That feeling you get when you check your inbox for the first time in a couple weeks...
Anyzuse, had something interesting come up last week. My friend asked me to start taking her dressage lessons for her (on her horse) since she's dealing with an injury. Dressage lessons... after 7 years no lessons and being spoiled by bareback and aussie saddles.
I was concerned how it would go, new horse, new saddle (didn't know I'd be riding that day when I got there so no jods or boots either *facepalm*), new trainer... new method. I've taken dressage lessons before, but 7 years is a long time.
It went fine... unremarkable, really. He was more of a 'feel good' instructor rather than the task-masters I've been accustomed too (as far as lessons go if I'm not nearly in tears by the end of it I hardly feel it was worth the money, LOL). He told me to keep my leg under me more, which was to be expected since I'd been riding aussie style so long (with legs more out in front you). I must have done pretty good at that because I have a quarter-sized sore on my inner thigh. *snort* He told me to keep my elbows back more, which was also expected, it had my been my previous dressage trainers only bone of contention with me (I never could stand that form of contact).
I had hoped I'd learn some things to apply to Sawyer, but alas, he's one of the 'hold their head behind the vertical and cluck' trainers. At one point he had us doing tiny, tiny figure eights (across the shortside of a half-size dressage ring- grr!) to practice 'collection.' When I finally set my elbows and let the mare drop behind the contact he said 'There! Her back came up and she's in frame.' Erm... no her back didn't come up, hate to break it to you but all she did was tuck behind the bit and slow down. Sawyer's back has come up properly during riding only one time, and that time it felt like I had 3 foot more horse in front of me, felt like my seat got raised up what felt like 4 inches, and I felt like I could have slid off the back end with the help of the slightest breeze!
But, I will work my friend's mare as she sees fit. She humored me and observed my own mentor's methods even though she was strongly opposed, and I will give the same courtesy (and who in their right mind would turn down free lessons of any sort! Given they don't feel endangered of course). The only thing that saddens me is the fact that it is rather unjust to the mare... but I suppose she's learned to enjoy it in her own way, to some degree, such a sweet girl.