We’ve had three Wednesday lessons so far this year and they have been blisteringly excellent. At the end of every lesson we’ve been like, ‘That was good‘ and then tried to dissect exactly why it was:
1] So much work done! Warming up in open order has gotten productive (not just mooching around behind another horse and rider) and actually orderly.
2] Warming up as a ride: focused and efficient.
3] Object of the lesson: so much jumping! Loads and loads! Everyone getting ample opportunity to correct whatever they were doing incorrectly on the night.
The thing is though… it’s not like our eminent instructor has changed her methods or her ways.
We must have. Or we must be changing. Are we getting better? And by better in this case I think I mean:
1] Less hesitant: When it’s our turn to go, we just go, ie, into the canter in warm up; when we’re at the front of the ride and it’s time to jump, we take it on.
2] More in the flow: See above, kind of the same, but different. Hmmm – oh! As in, riding independently with an appreciation of the rest of the group. Example: when the rider in front gets to A and is about to turn into the grid or whatever, the next rider is already going forward.
3] Increased confidence: Are these all the same thing?!? (I think not.) (Are they?) I think this has to do with knowing what we’re going to be told to correct, and being mindful of it, as it happens. Almost everyone, after a funky go, can answer what went wrong when asked.
4] Better integration of instruction: Once all the things we have to remember to do — all at once — become second nature, then the the things we really need to work on are able to come to the fore.
Also: Add in our relationships with our mounts, plus the fact that we’ve been consistent in showing up every week, plus our cohesiveness as group, plus going on three years with our instructor, plus, plus, plus…
It’s never just one thing when it comes to horseback riding. So the lessons are great because we’re getting better… and the lessons become more challenging and ask more of us because we are improving… so the lessons are great because we’re being pushed, because we can take it, and therefore… it’s an interdependence between rider, horse, group and teacher, and it’s coming good in a way that’s great for all of us.