Funny, two songs I’ve been hearing lately have this refrain in them:
“You never loved me, you love the chase.” From ‘The Stars’ newest album, ‘No one is lost’
“Is this love? Or the love of the chase…” From ‘Future Islands’ newest album as well.
So, there is obviously a theme. Why are they resonating with me so strongly?
I’ve been struggling with connections lately. Last year’s showing season with Oats had a lot of ups and downs (I fell off almost every show! what the heck!) and I couldn’t figure out why this was happening. I know how to ride, Oats knows how to jump so…???
I have been making progress on this by committing to dressage lessons and that has been good but tough. I want to make even more progress, want to go into jump lessons and horse shows ‘eager’ not backpedalling and wanting to get off, or freezing when we step foot in the show ring.
I even decided not to show at the Appy club shows this year because I wasn’t looking forward to it! Showing costs way too much $$$ to not have fun with it. At all.
So, my trainer Karen set me up with an equine wellness facilitator, to figure out what is going on in my head. And as it turns out, a lot of anxiety.
Anxiety- So, this seems appropriate.
The rushing, too-fast, speedy feeling I have all the time is my brain not connecting well with my body. I tend to have ‘out of body’ feelings when I step into the show ring, and I feel like I am ‘watching myself’ instead of doing it- riding, experiencing, anything. I don’t hear my trainer when I am like this, I hold my breath and end up gasping, and I rush rush rush through a course- my brain is moving too fast for me to keep up!
It’s funny- the facilitator ran me through a meditation exercise, and all I could think was how much I wanted it to speed up!!? That’s NOT the point, silly me!
Taking the time to align my poor brain with my body is a process. I am going to try and see how it goes. I’m trying to manage my anxiety, something I most likely have been cultivating for years through work, family issues, horse issues, etc.
And I felt like, last year at this time, I was ready to try dressage lessons. Oats and I could take that next step.
Oats at Sooke Saddle Club dressage: Photo courtesy of Eila
This year, I am ready to manage my anxiety, and work to strengthen my relationship with Oats.
So, this is a positive progression (even if the other side of my brain is like horses aren’t rocket science, why are you so worried? Anxious? What are you so afraid of?). I guess I’m not always sure- I’m afraid of getting hurt (see- the recent accident with my mom), and I’m afraid of looking stupid and screwing up my horse.
I’m not sure how I got to this point, but I do feel like it is manageable, and the next logical step I can take to have a more positive relationship with my horse, and my trainers (maybe my husband, family, and my work? Better not get too greeeeedy)…
I am still doing positive jump course visualizations every day while I walk to work- I pick my most recent jumping lesson and try to ‘see’ how I rode it. I think it is helping as well.
My rides on Oats this weekend were fine, Saturday was better than Sunday (was a bit distracted Sunday, had friends visiting so was chatting instead of paying attention! bad me!).
Other than that, this week started with a real BANG of bad vibes. Sick bunny (he is doing better already, pheww) Work flying off the handle……eeeek!