Monday, July 18, 2016

That don't make no sense

Much to BM's frustration and confusion, I have the world's silliest jumping phobia. I guess the phobia of jumping isn't in itself a strange thing as I did have a crash that left me with a rather spectacular brain injury and therefore legitimately gives me a reason to fear striped poles. The silliness comes in being afraid of an 18" vertical in the arena and not thinking twice about coming up to a solid 3' brush log out in an open field.

Dudes, cross country is fine by me. I'll take that shit all day long. But anything bigger than cross rails in the ring?


No no no no no no no no no no.

Hubby and I drove down to PA to pick up Chance yesterday (who was perfect and settled in like a pro, and everyone is already completely in love with him) so I missed our barn's second hunter pace of the year. Fortunately any rain we might hopefully be getting today held off this morning, and I was able to take full advantage of a freshly mowed and trimmed front field with decorations still on all the jumps.

The deer flies were horrible on top of the insane humidity so I kept Bobby's warm up super short. Lots of trot-halt-trot transitions to get him up off his forehand and listening instead of tripping over his legs as he tried to ditch the flies. Then off to a brisk canter for a couple laps each way before moving right along to the jumps.

I didn't think twice about jumping anything out there. I didn't pick, I didn't hesitate to add leg, and I made sure we were cruising right along the whole time. Nothing gave me any pause, and I was able to ride....well, like a fucking jump rider.

Bobby was accordingly a rock star and took pretty much everything right out of stride. If we didn't get a perfect distance, I simply circled back around until we did. Bending lines, roll backs, slicing and dicing, short approaches, long approaches, didn't matter. We jumped ALL the things LOTS of times!

Then I went to cool out in the outdoor to escape the bugs. There was a big X and a teeny tiny vertical left over from the pace.

That vertical scared the shit out of me.

I made Bobby jump the X first. Good canter, soft arms, let him cruise right up and over it without moving a muscle. The vertical I came back around to and stared down. And pulled. And didn't add leg. Bobby chipped in big time but went over anyway because it was literally no bigger than a speed bump.

What the fuuuuccckkkkk.

We nailed it the second time because I forced myself to stop fucking pulling, but even after a super fun cross country school I felt mentally a little beaten. What is the deal with stadium? Did I damage the "Think through this logically" part of my brain when I bashed it?

Either way it was a good mental play time for Bobby before we buckle down for the rest of the week before our last big show of the season. Four Second tests in two days. Can the dude cope? Fingers crossed!


  1. A well known side effect of TBIs is decreased processing ability and difficulty focusing and reasoning. Basically, TBIs can cause ADD type issues and slow down your ability to analyze a problem and come up with a solution. So, honestly, it's a very real possibility that hitting your head damaged your ability to easily read and ride over show jumps.

    That doesn't mean it's impossible for you to get back to greatness there, you just may have to learn a different approach. I think you can do it!

    True story: I often wonder if my two bad concussions in late childhood caused me to develop ADD to a higher degree, by decreasing my processing ability. Every test I've ever taken since then has indicated this is a high possibility. It does change the way I approach decisions and quick-thinking.

  2. Gettin' all science-y up in here.

    I dunno. Maybe Austen is right?

  3. or MAAAYBE, trick your brain?? Move the "show jumps" to the event field?? I don know, just spitballing here hahaha. I wish I could trick my brain the other way around and love XC jumps...

  4. It sucks, sorry poles are causing you such problems. I agree with Monica, you gotta find some way to trick your brain. Maybe jump some hay bales with a pole laying on top of them? I can't help but know how it sucks.

  5. I have no advice but what other people said made sense. You can do it!

  6. We just need to share my stadium brain and your XC brain and then we'll both be complete event riders! These mental issues are SO frustrating, but maybe Austen has a good point there with the negative effects of a TBI?! Good luck this weekend!!

  7. Ha, I was going to suggest dragging some XC logs into the arena. Or combining the two somehow.

  8. I don't have a brain injury, and (touch wood) have never had a big bump to the head and I do the exact. same. thing.

    I think it just comes down to never having had an accident XC (touch wood again) and having had a fair share of accidents in show jumping, so I associate the latter with a higher risk.

    I figure if I'm to have a very serious incident then I'd rather it be with a horse than in say, a car accident. Recognising that bad stuff can happen and being ok with it is the most effective thing that seems to help me get over the nerves.

  9. i don't make no sense, and yet i completely understand. ughhhhhh.

  10. I totally get it. Having ridden out of an arena for my entire life until only recently, I can deal with ANYTHING out on the trail: bucking ... add leg and GO!; balking ... add leg and GO!; funny weird bushes .. sit chilly until we can safely GO! Back in the arena, I get all kinds of anxious when my horse gets naughty. I ride through it, but I am not NEARLY as brave about kicking the shit out of him in the arena.


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