My last three lessons have been much quieter than usual, in a really great way. I have admitted to indulging in autopilot lessons where my body is pretty much a processor and it is essentially my instructor riding from the ground and I turn my brain off to anything other than taking direction. I gave myself those lessons in good faith because I knew they would help me build muscle memory.
There have been long periods of time during my lessons lately when my instructor just quietly observes. When she does talk, it is to assure me that I am correctly asking for the right thing and to encourage me that he is close to giving it to me. She told me last night that my timing is getting much better: for example if I ask for him to bend right, he wants to swing his haunches left so I am there with my lower left leg waiting to remind him to stay in the boundaries. When that doesn’t work, he’ll try to swap the bend in front and bulge his shoulder, but I am there with my upper right thigh and reins to flex him back right. We mostly drunken man walk around right now but I do get some really great moments where he bends correctly and stands up super tall and gets very light. Obviously I still desperately need my instructor, but before, I needed her to tell me how and when to do everything. I’m getting more self-sufficient and can better recognize the “when” and more correctly execute the “how” by myself.
All of this success is at the walk and when we trot it all turns to shit so fast it makes my head spin, but she reminds me that he is just learning this too and will get better at it.
I’ve adjusted tried to adjust my expectations to reflect that I get, at most, one hour a week in the saddle but I have hit some frustrating lows along the way. This month I’ll ride a grand total of two hours… awesome. Sometimes I even feel like my trainer is frustrated about it too. Not frustrated at me but more like frustrated for me- I just cannot figure out how to get more time in the saddle. We both know I am patiently somewhat patiently waiting for the right situation to come along but it just isn’t happening. She wants to help, but can’t. I want to fix it, but can’t. I have more than enough desire, but not nearly enough means or time to fix my own problem.
Like everyone else I think in terms of “imagine how good you could be if you could ride everyday!!!” But, I have to try not to get greedy. It’s good to dream, but sometimes you just have to be grateful for what you have. And I am so grateful to still have lessons where I feel like I am making progress even if they are weeks apart.