Another week gone, another good lesson on Max.
It’s funny being back at this barn, I have all these memories of what I used to be like as a rider and they don’t exactly match up to reality anymore. Two years of no lessons and very inconsistent riding will do that to you I guess. Combined with the only jumping in those years happening on a horse that refuses my confidence has taken a dive. I never used to say a word in lessons and often found myself either saying to myself or asking out loud for the jumps to go up a hole. Oh boy those days are gone. Yikes. I have never felt so unconfident about jumping before in my life! I’m sure once more time passes I will get better at kicking the mental stuff aside. I hope.
Currently my lesson group is a few other adults who aren’t quite ready to be jumping so I am often sent out over a little log (I am talking telephone pole small) to gallop up the hill. And honestly that was enough for me. Something about the last time going xc ending in an ambulance ride coupled with being an old….makes stadium jumps less nerve wracking then xc jumps right now.
At any rate as I was driving to the barn I gave myself a pep talk, that I was NOT going to be a weenie and that if told to jump other stuff, well damnit I would just go do it. And that is exactly what happened. I went out and galloped up the hill, Max had a ummmm “moment” due to an unexpected bunny and there was some minor flailing. But I kept my mouth shut, rode to each jump and had no issues. I can start to feel my confidence increasing.
We ended the lesson with a bit of sitting trot without stirrups and I got some great pointers on my position. Namely, I like to be tight in my hips and sort of stick my head and neck awkwardly forward. Bad habits from desk jockey life, you know how it goes. My trainer kept yelling “turtle!” at me, which just made me crack up, lose all semblance of a decent position, then gather myself and fix my head. She just gets me. Each week being back in a regular program so to speak I just continue to feel more like myself.