked with a few of them and it’s a mixed bag. Some of them ride double reins the way I do (snaffle on the index and middle finger, curb on the ring finger) and some ride with them the way I was taught on Saturday (curb on the index and middle finger, snaffle on the ring finger).
My whole world is turned upside down right now. I understand the mechanics of how I used to hold them. I can’t even get my head around how they work with the new (and correct!) way. My brain hurt the whole lesson. I couldn’t always focus on what I was doing because I never knew what rein I was holding in my hand. Every time I tried to pick up my snaffle I was picking up my curb. I felt awful for poor Small Fry.
Which might explain why half way through the lesson she told me to go pound pavement and we had a disagreement on what I wanted her to do versus what she felt like doing. The reality is more likely that when I dismounted to allow the barn kids to launch a rocket she thought we were done for the day, so when I got back on she was upset that her work wasn’t over. Either way, I think my next lesson is going to be more of me muddling through double reins until it finally clicks.
Regardless I still got compliments and was told good-naturedly by R that I was showing off my skills. Which does wonders for my ego but also, I cannot take a compliment from R without short circuiting because ‘senpai noticed me’. R knows my old trainer mostly by reputation but my old trainer has seen R ride/train and spoke very highly about R all the time. It’s like a double whammy to get a compliment from a trainer that your trainer admires.