Last Wednesday, I had another lesson with Joan. I'd ridden Monday (Saga was FABULOUS) and Ziggy's dad rode Tuesday, so at least Saga had gotten out of his stall before the lesson. The horses have been in for most of the last month due to all the rain, which we desperately need. Unfortunately, lots of rain makes for not much turnout time!
The lesson was definitely not our best. There were five other people in the arena, and Saga wasn't best pleased about going head-to-head with them, although the head tossing was minimal and got less as the ride went on. I told Joan about the dressage show and Pine Hill and what I felt we needed to work on, so we got right into canter transitions.
Frankly, even after doing probably 20-30 transitions per side, I can't say that I feel like they got much better. I think the biggest problem is that I'm giving up my position and allowing him to run a few step (sometimes quite a few steps) into the canter. When I commented about that, Joan said that must be it.
Whoa, wait a minute. If I'm giving up my position and it's screwing up my transitions, why aren't you telling me?
Joan is very, very focused on how Saga goes. If he's not round enough, or bent enough, she tells me immediately. She might tell me I need more inside leg for more bend or whatever, but in general she's not telling me what to do with my body to get more of X out of Saga. This has been working so far, because we have progressed so, SO much in just 6 weeks. However, I'm starting to worry that I'm not a good enough rider to train with her, except on an occasional basis. If I'm not riding it right, I need someone who will tell me exactly what I need to do with my body (chest up, heels down, whatever) so that I can make my horse do it. If I'm not correct, the obviously he won't be correct.
I'm not sure where this leaves me. I definitely want to continue riding with Joan, but I feel like I need her to be more picky about me. I need her to focus on rider position just as much as she focuses on horse position. I'll talk to her about this in my lesson next week and we'll see if we can work through it. I just need her to help me be a more correct rider so that Saga will go better!