An Icy Cold Potato

An Icy Cold Potato

Sunday for my lesson, aka the last weekend lesson before the show, it was a balmy 45 degrees, gray and drizzly.  Also, I rode like a potato.


Hence the title of this post.  I was a cold, leg swinging can’t find a distance plopping around all of the place potato.  My horse however, was awesome.  Also awesome was my trooper of a mother, who took pictures of us in the cold drizzly lesson.  You know, nothing like treating your mother to a nice time in Austin.  Need entertainment?  Take her to the barn on a miserable day and almost fall off right in front of her.


Literally, right in front of her.

Honestly, I planned to write a somewhat (for me) detailed lesson report, but here’s the cliff notes version:


I started off really poorly.  I couldn’t see a distance and Simon did a great thing by learning and pushing forward through the combinations even though I was messing up the start of them.



Eventually, I rode a little better but never really great.  Figuring out the right pace is hard for me.  Right now, I’m going a bit too fast and leaving a long a lot… which is making me feel unbalanced and the jumps are just all coming up quickly.  This is an improvement over crawling to every fence and adding though.



My lower is swinging all over the place, and taking my saddle pad with it.  Also experiencing some saddle slipping issues, so I think I’m on the hunt to get him a martingale.  Or me a new lower leg that rides better… what is easier?


For the most part, looking at these pictures is not inspiring me with confidence.  In fact, I’m pretty worried about the show this weekend.  I hope we don’t make a fool of ourselves, even though we’ll probably be no different than many others there.  Definitely won’t be a ride for the ribbons kind of weekend… I’ll be happy if I don’t almost fall off multiple times.


My mood is a bit cold and gray like the weather right now, but at least my horse is cute and tries really hard for me.  I love him.  He’s happy and sound right now, and I guess I should be thankful for that instead of pouting about my bad riding.

33 thoughts on “An Icy Cold Potato

  1. I love the ones of you two over that red gate. Simon looks awesome and you have such a lovely, soft release!

    Yesterday must have been the day for craptastic lessons, ’cause I couldn’t ride either. I’m sure we’ll both be back to normal soon!

  2. We all have off days and it’s hard to be both motivated and good when it is grey and cold. Give yourself a break and congratulate yourself on staying in the middle of your horse.

  3. I always have bad lessons right before (and usually for the month leading up to) a show. Usually due to nerves/anticipation/trying too hard. I try to repeat to myself something we used to say in theatre – “bad dress rehearsal, good opening night” (aka – get all the suck out in the lessons and save the good stuff for the show!). I’m sure y’all will be awesome!

  4. He’s the cutest little guy, I love his faces over jumps.

    I’m sure y’all will do great! Everyone has their off days. They just make us improve more and more!

  5. UGH I don’t understand how any one can ride effectively when it’s horrid and cold out… your whole body just freezes solid and slips around in the saddle. Maybe some sticky spray and/or full seat breeches are in order for your show??

    1. I’ve actually found that wearing full seats in the winter helped me immensely to feel more secure in the saddle. The other thing I started in the cold (and now do all the time) is spray down the seat of my saddle with tack cleaner (belvoir #1!) and it makes the leather a bit more grippy. Both of those have helped me a lot!

  6. At least you wore a really snappy outfit that looks great given the weather conditions. Little things sometimes. Also I think you look kickass over the brick wall with a rail over it.

    You’re making some big changes in your riding to step up and do a new, harder division. The rough days now will pay off later. Better to have them at home than in the ring next year. 🙂

  7. You just had to get it out of your system before being a badass at the horse show! Look at the good points, he looks fabulous, your hands are soft and you are getting your distances. 🙂

  8. I think you’re being hard on yourself! Anyways, riding and learning with a horse means two steps forward, one step back and while you may have had a crappy ride, you’ve also made some pretty big steps recently with fence height and pace and that’s awesome!

    PS Simon looks SO happy over that last gate picture! How bout them knees!

  9. You’re being too hard on yourself! Look how far you’ve come in the last little while, of course it won’t always be perfect quite yet. I’m no expert but it sure looks to me like there is a lot of good going on in those pictures! Re: saddle slipping – I have a jumper breastplate that really does help.

  10. Well, to start you look like a rockstar — seriously, I really like your outfit! We all have ‘off’ days, just try not to beat yourself up too much 🙂

  11. sorry it wasn’t your most inspiring lesson… but some of those pics are really great! Simon looks like he’s really enjoying his job 🙂

  12. When things get harder, you know you’re successfully trying new things (which is a faster pace in your case!) It will get better 😀 I’m having a similar issue right now and I know when I’m struggling, it just means I’m trying something new/moving up!

  13. You’re such a snappy dresser! And you don’t look as bad as you think you do! 🙂

    Definitely go for a breastplate or martingale- I use a breastplate when jumping and feel like it really helps with the saddle slippage! (Should probably start putting it on for galloping, too.)

  14. Ah yes, the crappy ride right before a show lesson. Generally it predicts ribbons, I think. 😉 I don’t understand how you are so clean, though. Seriously. Not a speck of dirt on those breeches and the sweater looks fab!

  15. I wondered, “Who took those pics if the photographer is riding!” Moms are the best. Mine braved intense heat last weekend to see my new horse. We have no indoor and she kept following me around hopping from shady spot to shady spot.
    Don’t worry about looking like a fool as you said. You’ll be great. And even if the rides don’t turn out as smoothly as you like, Simon is a good-looking horse and you’re a snappy dresser! You’ve got nothing to lose!

  16. I think that having a bad ride in crappy weather is perfectly acceptable. Don’t let it get to you, I’m sure you’ll do great at the show 🙂

  17. I think it’s impossible not to feel like a frozen potato when it’s cold. When I’m chilled, my whole body tenses up, and that just makes me ride super poorly. You’ve been doing so well, I wouldn’t let a bad ride or two make you feel bad. Moving up is always full of tons of no-good, terrible moments that gradually get better when you aren’t paying attention. 🙂

  18. You were brave enough to post pictures! Your mount looks super cute and we all have those off days. Don’t worry about the show, its all about practice! You’ve got it 🙂

  19. We always feel worse than it looks. And for whatever reason unlike to follow horrible rides with a great show. Go have fun!

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