Adding to the confidence bucket

Last week I mentioned that I was starting to jump a bit higher (2’3”-2’6”) and it  both scared and excited me.

From the summer- yes we can!

Every week I go through the same internal struggle. I get to my lesson and start dragging my feet about jumping. I say I don’t want to jump that high (height seems to always be determined by how high the lesson before me was jumping, ha).

And then, before I know it, we’re jumping that high and doing COMPLETELY fine!

Yesterday, we even worked over the dreaded gymnastics, x-rail bounce to a one-stride big x-rail, and he was perfect! I HATE gymnastics- normally! Ha, and even the last one-stride x-rail was on the larger side, I didn’t even really notice. It’s funny, as soon as it’s an x-rail, the height doesn’t matter to me. It’s *just* an x-rail, blahhhh, nothing exciting happening here. Turn it into a vertical and oh boy, heart attack time! Even if they are the same height! I am a strange jumper sometimes, I’m sure Oats feels that way.

Not jumping ahead: Exhibit B. Photo courtesy of Christi.

Not jumping ahead: Exhibit B. Photo courtesy of Christi.

So, I proclaimed my desire to only jump small fences, and slowly they crept up, and…Nothing happened. He was perfect, the course rode well, the gymnastics remained standing and we aced all of it.

Do I think every lesson will go this smoothly? Nope! But we’re starting to really get somewhere I think. I am feeling a bit ‘bored’ even by smaller fences (which is a great thing, I’d rather be a bit bored than feel like my heart is in my throat), and I’m really enjoying this feeling of ‘I’ve got this’ rather than a worry/panic sensation heading to my first fence.

Despite the fact that every week is a struggle, mentally, to ‘want’ to jump- when I do get out there, it’s not a big deal. In fact, I didn’t even really have a big adrenaline rush yesterday. I felt good, but not like …OHMIGOSH I survived! It just felt good, competent, smooth.

(though I do sometimes miss that adrenaline rush, I think that’s why I could never hang up my boots for jumping altogether. Dressage just isn’t the same. I need/crave/desire that rush).

I’m very pleased with Oats’ and his pleasant, ‘can-do’ attitude these days. Maybe one day I’ll even get it together enough to oh, actually ride him through a flying lead change instead of getting drawn to his neck? Hmm….I’m trying!


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