Rider Diaries: Patience

So, I did not have the greatest start to the show-season with my best mare. At the end of 2019, I came off a huge high. I had brought her back up to the intermediate level, really gotten in my groove on cross-country, and was putting the pieces together in show-jumping. The hope was to really come out this spring competitive and pull-off some wins. With a quick prep-trial, I went and ran the Intermediate and tumbled off.

I don’t even think if was the fall that irritated me so badly, but the fences before which I just hadn’t attacked like the prior season. When I ran the 3*** last fall at Morven, I had a bobble at one of the first fences, then attacked the rest of the course. I remember pushing my mare as quick as I felt we could safely go, and we both had the best round. Each table, skinny, and corner came out of stride. The plan a few weeks ago was to have the same tenacity on course, perhaps not quite so quick.

And suddenly I’m analyzing the ride to each fence and the warm-up before post-tumble. My mare feels incredible. She is jumping out of her skin and keeping the rails up. She wants to get to the start-gate and gallop out. It’s wild, because just a few seasons ago, we were a bit at odds. As a young horse, she wasn’t the most tidy horse. Bold, but not too careful. Good thoroughbred. My coach just told me to be patient, and she did, smart girl, figure it out. Coming into our 5th season, I feel like I have the horse of a lifetime under me.

Yet, I bump back down for an easy run two weeks later, and have a bobble again! I came back home, I’ve changed my diet, I’m watching film, working out more. I’m thinking about dyeing my hair. Something to change and revert back or forwards! I’ve scheduled as many jump lessons as possible. I just don’t feel so in-sync and as bold, and that scares me. I’m not so scare that I’m going to get hurt or crash, I’m scared I’m going to mess up again. I’m terrified I’m going to screw up this horse of a lifetime, cripple her confidence, and mess up this chance I have to continue up the levels.

I so badly want to yes, be competitive at my current level, but I just want to touch Advanced. I want so badly to prove that Intermediate is a walk-in-the-park to my coaches, so they tell me to go enter those blue numbers. But, riding backwards and scared, is NOT going to do that. I’ll spend the season working on my homework, but I’m so mad. I’m so mad at myself for letting this happen.

I’m even a bit irritated at myself that I’ve put these blinders on. I’m smarter than to move back up while I’m still fixing out these kinks in my position and riding style, but, I’m frustrated with myself. I have all the things and the horse whose ready for me to put my head on straight. I just don’t want to let that down.

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