I cannot remember coming out of a lesson as pleased and happy as I did last night.

Last week, my main goal was creating a more positive attitude, which I can check off 100%. I felt great going in, especially since the windy weather I was preparing for died down. The evening was perfect. The briskness in the air pepped Riley up with a forward, manageable energy. Most of the barn was away at a show with Barn Owner/Head Trainer, so it was quiet and serene.

There's normally a group lesson that happens during my private, but since St. Trainer was manning the ship, she asked if I was comfortable riding with the group for the full hour. Happily, I said I was game to ride with the two younger girls and their ponies.

Did I make the score of the century? After totaling the math, I realize I may have, even when it was a bit of an impulse buy!

Last month, I was scrolling on Poshmark one night. I stumbled upon a pair of Pikeur Ciara breeches. To me, Pikeur wasn't on my radar during my h/j time. However, Pikeur is king in the dressage world, so I quickly regarded it as brand whose quality matched its high price tag. Normally, they retail at $300 USD new in the US. In Europe, where Pikeur is based, they are priced around the equivalent of $200 USD.

From the last lesson we had, I could only go up, so up we went.

The more I ride Riley, the more I'm intensely grateful to ride a mature horse with a nice brain. It does so much for my confidence and allows me to hone in on how I can improve myself. Short version, we did get to jump a little crossrail, working on straightness, creating a good pace and starting to train my eye again.

The lesson was crafted around opening up Riley's stride to get a nice, forward pace by getting off his back and reinforcing my leg with a light tap of the crop. The crossrail we went over several times on the left rein was positioned at the quarter line, angled about 45º from centerline.

As children, many of us horse people were often bombarded with horse-themed gifts growing up. The minute we expressed even the slightest interest in the beasts, doting grandparents and friends likely thrust horsey pencil kits, horsey toys, horsey clothes, horsey wall racks, horsey everything on us! As horse kids, I'm sure we were thrilled; I know I was.

This week, I relived some of that childlike excitement. A squeal may have even passed my lips.