This topic was really hard for me for some reason. I guess it's hard to look back and say, "Yes, that day. That day made a difference." I think there is so much to be learned every time I get on my horse I never get off thinking one day made a huge impact or that our work is ever done. There are rides I remember, of course, and one of those stand out rides wasn't even on my own horse. Actually, the fact that I was on someone else's horse is why it was so impactful anyways.
I've mentioned that I began riding with someone new not that long ago. The way he teaches and his theory behind riding is so different it's certainly been an adjustment. For example you must forget everything you've ever been told, go against everything your body wants to do, then realize the concepts were always there but your approach must be different. That probably doesn't make any sense but sometimes I feel like that during the process anyways. Then all of a sudden the magic happens, for two strides everything clicks, you're on an all-time riding high, and then the moment is gone. It gets to you though and you're desperate to feel it again. And again and again.
During the beginning stages of rethinking my riding I was struggling, as expected. My horse had no idea what I was asking (god bless her for not killing me), I wasn't even sure if I was asking the right way, and it was a hot mess. I felt like an incompetent rider and even worse, I felt like everyone was looking at me like I was an incompetent rider. One day a good friend of mine allowed me to hop on her well trained but very opinionated mare. I expected to literally pony-ride her around and was just thrilled with the opportunity to sit on her. As I got on I began to apply the things I'd been working on and with my friend's help, what do you know that mare got right down to work and was absolutely wonderful. I finally felt like things were working the way they were supposed to, I wasn't floundering around, and for once someone was actually looking at me, impressed with my riding. In all honesty I think my friend was shocked that I actually had any skills... I'd certainly never gotten my horse to look like hers did at that moment. I don't even think I cantered and I probably didn't even trot very much during that ride but it didn't matter. I had proved that I could ride and had reminded myself that I did have some skills and I shouldn't ever forget it.