So, I’m fairly new to indoor arenas. Prior to boarding at a barn that has an indoor arena, I rode exclusively at a facility that only had an outdoor arena where the footing was sand and rocks. If the rocks could’ve been removed it would’ve been pretty close to perfect.
The footing in our indoor arena needed some more material in order for it to be good and safe for the horses. 3 dump trucks came yesterday and deposited enough beautiful beach sand to mix with the original footing giving us an additional inch of footing. An inch might not seem like much, but spread out over the entire area – it’s perfect.
For my lesson tonight, it wasn’t on Alfie or Martini – it was on Maestro AKA Black Thunder.
Maestro is about 15 hands, a smidge smaller than Alfie but he’s incredibly strong. Maestro spent the majority of his life jumping. His owner, a lovely woman also named Judy, is allowing him to be used in our lesson program. She gave me her blessings so I had my first lesson with him tonight.
Being that he’s new, I’m still a beginner rider in spots, I was nervous. My trainer Kari, she knows me so well, she stayed by my side for most of the lesson. By the time the lesson was over, both myself and Maestro were much more relaxed.
Riding a new horse can be stressful. Having to put your trust in an animal you’ve only gotten to know on the ground is really hard. But I did it. I quickly found out, for a jumping horse, he knows some dressage moves – the shoulder exercises I do with Alfie and struggle with, Maestro did with total ease. During the lesson my trainer asked if I wanted to trot and I said nah, let’s just keep doing stuff at a walk. After all, I want Maestro to feel comfortable with me, and get to know me before we take it up a notch.
What I found out about myself – it’s ok to be nervous, but I didn’t let my nerves get the best of me. I did it. And sure, I may have needed a little extra comfort from my trainer with having her stay close to us, but that’s ok too. It made me relax which helped get my confidence and skills right where they needed to be to reassure Maestro that this would be the easiest lesson he ever did…since all I was asking him to do was walk. It’s so much easier if you allow yourself to be nervous, try not to fight it, just accept that nervousness is ok. Because of that mindset, I didn’t get down on myself, I was able to push it to the side, and show off the skills I’ve acquired the last year and a half.
As I was un-tacking Maestro, I felt the eyes of Martini boring a hole through my back. When I turned to look at him I gave him a wink. I told him it’s ok my friend, I will always love you, and we will have many more rides together, I just wanted to give Maestro a chance. I know, Martini had no idea what I was saying, but he understood my loving tone. I know I say it all the time, but it bears repeating. I am so blessed to not only have Alfie, but I’ve got Martini and now Maestro to learn from. They are going to continue to make me into a fantastic dressage rider.❤️🐴