No, don't panic, it's not past Tuesday, I've upped my lessons to two a week.
I've been riding a beautiful white horse named Shadow the past month or so while learning to canter. He's responsive and made me work in my previous lesson. But as I was told on the Tuesday, I was being switched to another horse so I learnt how different horses need to be handled and so I'm not too complacent in the saddle during trotting and cantering.
All horses have a different rhythm and different personality, why shouldn't they? They are, after all, individuals despite them travelling in packs in the wild. So I need to remember that while on the back of a horse, its responses to me may differ than another horse's. Not to mention how fast or smooth it travels will differ greatly also.
Anyway, Thursday I arrived to be put on Bella again; a beautiful mare who I learnt to rise trot on and whom I had developed a great soft spot for. Over the months I'd ridden her, I learnt how she could be stubborn and mindful, like any typical woman, I can hear most men say. But I found her irresistible and a sweetheart and being back on her was like falling back into a familiar comfortable chair. Yet, it was different this time. I had been learning, as I previously said, to move the horse and control it much more in my previous lesson with Shadow. So having control of Bella was another new challenge I was facing.
She's lighter in the mouth so much less rein work needs to be done on her and this is a skill I'm determined to perfect before long. Judging through my hands how the horse is responding and knowing when I need to push on with the leg more. I sure found that out later in the lesson.
So we trotted, and my instructor was pleased how I adjusted to rising trot back on Bella after all this time. I have to say, secretly, I'm still amazed how easy it now comes. It's almost second nature. The little parts we're adding feel still quite alien, like the push of the hips when transition and the manoeuvring that I know in time will be done without much thought.
Clearly, trotting with Bella comes much more naturally for me than cantering on her as I've not done that before. And sadly, cantering wasn't going to happen during Thursday's class. Bella needs much more leg than Shadow did and this is again another difference that you learn quickly about the horse beneath you. I couldn't get her to go but seemed to make a little headway with the new method of moving this beautiful mare beneath me.
I look forward to Tuesday's lesson and hope you'll join me for the next entry.