I walked to the barn for my lesson last night with my positivity hat on. I also immediately walked to a lovely group of barn ladies enjoying Sangria, and I had a glass.
I figured Sangria could only help our situation.
(P.S. I have no media so enjoy these random faces of Simon while I tried to take a picture of his new bonnet I made)
Simon brought his A-game too. He actually trotted up to me in the pasture, which has never ever happened. We warmed up very purposely with me concentrating on him being in front of my leg and listening well.
Before we started jumping, my trainer and I talked a little bit about what happened. She said we were crawling to the oxer, which I knew, and he had been leaving long previously. So I leaned for the long one (won’t be doing that again), and since he was going slow he decided to just squeeze one more in… but there was no room for squeezing. Hearing her observations actually made me feel better before we even started jumping, because it’s a scenario that’s happened a lot before. Just this time there wasn’t room for another one. He didn’t plant his think down thinking I would come off.
So our first round was a mix of 2’0″ singles and cross rails. We picked up our canter and I was like HORSE WE WILL GO FORWARD and Simon said, “Oh jesus who are you and what have you done to my mother?!” Almost every spot was gross because I was sitting up in case he added, and he was taking every long spot possible because he was showing me how absolutely committed he was to the jump… plus I had too much canter.
It was fugly at first, but neither one of us were even thinking about stopping.
After I realized my horse wasn’t ruined, I talked to my trainer about getting help finding the right pace. I feel like lately I’m either way too slow or way too fast. She said that Simon has changed a lot too, so it’s hard. His stride is more open and he likes the long spot more these days. She also said that both me and my horse have a mental pause about oxers, so I’m going to have to remember to sit up and ride over every oxer probably for the rest of our careers.
We gradually got more and more complicated with adding in some slices and some more solid jumps, plus a different tiny oxer. Nothing was huge and nothing was super impressive, but I got some cajones back and was able to go over all the fences with my horse. I’ll take it!
Still won’t make a decision about the derby for a bit, but I’m feeling a lot better overall.