Tonight I went to Overlook Farm for a ticketed round of jumping a course of jumps.
A bit over a week ago I had a fantastic set of lessons there with Brian Murphy, and was feeling pretty good. I was getting my confidence back.
Alas, tonight, the confidence just was not there. I was really tired, and almost did not go. Instead I took a quick 20 minute power nap when I got home. It kept me from being dangerously sleepy, but I was still a bit lethargic. So was Bali. Bali is also in season, so she didn’t feel very forward. In fact, she was behind my leg and my warm up left me feeling less confident.
We walked over to the ring, and I watched a round full of issues, stops, dumped rider, etc, and this did nothing for my confidence. Brian asked how high we wanted and I said “My confidence is GONE, 2’6″ max”. They went out and lowered the course.
I felt marginally better.
I went in and trotted/cantered around the jumps to figure out the course, and Bali seemed to have interest in jumping a few of them. Then, I cantered and started the course and we went to the first oxer ok…she stopped at a black box. And stopped again…and again, wench. And then Brian came over and said “Hit her as hard as you can behind your leg, then come around immediately”. She went. We carried on over a swedish oxer, to a vertical, to fence 5 (where the prior rider had come off) and Bali proceeds to be a spook monster and refuse it twice. I finally got her over, and I finally had some forward, but it was just ugly, fence 6 was an option of a liverpool or a vertical, I opted for vertical. Then 7 was an oxer, roll back around to a 2 stride for 8 a/b. 9 was a skinny planks, to 10 an oxer, around to 11 another vertical to 12 a skinny to 13 an oxer (if I’d been braver on heights it was a triple bar). I opted for the grab mane approach, which leaves me somewhat leaning forward as my arms are so short I cannot reach mane without being forward.
Brian says we’ll let Marit go, and then I’m to do the entire course again. He said I rode well and Bali was being a bitch. Accurate assessment.
Marit went around on GQ and he is a champ, then I came again on Bali and she was somewhat forward and did redeem herself. She was forward, and felt reasonably decent. I worked on relaxing, letting go of the mane so I could sit up taller and it was a better ride.
I’m realizing that my feeling of no confidence was because I had no horse. Once I had a horse, I felt better. I also was able to keep riding and improve once things were bad (all those stops), which is another improvement. I tend to just shut down when things go south.
Tomorrow, Bali goes for chiro. I honestly do think she might have been having a girl day. Tight back, just not feeling herself. The good news is, this means she should be feeling great for our show.
They are planning on doing this again at Overlook Farm next week and I think I’ll try to go.