Thanks to my amazing sponsors Stone House Solutions I have 3 lessons with Hannah Moody to complete the training paid for by their Winter Training bursary. I was having my first lesson with Hannah, who is a Grand Prix level rider, I felt really quite worried on the way there, what would she think of me? I do show jumping and galloping about and here I was at a serious dressage trainer's yard hoping to improve, but I was so scared she'd think I was terrible. Shadow was a bit sticky about walking down the steep incline down to the school, it looked very slippery and dark at the bottom, and I think she felt how scared I was too. Luckily Hannah was running late so we had to walk around for about 15 minutes while Hannah finished working with another girl which helped me calm down a bit but I have to admit, I was still very intimidated by who Hannah was, and I was a bit shy (unlike my usual, boisterous self!!!
At first, Hannah just wanted to see me warming up to get a feel of how Shadow and I work together. She mainly had us work on inside flextion which is a good thing because one of the key things where I lost marks at Team Quest in my dressage was that Shadow looked stiff laterally. She had us work on staying forward and uphill, by getting me to raise my hands, get some inside flextion, give and retakes, do sharp quick kicks (on off) instead off always nudging annoyingly at Shadow's side. This went really well and I could feel Shadow responding and going really differently. Then she took away my stirrups, and as if that wasn't bad enough she has us do canter halt and halt to canter transitions!!! At first it was ok, but then my thighs voiced their own opinion loudly, as did my arms, back and core. It was torture!!! but it did me the world of good and by the end of my lesson it was like riding a different horse.
Once, Shadow broke in canter and Hannah called her a piglet, and I overheard and said sorry thinking she meant me!!! It made mum and Mandy crack up laughing!!!
Overall, I think Hannah's teaching was very effective and I was amazed by the results she helped me produce. At one point she shouted, "Come on Alanna! Make her dance!" Honestly there were times when it really did feel like Shadow was dancing. I loved my lesson and Mum even said that it was "some of the best riding I've seen you do."
Thank you Stone House Solutions for making this possible, to Hannah Moody for taking the time to teach me, and Mandy for driving us there and mum for bathing the horse and helping and generally being you x