Three Weaknesses and One Strength

Three Weaknesses and One Strength

This is the week of lessons ramping up to the horse show.  Usually I do one group lesson and one training ride for Simon per week, but on a horse show week I’ll swap a training ride for a lesson.  That combined with my usual weekend lesson means a group jumping lesson every other day until we go to the show to school on Friday.  That much instruction means we have to improve… right?  Right?!?

Heading to Sunday’s lesson I was feeling super enthused.  Simon was fantastic Saturday, my lovely husband was coming with me to take pictures, and it was going to be perfect.  Two days later I think I’m done processing it… and after trying not to be so hard on myself I’ve come up with three weaknesses from Sunday and one major strength.

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Weakness One – Drifting Left

It feels like a new habit, even though it’s probably not.  My horse loves to drift left and it hasn’t been bad so I haven’t been correcting it… well you can probably guess where this is going.  He ran out once on Sunday, and run outs really get me down – especially when I can prevent them.  So lots of left leg in my future, because I don’t want this to become a “thing”.

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Weakness Two – Weight

His looks fab, but me… well I’ll be honest and when I first looked at these photos I was a little upset and didn’t want to post them.  It’s not that I’m really heavier than I was a month ago, but different fitting breeches combined with the boob squish sports bra from heaven changed my shape a little bit.  I’ve had some rational thinking time, and I’m not going to hate myself over this.  I am going to make some changes though, but we don’t need to dwell on that right now.  I’m writing this so I can look back soon and say “Look at how far I’ve come!”

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Weakness Three – Jumping Bigger Fences

I asked my trainer if we could do some 2’3″ – 2’6″ jumps in our lessons so I could not be worried about the 2’3″ height on Saturday.  She set some up, and the first “big” fence we came to Simon had a nice forward pace, we got a good (but not super close) distance and he jumped it beautifully.  Just beautiful.  I had this flash of, “Oh wow – maybe this is my adult hunter one day!”  There’s just one problem – I went flyyyyyyyyyyying out of the saddle.  Like, no contact between horse and rider and then I landed in a big thump on the other side.  Cantering off, he thought briefly about bucking me off… but listened to the good angel and did not.  Thank you Simon!  So yeah, I need to work on that.

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The Big Strength – My Lower Leg

Now I’ll stop being Nancy Negative and tell you what I’m proud of – my lower leg.  I used to jump every fence with leaning, laying on the neck, and pinching.  My leg would go flying back and I often felt really unbalanced and like “oh I shouldn’t really be jumping this right now…”  That feeling isn’t 100% gone, but man it’s so much better.

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What I used to jump like... on a "good" jump
What I used to jump like… on a “good” jump

So we’re heading into another lesson tonight where there are sure to be ups and downs, but as long as something keeps improving it’ll be a-okay!

24 thoughts on “Three Weaknesses and One Strength

  1. Okay, one, those photos are great!! I’m gonna be honest and say I’ve never really been *into* sport type horses because, well, I didn’t really have a use for them, I ride on farms, help out on farms and pretty much am a Ranch type rider that needs a stock type horse, but geeze, Simon is stinking gorgeous. Since I began following your blog, I’ve seen huge improvements in not only Simon but you and your riding. Don’t worry about the weight gain-or even weight loss for the matter-as long as you are comfortable, don’t let it effect you.

  2. I was gonna say, your lower leg looks BOMBER. Very solid through each photo. Consistency like that is always muy bueno!! Those boots (are they the new ones) look pretty awesome, too!

  3. We need to start a Facebook group for us equestrian bloggers trying to lose weight — maybe we can all help each other stay motivated!

    But in all honesty, you definitely don’t look like you’ve gained weight at all. And even if it is just the fantastic new sports bra, you look like you’ve lost some in the upper half (including tummy!) 🙂

  4. Sports bras can make super models look like they have boob squish. Hubby prefers to reference this as “the fat uni-boob”.

  5. 1. we have the new drift right habit.
    2. i’m actively working on my weight (the more I’m at the barn, the less I’m stuffing my face)
    3. have to work on some adv. skills now that i’m jumping up.
    4. i have good legs now too – and i’m solid over not so pretty attempts.
    TWINNIES!
    Great that you identified some areas to work on!

  6. Whats the wonder bra?! I am always after a good riding bra!

    I think you guys are looking good and being aware of things and wanting to fix them is awesome!

  7. Great attitude towards your lesson. Sometimes those photos and video can show you at less awesome than you feel, and that sucks. I think we’ve all been there.

  8. I know you want to continue losing weight, which if it’s for health reasons is always a good thing (well, more important to focus on over-all fitness than weight), and you probably don’t want to hear it from a “skinny” girl- but let me tell you, your weight isn’t nearly as bad as you perceive it to be. I admit to sometimes seeing people riding horses and thinking they shouldn’t be- but seriously- that thought would not even remotely cross my mind. You look great, and I think very proportional and fit, and also very proportional to Simon. I am an advocate of working on weight for health reasons- but at the same time, don’t focus on it so much that it becomes a mental detriment. I know easier said than done…

    But your lower leg has definitely gotten so much better!! The more and more secure it gets, the better you’ll take those bigger fences- with all the work you and Simon are putting into this, they’re coming in no time, I promise! 🙂 And one of my favorite things to do for straightness is cavalletti/ground poles or using poles as guides before and after fences. Wiz has had some drifting issues, so sometimes I use poles as guides when jumping grids to help him think straight- or riding straight after a fence and halting so he’s not always thinking “okay, left or right now!?”

    UGH I’m always writing long comments…. but seriously, be positive! These photos look great. I can’t wait to see how the show goes 🙂 Brick by brick- you’re building a great team 😀

  9. #1 I really like the burgundy riding pants. #2 A strong lower leg is a HUGE strength and will really help you over those bigger fences. and #3 I agree with Lindsey. You and Simon look great together!

  10. It’s great to have goals, I’m sure all of them will improve with time! Your lower leg looks awesome and I like your breeches too!

  11. It’s about balance and form, not necessarily weight. I do understand completely though why you would have issues with seeing pictures of yourself on your horse, because I too have those same thoughts. It’s funny, though, I never think about it when I ride. When I ride I think about how I am connected to my horse, how he feels underneath me, how we are moving together, what I can do to make all of that better. That’s what’s important and that’s what I see when I watch you ride.

  12. You and Simon look great! And your lower leg really is stellar. I always have a rough week of lessons before a show or event. Actually, I worry if the pre-show week goes really well. You two will do great. And in honor of this post, I’m making it a rule to always remind myself of at least one thing I’m proud of after a difficult lesson.

  13. I was just going to post how awesome your lower leg is. And your position in that 3rd photo is great too!

  14. Your leg is PHENOMENAL! Seriously, be excited about that! Riding is a tough sport, and it’s easy to be hard on yourself when things don’t go perfectly. But you have a great attitude and are committed to improving, which is awesome. Get it, girl!

  15. There is always going to be something we need to work on, whether it be something concerning us, or something about our horses. I think breaking it down like you did helps us manage things better like that. Might have to do it myself!

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