Before you go any further… You need to go back and read the title of this post in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice (I will explain why later).
When I was a teenager I took weekly dressage lessons from a woman named Val. I learned a lot from her, but she was super tough. More than once I was in tears afterwards.
I had an older friend named Thomas who rode with her as well. He is amazing horseman. His timing was impeccable and he rode with such grace and kindness. He had recently moved to Canada from Switzerland when he started riding at the barn. Thomas told me once (after a tough lesson) that some lessons are smooth like sand. But sometimes lessons are rockier like pebbles. Really difficult lessons are like rubble. When you work at pebbles/rubble you wear them down into sand. I needed to keep at it and do the work to have lessons that were like “sand”. This sounds especially deep when it’s said with Swiss-German accent (which sounds similar to Arnie’s Austrian accent).
The following week I had an even more challenging lesson. I trotted around for 90 minutes trying to correct my leg position. It was a struggle. I dismounted covered in sweat and tears. Thomas looked at me with wide eyes and said:
“That was an ultimate rubble lesson.” (this statement sounded exactly like Arnie!)
I haven’t thought about the ultimate rubble lesson for years. Until last night. When I had another one.
Gotta tell your mom when you have a crappy lesson.
I’ve been riding a lovely warmblood mare named Mighty in my lessons with Coach D.
I rode her in my very first lesson with Coach D. And I really didn’t enjoy riding her. We didn’t “click” and we weren’t in sync at all. I couldn’t figure her out.
I rode Betty (Draft cross! My people!) in the following lessons and had so much fun. I felt like we clicked and I really trusted her. She is a very similar ride to Apollo. When Coach D suggested I ride Mighty on my birthday lesson… I wasn’t super thrilled, but I did. I had probably the best lesson of my life on my birthday with Mighty. I felt like we figured each other out and we were having fun together.
Mighty is highly trained in dressage and is a very sensitive horse. She requires a lot more correctness and precision from her rider. And I really struggle to ride her well.
Birthday lesson on Mighty
I had a lesson with Mighty last night and I felt like my timing was terrible. I felt very clunky and disorganized. I couldn’t seem to get the feel back that I had on my birthday lesson. I got very frustrated with myself. My brain knew what to do but I couldn’t seem to get my body to cooperate. So I focused really hard. And stopped breathing. And got tense and my brain stopped working. It was a mess.
As I was riding around I decided that I needed to sell my young horses because I am the worst rider ever. I was drafting an e-mail to the natural horsemanship trainer who offered to buy Henry to pick him up ASAP. I was drafting an e-mail to Mystic’s trainer to post her for sale. Because I felt so horrible about my riding that I knew I would ruin my young horses. Apparently Apollo was safe from the fire sale because I didn’t decide to randomly sell him in my overly dramatic sucky-rider state.
Didn't think I got any media of my lesson...oh wait, here it is.
Coach D was super supportive and positive. She tried to focus on the things that I was doing right. And tried to get me from over-thinking and being so hard on myself. We did a few simpler exercises to end on a good note.
A good reminder :)