Yknow what I think the biggest things I'm learning are?
The first and most important thing is to ride every step. Unless I'm really just sitting on her or walking around and having no plans, I can't just ... well, sit there. I can't just let her go without any involvement. Even when I'm not asking for anything, I need to pay attention to her energy, her tempo, the rein contact. And just generally be an active partner, rather than an occasional direction-giver. I think that, when I rode as a kid, I rode horses that didn't need to have every step ridden -- which is the right way to do it. I also didn't ride with teachers the quality of MT, either. And I didn't have actual plans and goals beyond the next show. This explains a lot of why it's so much harder as an adult!
The second thing I'm learning is that there is time. I don't need to fret about how long it's taking us to learn. I'm young; Reveille is young. Neither of us is a professional/highly-bred-for-this. It's okay, and we CAN do it.
The third thing I'm learning is that I'm not the only one with the problems I have. My horse is not the only horse with straightness problems. My horse is not the only horse that doesn't want to connect up on one rein. My horse is not the only horse that needs energy. And I'm not the only rider who gets out of breath when riding. I'm not the only rider who has trouble getting my butt in the right place in the saddle while jumping. And on and on.
I am learning these things and starting to know them -- I am still working on really internalizing them. Really making them part of my psychic landscape.
In other news -- I'm super excited for horse camp this week! Tomorrow through Thursday: two mounted lessons a day, one unmounted. SQUEE!