I am a super excited girl.
Tomorrow, my trainer is taking me and one other lady to Robertson Park Arena for a lesson. I asked her to do this. This is the arena that we have most of the gymkhanas at, and I would like for Pony to get used to me taking her places so she doesn't lose her head.
There are two girls who board at the barn I'm at who are pretty much awesome. They are sisters, probably in mid 20's to 30's (i'm terrible at guessing ages!) and are awesome riders.
They get OTTB's, put 90 days on them, and sell them. However, they have a few horses who they have had longer and put much more time into that are well trained. I have usually just seen the older sister riding her crazy OTTBs, and she is a freaking great rider. She has super soft hands, never gets frustrated, is always super laid back and relaxed. I've only ever seen her in a dressage saddle, but I do know she also jumps, and has also rode western. She's worked cows, etc. Basically, her and her sister grew up riding together and have ridden everything and every way. Even my trainer has told me I should watch her ride because anyone could learn something from her.
A few weeks ago, I found an ad for a reasonably priced trainer offering lessons near my barn. Turns out, her facility is WAY further away than I thought, but I figured I could still go and give her a chance. I explained to her that I rode western and I wanted to get into jumping and wanted a horse that I could learn it on. She said that sounded good. I was supposed to have a lesson tomorrow, but she contacted me today and said her farrier trimmed her horses a good 1/2 inch too short and they were all ouchie, so could we reschedule for next week? I told her that was fine.
While I was leaving the barn today, I saw the sisters, and stopped to ask them if they had heard of her. I had previously asked my trainer but she never had. The sisters said that she is a mid level dressage trainer at best, and doesn't jump. They said her facility is really bad, with a tiny arena, and honestly she wasn't a great trainer. I was so glad I stopped to ask them!
And then, they offered to give me lessons for what I would have paid her! I'm so excited! I had actually thought about asking her a few weeks ago, but could never find a good time to broach the subject! Plus, I didn't know if she had ever taught lessons or wanted to, so I didn't want to make her uncomfortable or put her on the spot. I am so excited! They said we could set up a time and could tack up two of her horses and I could try out both and figure out which one I felt more comfortable on, but she had two that are super point and shoot that I could learn to jump on!
I am so excited, I can't wait to have a lesson with them. I am just happy because I know what good riders they are, and they have no western vs english qualms. I told them I just hate it because in pretty much every english lesson I've taken, at some point they have told me I am doing something wrong 'because I ride western'.
Now, I understand that there are differences between the two, but I think you can be fully capable of riding both, it just takes more time. But honestly, I am not doing things wrong in an english saddle 'because I ride western'.... I am doing things wrong because I don't know how to ride english! Huge difference! Pretty sure a first time rider would be making the same mistakes! They said when they first started to work cows, they heard that phrase a lot too, but opposite. And they always said they got frustrated as well, because it's not due to learning something else, its due to not being taught yet!
Anyways, I was just really excited because I have seen first hand that they are both super good riders and have a lot to teach, and I am way more comfortable with that!
Do any of you ride both western and english?