I haven’t written about my rides much lately for several reasons.
At first, they were super bad. Simon was protesting the inconsistent riding and lack of jumping in the best ways he knows how – being super anxious and rushing through everything. No listening to my seat. No softening at the bit. The wonderful flatwork we had worked so hard to get last fall disappeared, so I got super down about it.
Obviously he has ulcers. Needs a chiro visit. Needs psychotherapy. Has a broken leg. Obviously!
My trainer suggested I back off and just ask for barely anything for a few rides (aka walk, trot, canter and steering). She also thought he might be tired of flatwork, since we hadn’t been jumping for weeks due to the rain and crappy weather. Even though I listened to her advice and took her suggestion, I was still convinced that he had deep rooted physical and emotional issues causing these problems.
Three jumping lessons later, I pretty much have my horse back. Problem one solved.
The second reason that I haven’t been posting about my rides, is because I have 0 new images/video. Riding posts without pictures are like cake without icing. Still okay, but could be better. I hope to solve that problem this weekend by bribing someone with brownies. All is fair when it comes to equine photography!
The last reason I haven’t been blogging about my rides is that I am a giant headcase. I completely underestimated how far the year end show set my confidence back. Late last fall, we were jumping stuff like this:
And though I wasn’t running around saying, “This is so tiny I’m a boss!” I did jump them without losing feeling in my legs. I cantered up and felt fairly confident we would be getting through the course in one piece.
This Tuesday was my first ‘jumper’ lesson since the show, and I was outright terrified. Not a jump in the ring was bigger than 2’6″, but all of a sudden a solid 2’6″ square oxer looked like a Puissance wall to me. I looked at the jumps and knew they shouldn’t be a problem, but still kind of wanted to get off my horse.
My trainer’s advice was two fold – trust my horse to do his job, sit up to the jump and keep my pace forward. Of course the first two courses I just let him absolute die to the first jump, and we got over in a slow motion “Eeep this is not great” kind of way. After that though, I sat up and ride.
Yet again, I am mystified at the fact that if I apply my leg and keep a forward pace to the fence… things just work out.
So we ended on a good note, and I’m feeling quite a bit better. I joked with my trainer that I need about 10 more lessons like that before the show, but I wasn’t really joking. Each course builds the confidence back up a little bit, but it definitely takes some time.
Of course this morning I woke up with what feels like the beginning of a nasty head cold, so hopefully I can push through it to get a lesson in this weekend. I’m really excited to show soon, but I know we need to keep improving until then.