(Here is Part I in case you missed it).
Inevitably my trainer would leave to travel to another part of the world and I would slowly but surely backslide. Even with my notes and homework, and a journal in which I wrote down all kinds of quotes to trigger my memory, my old habits would surface and I would lose confidence. The video tape helped, but it was not at all like when he was there to work with me – in person.
Even training with local trainers in between didn’t prevent the backsliding.
Fortunately, Lupi was always very patient with me, but our progress was limited.
By the time he returned, we would have to begin again – just so I could get back where I was before he left and hopefully have enough forward movement to get a little bit further along.
As happens with many of life’s challenges, I learned a few things from this experience:
- Consistency in training is a must.
- Without consistent training with one instructor who I connected with, and could assimilate the training into my body, I would not progress very quickly.
- As my confidence weakened, I would try all kinds of counter-productive things to find that good “feeling.”
The process of trying all those things in between caused my lack of confidence, created bad habits, and untrained my horse. Muscle memory is real. Both for the human athlete and the equine athlete, the more correct the muscle memory the faster the process of learning.
And so…it’s always been said – “necessity is the mother of invention”. The barn was my solace and my ride time was sacred. Now, in the midst of life’s craziness it was losing its calming effect.
So I set out to find a way to fix the problem.
Read Part III