I think the over long title sums it up! At the age of 11 (I think) I began lessons with a local well known and highly qualified dressage coach. But at that stage obviously the lessons weren't really dressage lessons, she was just teaching me to ride. I got the pleasure over the years to ride some lovely horses from an OTTB she eventually gave away because he sometimes chucked a tiny buck in so wasn't lesson suitable (she actually offered him to me, but I had just bought Ciarra), a variety of cheeky ponies, some lovely quarter horses, and even her gorgeous WB who was once on the state dressage squad. Eventually I got my own horses and had lessons on them too, which taught me a lot. Below is a photo of a photo of me around the age of 12, riding one of the school horses. Sadly not long after this he was PTS after a paddock accident. A few years ago I moved my horses to a different area. The instructor I had ridden with for years doesn't travel anywhere that isn't very local, and I couldn't afford regular lessons anyway. I was focused more on my uni studies and couldn't save a lot of money. I was happy just trail riding and letting Ciarra be a horse in a paddock while she was younger. My biggest challenge with riding has always been that I don't have the best back. It isn't terrible either, I'm not after sympathy. My recent xrays showed I have reverse lordosis in my neck, scoliosis somewhere a bit further down, then below that a slight hunchback. All of these things are incredibly mild. But it's enough that I seem to have trouble feeling what I am doing sometimes, and my left hip tends to sit further back. Regular stretching and chiro is helping. But this has created a fault which has been made worse over my years of no lessons. I lean a bit too far back. I can't feel it. I feel like I am upright. I am now in a position where I have the money for lessons again, so my friend put me onto a dressage instructor who is also a biomechanics expert - and she will travel. I had my first lesson with her yesterday which I will share in my next post. My lessons for now will be fortnightly, but I will aim for weekly when I can. I'm still a poor uni student for another 6 months! My plan is to keep this journal updated so that I can see my progress, and anyone else interested can see/comment too. My goal for now is to improve my position. I am taking lessons on my lovely old man Josh for now. Then my aim is to start getting lessons on Ciarra, because I would love to get her out competing one day.