One of the biggest challenges for me about moving is going to be being without a trainer. I also think it's going to be a really good thing, as it's going to force me to really take accountability for myself.
|Watching a storm roll in on Thursday next to the Dressage ring|
I'm still planning on taking weekly lessons with my trainer and hopefully monthly or bi-weekly lessons with my Dressage trainer, but I know it's more likely that schedules won't align now that it will take a haul to get to both of them, so I'm starting to think like I don't have a trainer.
On Wednesday, I had a really great ride on my own. I started with just walking along the rail, feeling and fixing my own position, and took my time making sure Connor was bending and straight and on my aids. He responded so well, and we got to play with various trots later in the ride, which was so much fun.
|Also on Wednesday, we rode in the CWD, and it must have felt different because Connor practically turned around in the crossties trying to look at it.|
On Thursday, my trainer asked me for something challenging earlier in the lesson than I would have liked, before I really got him going like I did on Wednesday. So I said, "If you give me just a couple of minutes, I think I can fix this."
She agreed, and I put him on a figure 8 of two 15m circles, varying the numbers of circles we did in each direction before changing the bend. I explained to her the position thing I figured out this week (while sitting on the toilet no less, lol) and how I really focused this week on getting both of us prepared for the work physically before doing something challenging, no matter how long it took.
|My recent saddle fitting misadventures make me appreciate how damn perfectly this thing sits on his back even more than I did before. Mary is a miracle worker.|
The rest of the lesson continued like that: me doing what I thought what Connor needed and her providing feedback in the situation. Her feedback was both tuned for that moment and for what to look for in general in the future.
At the end, she said, "Your intuition for what he needed was great every step of the way tonight," and that meant a ton to me. There was a time when I would have been terrified at the idea of being on my own, and I'm not saying I don't need instruction anymore, far from it, but I don't feel like the wheels are going to fall off the bus if I miss a lesson.