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!

Friday Fun-Day!

Had a lesson yesterday and MANNNnn I wanted to bail out of it soo badly. I was tired, a bit run-down from a bit of a crazy week at work, and just tired tired tired.

I also kind of stupidly went on a run before my lesson with my dog, feeling that maybe physical exercise would help me out of my stupor, but I just felt more tired! Fatigued!


OH well, the lesson went really well actually! We got right down to it, instead of mucking about with intense flatwork (she says, scoffing at the weeks and weeks of intense flatwork done this month, haha) but seriously, I just wasn’t in the mood for it, you know?

And having a lesson here and there where you get down to jumps right away is helpful- keeps Oats fresh, keeps me from getting too wobbly.

We worked over a small grid (and I wimped out of doing the grid to the course, I just went straight to the course hahahahah) and then worked over a small course of x-rails to an outside line.

Oats lesson

He was good! We had our bobbles- of course- and lately I have been getting left behind over jumps. Wha? Left behind? From the queen of jumping ahead?

I know! It’s crazy. Not really ‘better’ per se, but you know…I’m still on my journey of learning.

So there we have it, a good lesson day even though I was tired and didn’t want to ride. Sometimes, you just gotta do it!

Words that I wield

Loving the summer sun!

Yesterday I rode Oats and was sooo not feeling it. I have a wedding coming up this weekend (a good friend is getting married in Whistler!) and it’s my birthday, and, and, and…!

But, I sucked it up and headed out. I planned to school a bit in the outdoor and then hit the fields for a bit.

And how did it go? Actually pretty nice! He was a bit of a dumbass about the far end of the outdoor (again!) and spooked, but I was like, never you mind, keep GOING!

And Oats was like oh, ok. Are you sure? A few times, arghh…And I was like, yes actually. GO!

We schooled trot circles to the right- bending (which I am convinced was NOT the correct bend, buttt….) and then canter, and some canter circles to the right and left. His pickup from walk-canter on the left was AWESOME! Only a few very minor trot steps. I am starting to feel what ‘impulsion’ and him lifting off his hind end feels like, instead of diving.

We trotted a mini skinny and then rode it to a bending line to a crossrail, and things felt really good…So I looped around and schooled a x-rail to the former ‘road closed’ fence- even though the ‘road closed’ panel was gone somewhere else. Rode in a very nice, polite five.

I was immediately tempted to ride more jumps, but left it alone. I was out riding alone, and didn’t want to push him tooooo much, given I have a riding lesson tonight and still wanted to get out in the field!

In the field, he was good!  We hoofed it up a mini-hill, and I was surprised at how much work it is to keep him cantering up. And going down hill, I felt wobbly and unbalanced. Where was that tough, tight rider from the ring? It’s weird!

We cooled out in the field nicely. A good end to the day.