Why Riding Lessons…

Thought I’d explain more about why I’m taking lessons right now and what I want to accomplish with them:

1.) Getting back to consistent riding.

In the last two years, we changed barns so I could afford the horses. Unfortunately, these two locations did not have arenas which slowed my riding down. Then when I worked as Barn Manager putting in 80 hours a week, even though I had arenas I didn’t have the energy to ride much.

Now with Big Guy on Stall Rest, and Little Girl still in the Groundwork Phase, the only way to ride would be to ride someone elses’ horses or to buy another horse. I looked into both ideas, even leasing, and decided investing in some lessons now would be money better spent.

2.) Riding horses I don’t know.

This will be good for me to learn new tactics of dealing with problems, and relaxing when on a strange horse. I’ve already seen a huge benefit in these last four lessons of being more confident about trying to ride a horse I know little or nothing about.

3.) Riding under Criticism (or critiquing)

I’ve been overly sensitive about being corrected or ignored when riding. I think the instructor says one thing and I hear another. I hear that I’m no good, a failure, and worthless.  This lack of perspective needs to change and the only way to do it is to ride with someone else and for me to actively work on my distorted perspectives.

At the TTeam clinic in Kansas I was markedly ignored and it really hurt my feelings. Looking back, I believe what happened is that the instructors choose to focus on one emotionally sensitive person who had brought three horses and pretty much most of the rest of us got ignored – not only me.

I was actually able to ride one of their school horses with the TTeam Lindell and the Liberty Ring – but was ignored during the entire ride. The point though is I think the instructors felt I was capable of doing this and did not need their help (well I hope that was the explanation!).

When I went to the Centered Riding clinic in Texas, I was again, markedly ignored. It was so bad that others commented to me about it privately. Again, it disturbed and upset me but in reality I think I was ignored because there were other Attention Hogs with some severe riding problems that had to be dealt with or someone was going to get hurt (as it was someone did fall off their “Parelli-trained” horse during the WALK).

If I want to go to some other clinics I will need to get over these issues.

4.) Riding under different conditions.

Now I’m riding in a different location, sometimes in a roundpen and sometimes in a large paddock with trees and other loose horses within. Eventually, I want to try out other places that are wide open, busier, or even located off Molly’s property like an arena and lesson under another instructor we are both familiar with.

5.) Dealing with specific fear concerns.

I hesitate to mention fear concerns because sometimes this gets blown out of proportion. My fear, on a scale of 1-10 is probably a 1 during 80-90 percent of a ride.  But there are times when things happen where my fear can shoot up to a 6 or 8. It quickly comes back down and I continue riding, however, my position and calm Zen mind has been lost.

My goal is for these fear feelings to not be so overwhelming and definitely not impact my riding at the moment in terms of position.

It’s important, personally, for me to deal with all of the above, and to do it I needed to be in an environment where I feel/felt emotionally safe to release and open up. I also needed to feel my opinion mattered and that my contribution intellectually to the lesson was being appreciated by the instructor.

In another post I’ll go into why I feel Molly and I are a good match for each other…

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2 Responses to Why Riding Lessons…

  1. Pingback: Ego driven « Horse Ideology

  2. Pingback: Past Reflections on the Journal (2) « Horse Ideology

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