Marking progress: Not good, but better than I used to be?

The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be.

I skipped my riding lesson yesterday because I had a private last week, and wanted to save my poor legs for another race coming up this weekend. Oats and I just hacked, and you know what? I was inspired to do more in my hack than I normally do, just because I was listening to my lesson partner get her lesson in too!

So, Oats and I got a pretty fair workout just by being in proximity. Normally I slack off…If I don’t have someone getting on my case and yelling at me to do stuff, I kind of just do whatever. I know this isn’t good, but in my defense, it is hard to stay super focused all the time, particularly while riding MY horse. Oats is a prime-time ignorer, and can basically trot alllllllll day…

We had one or two instances of struggle. I remember from months ago, early winter/fall, we were having a lot of trouble with him hollowing out and ‘hopping’ and kind of threatening me to avoid contact, and the leg. He pulled a bit of this on a circle to the right (I was asking for contact, and a BIG TROT!). He responded by ‘how about I pop up and throw my head up, while also stalling out?’

I wasn’t perfect (dear god no) but I stayed consistent and was like oh ok, well more outside rein and more inside leg. And kept at it. And he kept at it too! But we got over it. I did let him go into a *nice* canter when he came into it gentlemanly, instead of hollowing and getting balky.

I did, during my ride, manage to bang my freaking foot against the wall a LOT, and we had some bulging issues and almost ran into a few jump standards more than once…That was when I figured out that I was going to have to work on some counter-bend and THEN ask for the inside bend, otherwise= my foot was going to be the victim…

So, we were both quite sweaty at the end, and while there were definitely issues, I was a bit proud that I felt confident enough to push the issue with him a bit more than I normally do, even though it felt rough sometimes. I rode through it, he was good eventually, and we are both figuring it out! What’s not to like, even if I didn’t have a lesson? I still ‘took away’ a lesson in my brain, all on my own!