Or, "Stop being delusional, Carly."
It's easy for me to be at home and start losing touch with my riding reality a little. Reading about other people's jump schools and looking at my old show pictures gets my mind rolling away to places it really shouldn't right now.
"You know what? I can still do that. I bet if I just got out there, I would be totally fine! I'm probably wasting a whole show season doing dressage. Maybe I should spend all my membership money on eventing after all. I'd win the dressage, and cross country jumps don't seem daunting in the slightest. How hard is it really to get around eight stadium fences? That's just one phase. I bet I could cope."
But then I get in the saddle.
All I've set up in the ring is a cross rail, and I look at it, and I'm like, "Is that 2' in the middle? Why did I make that so big? Urgh, not okay. Wait, no. It will be fine. I can do this. It's fine. IT'S FINE. YOU'RE FINE. EVERYTHING IS FINE."
|barn cat hay distribution at your service.|
or impeding your service.
That is not the mindset of someone that should be jumping around a stadium course, unless said course is composed solely of cross rails under 2'. Sure, those exist, but I'm not paying money to drop us back down to that level. I'm going to spend this year doing my homework over fences at home, and garnering ribbons while not being scared shitless on the flat. When I'm confident over 3'+ again, we'll go back out to doing exciting things. That time is not now.
We did conquer that momentarily scary cross rail this morning though. I started off trotting Bobby over it from both ways lots of times. For being such a wimp, I'm not very good at trotting jumps, so until I got myself to put my leg on well before turning into the jump to get a good trot going, it was a little pukey over the fence.
But! Bobby did not stop once. Right after my crash, he was slamming on the brakes at six inch jumps whether I had my leg on or not. I made sure to give him a big pat after each time he popped over because I appreciate not dying.
|"you feed out my perch, i'll find somewhere else to sit."|
From the canter, he was totes perfect coming off the shorter approach, but from a longer approach, he wasn't taking my half halt. He wasn't slinging his head around and bolting which was obviously nice, but he was still barging through my hands. He probably thought he was being clever and moving up to the distance, but Bobby's distance skills are still remedial at best, and he was really just lunging to a gappy distance.
I brought him back to a trot and he was super, so we took a break and did some canter to walk work. I hadn't planned on jumping again, but he was being so good, and the jump was hanging out right there not being scary that I trotted him into it again off the long approach. Again he was a pro, so I let him keep cantering and came back around again. He politely listened to my half half and cantered over it without changing pace in the slightest.
I gave him lots of candy and praise and ended it there. Maybe he'll be packing me around 3'6" at the end of the year? Maybe I should come back down to earth a little bit?
p.s. you can't see him.