|A trot lengthen from my second lesson with D|
This means that my area is now without any resident dressage trainer again. It makes me really glad that I started organizing the regular clinics with Sandra. I am always amazed at how much Sandra can teach me and Kachina in a clinic, and I love her training approach. However, no matter how amazing they are, two days of instruction every three months can only do so much. I had budgeted for doing semi-regular lessons with D this year, so I have a modest pool of money to go towards lessons. Last week I decided to use some of that money on a couple months of hunter/jumper lessons.
|Me pretending to be a hunter rider on Miles in Ohio|
Specifically, for April I will be doing lessons every Tuesday with Kt at Barn A on a lesson horse, and for May I will be doing lessons every Thursday with N at Barn B on a lesson horse (the two different barns is mostly related to availability). Both Kt and N are friends of mine who have teaching certifications and active lesson programs. They both focus on hunter/jumpers with both their own riding and their students, but they also appreciate dressage and I respect their methods.
To be clear, I have no intention of changing disciplines and leaving dressage. Taking H/J lessons may seem like a strange decision, but there were a lot of factors that went into it:
1. I can't take regular dressage lessons
2. Clinics with Sandra generally focus on my training approach with Kachina. I need some regular lessons to focus on me as a rider.
3. My discipline experiments in Ohio made me see similarities between different kinds of riding, and showed me how fun it could be to do something different.
4. I was talking with my Irish cousin recently about his work to start his young steeplechasers over fences, it made me really want to try jumping again.
5. Even though I want to try jumping, Kachina is doing really well with dressage right now and it isn't a good time for me to mix things up too much with her. Also, if I ever do want to jump her, I need to be less green over fences myself.
6. It will make me a better rider to ride different horses.
7. There are some exercises that I can't easily do on Kachina that will make me a better rider (no stirrup work, no rein work, etc). In fact, I decided to lesson with Kt after hearing her explain some of the crazy no-stirrup torture she likes to give her students (I may well regret that decision!).
8. It's crazy how relaxing a lesson seems to be when you don't have to worry about hauling your horse. It also doesn't take all evening which is nice.
9. You. I follow a lot of blogs that have directly or indirectly talked about the benefits of regular lessons. You've made me want to try it!
|Some of my cousin's youngsters who will grow up to be fantastic jumpers!|
Have you ever taken lessons in a different discipline? Or ridden a lesson horse even when you had a horse of your own to ride? Did it help you?