Steady On, Lesson Recap

Training Journal


Had first lesson with Coach Brian, aka Brian Tweed. You know how some folks describe their instructor as a therapist? This one really is, Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC. The lesson went as well as I had hoped it would [Where To?].

The lesson was last Sunday. Initially, I bailed on the horse show because I wanted to set up a lesson on Saturday, the same day as the show. Then that fell through. No horse show. No lesson. Dramatic sniffle. I advised those in my house capable of leaving to go elsewhere for the day. Even work would be a better place than remaining in my vicinity.

Instead, we elected to go to the show [Spontaneous Showing]. Yay! While we were in the truck, driving to the show, Coach Brian texted to see if I wanted a lesson on Sunday. Double Yay! So, horse show one day; lesson the next. I’ll take one order of bread landing butter side up, thank you very much.


My main take-away from the lesson was to ride in an calm, organized, steady fashion at all times. Don’t sit on the horse, riding about, doing nothing, waiting until something goes wrong. Ride in a way that keeps things from going wrong in the first place. Conversely, when something does go wrong, and it will, don’t grab at the horse in trying to fix it. Keep a steady pressure and position. When the horse returns to proper behavior, you soften.

I think. All errors mine.

Coach Brian worked us both harder and longer than I had expected to survive. He did it such a low-key fashion that Rodney kept saying, ‘Yeah, okay, I can do that.’ I don’t know if the teaching style kept me calm and organized which meant that I kept the horse calm and organized, or if Rodney was responding to Coach Brian directly. Either way, we went the entire hour! We did walk-halt transitions from my seat and legs, then trot-walk transitions ditto. Then some straight up trotting on contact and a little bit of flexing left and right.

At one point, Rodney start to think about getting tired and fussy. I asked him to go forward. The questions stayed easy and consistent. He rallied and went back to work. He never got overwhelmed.

I, OTOH, got overwhelmed all over the place. I could feel it happening. So, I grabbed hold of two ideas – riding steady and stopping by slowing my seat – and figured that was a good start. Further into the lesson, Coach Brian was explaining something to me. He asked if I understood. I said it was going to take 3 or 4 tries for me to get it. He said, ‘Let me explain again.’ I’m thinking, ‘Dude, you don’t understand. It’s going to take 3 or 4 lessons for me to get it.’ I have no recollection of what we were discussing.

Rodney was proud of himself for daaaays afterward.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

4 thoughts on “Steady On, Lesson Recap

  1. Sounds great! Oddly, I’m just two lessons in with a brand new instructor. Again, anything, anyone or anyplace new is WAY out of my comfort zone. Like, I can’t begin to describe my level of discomfort. Funny, how we know we’re not making progress with someone else, but we want to stay there because …. comfortable. Although I’m not taking lessons on any of my own horses, this is good for me. I need a fresh look, new eyes, different approach. I need to focus on me, not the horse. This week he told me he really likes how quietly and softly I ride. I told him not to blow sunshine up my ass … I know my weaknesses and those aren’t it. 😉 We both had a good laugh. I think I’m going to like this guy. 🙂

  2. After all the lessons I’ve taken over the years, I’m comfortable with the idea of new people/new lessons. Whether I’m comfortable with a specific person/lesson is a different matter. So far, I’m happy that Rodney seems happy.

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