Quite possibly! For the past while (like long while actually) I have felt like a 10 year old first learning to ride. My legs havent felt steady and in the correct position and as much as I have tried to work on it, it actually hurt to put them where they should have been. About 2 weeks ago Alanna (after sitting in my saddle on my pony) said "I think the saddle tips you forward you should try putting the shims in the half pad". So tonight I did and it is AMAZING the difference it made! I felt so much more balanced and felt like I was really able to give him a great ride. Now I really need to apologize to him for riding him like crap and still getting good work!
I am SO excited to get to work on making it to second level for next year. I'm not sure if it will happen until the end of the season but we will just wait and see how we develop over the winter and spring. Everyone has said that the most tears are shed between 1st and 2nd level so I am not going into this thinking it will be a piece of cake (not that I ever have). I have to pinch myself every time I think we could be competing at 2nd level next year. For one I have never competed that high (or even ridden a horse with that knowledge) let alone on my own adorable pony that no one (besides the people that know him of course!) thinks could do 1st level. This month I am so thankful for this horse and everything he has given me!