The first thing I HAVE to do is give major credit to my trainer. I will be the first to admit, after trying April, the first thing I decided was that she was a really nice horse, but really forward from what I typically like. I almost didn't take her owner up on doing a trial, but Kelsey was the main proponent of giving it a shot. So first and foremost, she gets the credit for seeing the potential in the mare and the possible combination with the two of us. Because, here's the thing....
Our ride last night was INCREDIBLE. It was night and day from the trial ride on Monday! I tacked up and headed to the arena to warm-up and wait for Kelsey to arrive to teach our lesson. Even hacking around, I felt much more comfortable than the previous day. I picked up a trot, and it was nothing like the day before. I made sure to focus on the tips both trainers had been giving me during the trial - not sitting in a chair seat, really centering on my seatbones, and using my core strength to "hold' her and regulate our tempo. We nailed it, right off the bat. No running around like the previous day. So I was already glowing when Kelsey arrived, partly also from the little bits of leg yielding I played around with, and the accidental haunches-in I got. The mare is SO sensitive and so responsive, she is AMAZING to ride.
Kelsey had us working on a lot of trot work and canter work, since that is what we struggled with so much during the trial. She had to keep reminding me not to get "locked" with my inside rein. Robyn was awesome enough to take a million videos, which really helps put things in perspective. I might feel like I am relaxed and moving in my elbows, but I can see afterwards exactly what Kelsey is talking about.
So we had a PHENOMENAL ride, and it left me feeling dramatically different from the day before. At this point, I am REALLY excited to see how this swapping possibility may end up. Kelsey saw a lot of potential in the situation, mainly because she knows all the factors of my situation. I am pretty horse-poor when it comes to buying potential, so the "swap" would be a promising situation, this horse has a TON to teach me and improve my riding - 2nd level dressage people!!! So instead of floundering around trying (operative word!) to teach a green horse, I could actually be learning something. We finished our lesson and I was floating on a cloud. It was such a dramatic difference from how the day started. I had been frustrated, after hearing from a second trainer how uneducated my mare was. I didn't understand why we had "wasted" so much time making little to no progress. Robyn had given me her best pep talk, and really did help, because she helped point out the fact that I at least conquered my fear of Delilah, and even if that was one of the only advantages I gained from the situation, it was a pretty big one. But I had still been bummed. By the end of the night though, I had more hope than I remember having in a long time. I feel like I have a chance to do so many things now. The dressage movements I have always wanted to learn....doing an entire course calmly and sanely....packing up a trailer to show my own horse....all these things seems within a realm of possibility now.
So I am skipping around lighter than air. And really, REALLY hoping this doesn't come crashing down in disappointment. Because at this point, I am THRILLED!!!!