I feel like quoting Bright Lights Big City again. Maybe because that’s where I feel like I am these days?
I’m not in the pit, but I am on the lip, looking in sometimes. Maybe on my way back up. I always felt like I was trying hard, and I am still trying hard, but that my efforts are taking me back to kindergarten.
Also I think that bright lights is a story of redemption–and weirdly, kind of uplifting in that ‘hits rock bottom and claws way back out’ way. So goes my riding and life these days? I actually don’t have a lot to moan about, but it’s more the way I feel like I have to work hard, to get – where exactly?
Lessons to recap this week:
Tuesday Dressage: Lateral work was WAY better when I learned I had to actually release off my horse’s face and let him do his work. When I was softer, he was softer. Who would have thought? Why did it take me until Tuesday to realize this, and why do I seem to have to re-learn it every time?
My sitting trot sucks and is non-existent, and my fear-based habits of raising my hands and lurching forward through the canter transition has re-appeared in a big way. Homework: Do a 100 sitting trot-canter transitions each ride.
Wednesday Jumping: Wanted to ride outdoors and the wind was blasting again. We tried at first outdoors and I couldn’t hear a damn thing Nicole was saying, and it was frustrating for the both of us, so at my request we moved it indoors. My wimp muscles reared their ugly head- and I wanted to backpedal. Instead, we worked over a cross-rail canter-in grid to a small vertical (1-stride), and then to a small course. No jump was over 2′.
Shocker, everything went fine. I bungled the distance to 1 fence pretty consistently, until Nicole was like, ok what would you change about that fence? The approach, duh! So I cut it in a little bit and approached it earlier and bingo–distance was 100% there.
I still felt a bit ‘flooded’ emotionally, so I only wanted to do the small course twice. That’s fine. I know where I am with this right now.
Thursday Equine counseling: This week was a week full of learning! And I’m not going to lie, it’s very tough emotionally for me. We reviewed a few of the emotional triggers in my body that I have been hanging on to and explored why I went through kind of a cycle of problems- falling off, etc.
While I am dealing with stuff that is coming up, weird old problems bubble up- problems that I thought I managed already- like jumping ahead, hands coming up, riding defensively, pulling back on my horse.
So, I have to work through this stuff proactively and just…be ok with the process. It was still quite emotional and difficult, and I had to release something big, just let it go and dive into that feeling. I hate feeling things, so yeah it was tough! I felt ok when we were done though, and Oats is always very relaxed when we do it- he gets so relaxed that he lets ‘himself’ hang out, which is rare for him because he is a very private horse.