Had my dressage lesson last night (shoulder was still kind of bugging me) and also I did a session with my equine counselor on Monday. A double-whammy, of sorts?
It was a good time to top-load my learning. After a disappointing weekend, I needed to take stock of what was happening to me. I did this in two ways- processing it with my equine counselor on Monday, and then physically riding it out in my dressage lesson on Tuesday (working on balance).
Monday- We discussed my fall, how it happened, how I can regain my sense of ‘self’ when I am riding, to bring me down when things get really ‘up’ and ‘high’. She brought up an interesting question- was I really ‘in control’ and calm when I jumped up and got back on and rode Oats through the course, even though I was hurt? Or was I forcing myself to do it?
It’s hard to say. I am going to say I was present and there, but it still freaked me the hell out. I just knew that I HAD to get back on, and go do it! I’ve done those jumps a million times before, so I knew what I had to do. I was still frazzled though, and that led to another stop.
In the past, that would have 100% led to me stopping entirely and giving up. Like, I can’t even fathom dealing with this even a few months ago. No WAY would I have gotten back on, not asked to have the jumps lowered (this went through my mind in a flash, but I left it alone and just jumped it).
So, is that also progress?
This led to my work on Tuesday with my dressage trainer, Karen Brain. She asked how my weekend went, and I said it was bad. I came off from jumping ahead at a jump and hurt myself. She asked how I fell off, and what did I think caused my jumping ahead?
Well, I said in the outdoor I feel like my balance isn’t great going downhill, that I tend to hunch/curl in a fetal position even though I know it doesn’t help. Oats jumps flatter, I overcompensate, and bang- not successful jumps. How do I fix my insecurity and confidence riding downhill?
Well, we do it through a LOT of very uncomfortable, gross, bouncy and jarring transitions. Up and down. Up and down. Walk- trot. Trot-canter. Canter-walk. Down the hill we go! And wow they kind of felt…AWFUL! But did they work? Yes ma’am.
We worked through the transitions rapid-speed, and by maintaining a leg-yield feel through the whole ring. Yes that’s right- Oats had to be polite or else! Leg-yield city! (well it was modified). I rode them through in ‘the backseat’ position and tried hard to not get jarred out of position or pulled through the transitions. It was a lot harder and uglier than I expected, and this is probably the ‘training’ that I really needed to do, but didn’t want to do because of how nasty it feels!