There's something I haven't told you all. I may have hinted at it, kinda suggested it but never really full on came right out and said it.
And it makes me feel like a bit of a... hmm... a fraud.
I tell y'all about my barrel racing, team sorting, team penning and trail riding. And I think that sometimes some of my readers think I must know a lot more than I do.
But the truth is that I'm not much of a rider. I've never really learned the "fancy" stuff, the more advanced stuff. To put it plain and simple I consider myself a beginner with a LOT of experience (about 20 years of experience lol)
You see I did not grow up with a horsey family. I grew up in a small town with parents that loved me like crazy but just didn't have the money to put toward my horse obsession.
(plus like most parents of girls they thought I'd eventually get over horses and focus on boys)
So instead when Kimfer and I turned 15 we started taking riding lessons. I paid for my lessons out of my babysitting money. There was really only one place in our area that gave Western lessons so that's where we went. I took all they offered: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Don't read too much into that though. The Advanced would today be considered a high level beginner/low level intermediate.
Anything more technical/advanced "fancy" would be available through 4-H or private lessons. Both were out of the question for me. Instead I rode anything I could, anytime I could. And I read.
I have always been a big reader. All through school I read way above my grade's reading level. And I read anything horse I could - fiction, non fiction, books, magazines.
Its always bothered me that I didn't know the more technical aspect of riding. Of course I'd read what I could and try to apply it but I wasn't always sure I was getting it right. So for awhile now I've been looking for someone to take lessons with.
As some of you know my schedule is a bit odd. So to find someone that was close enough, that would fit my schedule, that was affordable AND that I clicked with... well it took awhile.
But it happened! :) For about a month now I've been getting my butt kicked Thursday afternoons for about an hour and a half.
My lessons are not event specific, although there are definitely things that will improve my barrel racing and my cow work. Instead we are working on general horsemanship and fixing small flaws as well as working toward those more technical things. I've made a few small changes and have noticed an improvement in my riding as well as my confidence.
NC's is a fairly short haul from where I board. I've been taking Voodoo and using him for the lessons but in awhile I plan to swap out and use Applejack (who could really use the extra exercise lol). Probably do a few lessons on him and swap back, and continue switching horses every 4-8 weeks. NC is on board with that idea.
I like her style of teaching, she's quick to correct mistakes and make suggestions but has a positive way of doing it... and no comments like "you're too fat to show" lol And she also points out the good things about my riding. One thing I knew going in was that I was too much of a 'hands' rider. I don't use my legs enough, partly because I'm not always sure of exactly how I should. On the plus side though, NC says I have very good hands. And that while I may rely on using my hands more than I should I also don't pick at my horse's face.
I've filled her in on my riding goals/dreams. Now to see what I can achieve this year! :)