I said to my trainer yesterday that I felt so thankful that I was able to have a great cross-country experience with Oats. And it’s true- I was so grateful!
And in the same lesson yesterday, I also said I still felt backed off, anxious and this weird ‘I don’t know how to jump’ mind-blank when I go into a lesson, or are warming up for one, or are watching someone else have a jump lesson. It’s like my brain goes into a blank state where I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.
And the thing is that it always passes.
And I DO know what I’m doing!
So why the brain- body disconnect? Damned if I know, but I do know it is mostly stress related, haha. And we worked with it, and I got over it. We cruised over a tiny cross-rail until it felt good (sneaky note here- it felt good every time actually). And then a small x-rail over the liverpool, and then the two x-rails to a small vertical. Over and over.
Then, a small line consisting of an oxer to the ‘road closed’ jump.
And that went flawlessly too (well, we jumped very nicely but wobbled through it BIGTIME the second time, because Oats somehow thought that since we skipped the second jump in the line the first time, that he should start doing that again on autopilot…) so we had to go around and do it again, straighter, haha.
And it felt perfect.
We then worked over a course, and yes it definitely wasn’t flawless like some of my warm-up lines, it was very good and very smooth. I did get left behind (twice?? oops!!) but Oats was meeting his strides well, even a bit too eager in the 5-stride outside line and we got in to the last jump too short! HA.
Oh and the ‘Oats on autopilot’ issue came back when he was locked onto a jump in a line we were doing…Except we were doing a broken line, not the regular line! I had to physically pull him away and focus on the jump to the left, not the jump directly in front of us, haha.
I always end feeling like yeah no problem man, and always start like I’m staring down at the fences at Spruce Meadows.
As always, a work in progress. But Oats was jumping very nicely and was a super game little ponykins for me. Good boy–and I appreciate his ‘can-do’ attitude! He was so chill.