When my husband took riding lesson (oh so briefly), he got very frustrated that riding wasn’t a linear progression sport. I basically said “duh!” and expressed that it’s often one step forward two steps back… or at least feels that way.
Yet, I forgot my own advice recently.
This winter has been rough on us for riding consistency. Not many barns in Texas have an indoor, and that includes us. We’ve had tons of rain lately, and I’ve been lucky to get two to three rides in a week for all of January and early February. It’s not worth complaining about, because it is what it is.
That schedule hasn’t been stellar for my dear ponykins. We’re struggling with flat issues that felt easy peasy in December, and coursework is rusty on my part and SUPER enthusiastic on his. Still we’ve had some good lessons and made progress back, but it hasn’t been easy.
With the first show of the year coming up in about two weeks, I didn’t hesitate when I told my trainer that I wanted to step back to the 2’3″ and 2’6″ divisions instead of the 2’6″ and the 2’9″. While I’d love to continue my progression to the elusive 3′ ring this year, it’s just not a good idea. The year end show was such a huge sting to my confidence, that I’m going to need some rebuilding time.
Before that show, I’ve never felt Simon question me like that. It is not a good feeling to know your soldier of a horse is worried. I truly don’t think any lasting damage was done, but I’d rather quit showing than kill my horse’s confidence. One of the best parts about Simon is his ferver for jumping. If I killed that because I kept riding him poorly at heights I wasn’t comfortable with I would beat myself up about it forever.
So we’re stepping down. I’m really excited to show instead of worrying about not being ready or not performing well. At these heights, I feel comfortable and confident. I’ll work on keeping my forward pace and going with a more competitive (but safe) time for the jumpers.
Now if only I can ride consistently between now and then!