Last night I took the mare to the riding club training evening.
It rained, a lot. The mare, who generally isn't very marish showed off every marish quality she could think of. She dug, she snorted, she stamped, she shook her head, bucked and generally ignored all my feeble attempts to control her. I felt like leaving her there and going home!
The instructor, Simon Somers, was a very calming influence. He made the group walk out on a large square, concentrating on straight lines and correctly ridden corners. He told us that we were being too nice to our horses and needed to get a bit of respect from them (very true!) I was told to shorten my stirrups a hole to give me better balance, and to slow everything down. I tend to ride very much with my seat and have become scared of putting my leg on due to the mare being very forward going. He told me to use more leg, the old "Between hand and leg" which is forgotten so often.
We did lots of walk and trot, concentrating on correctness, balance and rhythm. I was told I was very good at sitting there making the horse and I look pretty, but that sometimes you have to upset things to improve. As soon as I was given a job to do my nerves vanished and I felt that I was good enough to be there. When my leg yield in trot was deemed "nearly a 9" (!!!) I could not stop the massive smile on my face and I am still bouncing this morning :-D