For over a year now, I’ve dramatically reduced my lessons from once a week to once a month in the summer, am using a different trainer, and for 6 months a year the trainer moves out of state (no lessons at all in the winter).
I was scared to make a change in trainers, and didn’t know how the decreased lessons would affect my riding. I’m on my own a majority of the time. What’s worse is that this year I’ve only been able to take two lessons so far.
I really want to move up the levels of dressage as far as I possibly can without compromising the health and well-being of Ava (I love this horse). When my old trainer told me (at the beginning of last year) that my horse would never be competitive at Second Level, it really unsettled me. I was willing to concede the point, but even if Ava could never be competitive, I still knew something was wrong with our training… I just couldn’t figure out how to fix it.
It wasn’t until the Goodrich clinic last June that I realized what the holes were in our training. While fixing those, it made me rethink the entire idea of what it takes to create a successful dressage team. Which is when I decided to try a new trainer, even if it meant drastically less lessons.
But what I really want is two lessons a month year long. Not two to five a year. I’m worried my progress will be stunted. Or worse… that I’ll ingrain some bad training into Ava before I’m able to get back for another lesson. I want to learn flying changes this year so I can work on them over the winter. I worried I’m not up to the task of doing this on my own….
What if I screw it up? What if I make it so bad it can’t be fixed later? I’ve never ridden a flying change in my life. My timing sucks. I try to hard. I frustrate Ava to no end. I don’t know how to train them, and I have no clue how to fix anything that may pop up once we start. But without changes, I’m stuck at Second… which is not where I want to be stuck at.