Friday, June 1, 2012

My First Riding Lesson of 2012... tonight at 7 pm!  I am so excited.  The weather was threatening to ruin my plans all day long.  Thick clouds even blocked out the sun as I walked out of work this afternoon. 

"Please don't rain.  Please don't rain.  Please don't rain."

I am a kid again bargaining with the weather. 

When I used to take lessons after school, I felt anxious all day long.  It was not until the school day was over and the sun was still shining that I breathed a sigh of relief and looked forward to my lesson unburdened by the fear of cancellation.  If rain clouds did linger, I would still venture to the barn, only turning back if actual water started to fall from the sky.  I remember crying when I was really little, because I would have to wait another whole week before I could ride again.  I bet my parents were secretly happy sometimes.  My hobby was a lot cheaper when it rained!

I see my teacher so infrequently, that it becomes a real challenge to decide what I want to work on in the lesson.  She will invariably ask me what I have been up to and what we have been working on.  I get so excited to have someone asking me about riding and Harley that I usually go into full disclosure mode, which isn't very effective for narrowing in on one or two things to work on in the lesson.  Sometimes when I do pick one thing to work one, for example "transitions", my teacher has us do something else that is not obviously connected to the final goal, but does usually help in the long run.  She is really good like that.  My lessons are nearly always skewed toward improving my riding, with minor emphasis on improving Harley, who usually improves naturally as my riding does.  Most of our work is accomplished in the walk and trot.  She is not the kind of trainer who needs to see horse and rider sweaty or exhausted to feel that she has given you your money's worth.  Thankfully, I am also not that kind of rider.

I have to at least try and remember to tell her about Harley's new big trot or the stronger contact with which we have been experimenting.  I also wouldn't mind showing her canter to walk or asking about the flying changes.  Or what about riding with my thumbs pointing at the bit?  That one has become a habit and Harley seems to respond really well.  Maybe I will just wait and see if she notices.

In the meantime, I have to get to the barn early to feed Harley before our lesson.  I am breathing easier and enjoying the anticipation now.

The sun is shining!

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