This is a post from my horseforum.com thread that I started when I got Max. I’m so lucky the forum is still around and I was able to go back and add it to Lipizzan Life.
I had a big setback when I ended up taking three weeks off from riding. I was feeling kind of sick and wanted to take time off and get my body back in balance. Of course, when I got back to riding, that set me way back.
I stopped riding Max and went back to just riding the lesson horse. I realized too, that I just wasn’t ready to really ride Max. I can walk around on him in the ring, which is good and something I am going to get back to… and hopefully more than that, but I just wasn’t balance or secure enough to really be a rider like he needs.
I’ve been dedicated to going to my lessons, and I’m making lots of progress at them. My balance is a lot better. I’m learning how to ride at a more advanced level than squeeze legs, hold rein out to turn. I feel stronger and more secure now. My main problem is that I am sedentary when I’m off the horse, so when I get on the horse I get winded pretty fast. My muscles are fine, and I could keep going, I just start huffing and puffing and getting dizzy and have to take breathers. I’m going to start doing some serious cardio to fix that.
I still haven’t officially cantered. I unofficially cantered a few times. One time, before my teacher started to get on my case to ride with contact, I was warming up my lesson horse and she was giddily trotting around in the brisk air (and I was giddily riding with her, happy that my upper leg was gluing me to the saddle like it should) and BAM, we were cantering. I stopped her because my trainer wasn’t there and I didn’t want to get in over my head. Another time, I was trotting over a pole, and the horse hopped over the pole and zoom, cantered off with me hanging on to her neck. Sweet lesson horse she is, she realized she had an idiot hanging on her neck and slowed down so I could sit back up (with my poor teacher having a heart attack at the ring side)
I haven’t fallen off. yet. (watch, I’ll fall off tomorrow)
Mainly my lessons now are my teacher calling out patterns for me to go, letter to letter, circles, shoulder in, yields, learning to tell the horse to bend around my leg, that sort of stuff. Not speedy riding, but controlled riding.
I’m mostly concerned with learning to have gentle hands and be a quiet rider so I can give simple and direct cues so my horse can relax and happily follow them. (instead of being a spaz that is telling her 20 different things at once because I don’t know better)
Oh, and posting on the correct lead when I trot. Cuz’ apparently that’s too advanced for me.