Tuesday 16 May 2017

Love/Hate Thing

The past few months, I've been so close to forgetting the jump lessons altogether and just focusing on dressage. We can hop around 2'3" -2'6"ish on our own just fine, no stress, no worries, life is good...now please tell me more about half pass and extended trot, I'm gonna be a dressage queen now, please and thank you!

Sounds reasonable, right? Ha, not so much. My actual reasons for not wanting to persevere with jumping lessons:

1. It's hard. Like, so hard. As an adult learning how, it's frustrating when my body just doesn't do what I ask. Dressage is just so much easier, and progress and results seem more easily obtained. I can feel what's right and what's wrong...whereas jumping just always feels a bit weird and not nearly so intuitive.

2. I'm (wisely) not as confident jumping as anything else. I know it's my weakest link, and I easily fall into thinking I just can't go higher, and/or I'll never improve, so why bother.

3. Pony. This is the lamest excuse of all, because Bridget is game. But, seriously, anything over 2'6" or so on a pony just feels and looks BIG.

4. We're in a good spot right now. As mentioned, we can jump small courses happily and confidently. Why  potentially push further and mess that up?

I'm such a head case.

Last night went like this:

EC: "Tack up in my jump saddle"
Me: "Oh shite"

Me: "The weather sucks. I'm cold. I'm still sick. I hope we're not jumping THAT course. Bridget is probably tired." Side note: B filled in on an emergency basis for one of the lesson ponies last night, and very carefully carted around a tiny child prior to my lesson. It was about the cutest thing I've ever seen, but B looked...less than motivated to move quickly, lol, and certainly would not have found their activities tiring in any way:)

Me: "Holy crap, B actually has a TON of energy tonight. What a good girl to behave for the small child. " Cue B trying to bolt and buck me off. Oh B, you are indeed a prize.

Me: "Oh my, those barrels that always worry me are the smallest thing on course. By a substantial amount. By, like at least half. I'm gonna die."

Me: First round: "OK, we survived"

Me: Second round: "Actually, I can do this"

Me: Third (even bigger) round: "Actually, this is fun"

Me: Fourth round: "Rawrr, Bridget get up to that jump! Come on, let's go! We own this thing!! Add strides are for small ponies, you've got this in 2!!"

I'm so ridiculous.

And...all the pics I wanted to use are on my tablet that I left at home last weekend. So you get memes and a crappy phone pic.

Take homes from this lesson:

- I can do this.
- It's fun.
- I need to make myself do this more often.

EC comments:

- B looked like she was having fun the entire time, and didn't quit once.

- I need to do more jump schools on my own. Even if it's tiny. Keep doing it until it doesn't take until halfway through the ride for me to be confident.

- Set up heaps of related distances and bounces until I am better about keeping a consistent pace through them. Poles on the ground if I really don't want to jump. No excuses.

-I should trust my instincts. I'm seeing the strides and where I want to be and I need to not second guess or underestimate myself or let Bridget tell me I'm wrong.

- With Bridget, if in doubt, pushing forward to the jump is always the answer.

 Of course, being the expert EC is in keeping me motivated to do all the things, I sense a super difficult dressage lesson coming my way in which I can do nothing but wrong ("See, look how fun jumping is! Don't you want to jump more?" Lol)



  1. Hey there sister, I know EXACTLY what you're talking about! Taking weekly jump lessons over this past winter helped me SO much - I just had to go do the thing and at some point it got FUN and almost EASY, and definitely much less anxiety-inducing!

    1. Right now I've been averaging a jump lesson every two weeks or so, I need to step it up! I'm glad to hear it got easier, particularly from you, who I know can have some of the same pony challenges :)

  2. i'm pretty sure that jumping might be the ONLY thing we do with horses where we have to work harder and harder every year to maintain the same skills. like with dressage, once i've got a feel it usually stays. but dammit sometimes it really feels like jump skills do not stay learned without constant vigilance. but damn if it isn't SO MUCH FUN sometimes :D

    1. You've summed up my feelings perfectly :))

  3. I haven't jumped in years. Probably a decade or more. But my god I find myself wanting to play with it with Carmen. I must be losing my mind.

    1. Do it! I will enable you all day long :)

  4. Sounds like an amazing and fun lesson. I'll admit I have NO interest in jumping and it's totally a lack of guts in my case. It's fun to read about though :)

    1. Real reason: Katai is so fancy that it wouldn't be fair to kick our butts at jumping too ;)

  5. Hahaha. I play into my own head-case drama. Glad you are having fun

    1. Head cases unite! Seriously I am my own worst enemy.

  6. Lol! This is me, driving to my lesson, every damn time. And #3!!! The pony excuse is REAL! :)

    1. Every single time here too, half hoping it will be cancelled (which has NEVER happened, lol)

  7. I just love when it all comes together like that! Love B carting around a kid like an old pro then bolting when you get on...horse. And I about died at the last picture of Ryan & George!

    1. Ponies. I know everyone says they have a sense of humor, but I'm not sure they really mention enough that it's not a "funny ha ha" sense of humor ;)