Second, holy crap but I could write a novel about my first lesson at the new barn, FEC. I’m having a hard time sorting through it all! It was AMAZING in so many ways and the greatest part is that with the package pricing I can afford to lesson weekly for the first time in my life. I’m soooooo excited!!! Also, an old friend of mine randomly showed up to ride that night and we both stared at each other like “wait...what are you doing here!?” and then laughed and talked and had a great time.
|The view from the barn on a gorgeous evening|
Seriously, I don’t even know where to begin here. I got to ride a sweet OTTB named Fenix and we worked on the very basics of walk, trot and canter then finished with a single gate jump then a two stride line of verticals. The grin spread across my face within the first few minutes and never left. It was a feeling I’ve been missing lately.
Trainer MD is a talker. She never stops explaining the whys and the hows and the history and OMG I loved it. I learned a lot in a short period and it kept coming. She is also hilarious and there really wasn’t a moment I could get tense or scared because I was laughing so much.
I’ll be real here for a minute. I take lessons 50% for the riding/exercise/knowledge and 50% for human interaction where I’m not in charge. I’m not the doctor making treatment plans or the boss making business decisions or the mother or the wife. I take it seriously in that I listen, do my best and try hard but I also giggle a lot and get off subject talking. I’m sure it drives more serious people insane. MB didn't seem to care and interjected enough stories and anecdotes herself to satiate my need. The hour flew by.
|I do have a type when it comes to horses. Chestnut with chrome is my favorite color|
There were a lot of “huh” and “aha” and “ok....thats different” moments crammed into the hour ride. She is really into rider fitness as a base for safety and I spent a long time in two point at the trot and canter. She said that all her students need to be able to two point for the entire length of a xc course before they do a full course at a show. For starter level, that’s 6 minutes. Time for me to build up some muscles!
We worked on my issues and my confidence. I learned to canter from a two point in the trot and from sitting in the walk. I’ve never done either of those before. She discussed striding (something I’ve always been fuzzy about) and your eye while riding. We talked about being left behind being a lot safer than jumping ahead and that a long spot feels bad but is safer than a chip.
I could go on for forever with all the tidbits, history lessons and advice she gave. One eye opening moment was when we went to jump. Everyone I’ve ever ridden with has always started me with trot fences but MD apparently is against that. In her opinion, spending a lot of time trotting fences teaches the rider to have an eye that is much closer to the base. When you change to cantering the fences, the rider is then unprepared for the sweet spot 6’ take off and gets left behind or becomes scared. We trotted a single time for me to get used to Fenix and then cantered every fence thereafter.
|And a pony like face to top it off. I knew Fenix and I would get along just fine|
I could keep going. Believe me when I say there was a lot of information shared. I loved it all. And then the even better part? After I untacked and got ready to go MD, my old friend and the assistant trainer all came over and we ended up talking and laughing until almost 10 pm. It is the closest I’ve ever come to finding that elusive barn family I’ve been looking for for years.
Who knows what the future brings with lessons and once Eeyore comes back under saddle but for right now I really feel like I’m exactly where I need to be. I’m going to learn more than I thought I could learn and have a great group around me. My old friend is even going to start lessoning with me. I’m still smiling two days later as I write this.