I very sadly missed my lesson last night due to stupid sniffles/sore throat/general ickiness, so no lesson review today. Instead, I’d like to focus on some positives in my riding by talking about stuff that doesn’t scare me anymore!
I’m a bit of a weenie ammy- when things get hard I get nervous. Luckily I’ve got the DragonMare watching my back and she takes this job very seriously, so I’ve been brave lately. Even when she stopped at those fences at our show, she popped her head up so I wouldn’t go flying off the front. At least, that’s the reasoning I’m ascribing to her (it couldn’t just be that it made stopping easier, could it?).
There are plenty of things that make me nervous, and I think they might be a little different than some people’s “scare list.” But there are plenty of things that seem to make a lot of scare-lists that don’t bother me, and I’m going to keep my focus on being brave!
Without further ado, here’s a list of stuff that doesn’t give me a sinking feeling of dread in my stomach:
- Oxers. I dunno, I just don’t ride these differently. Sure, the horse is going to jump a little harder to clear the spread, but whateva. DragonMare usually overjumps by a foot anyways, so these don’t feel that different. Maybe once the spreads start getting wider and wider I’ll start to get a little leery, but for now they don’t even register other than as a mental note on my course.
- Combos. Why do people hate combos?? They automatically set you up for the out! Even if you come in messy, sitting up and adding leg will almost always get you out decently. And if you come in nicely, it’s the best feeling in the world to flow out. One-stride, two-stride, three, whatever. Moar combos pls. Then again, I’m lucky enough to have a horse with the power to recover in the middle, so that absolutely helps.
- Higher fences. Now, I’m not talking about 4′ brick walls. I’m talking within reason here. I know that Addy easily has the scope for 4′, so 3′ doesn’t feel like a big deal any more. Sometimes I’ll look at a jump and think that it looks big, but I just point Addy at it and suddenly it doesn’t feel that bad. This ties into the Dragon overjumping everything- my trainer and I joked that moving up to 3’6″ wouldn’t feel any different since she usually clears that height anyways. Why be scared of a height we’re already unofficially jumping?
- Pace. This is a new addition to the list. Forward used to freak me out, HARD. I was the Queen of Collection and adding strides. But I can’t be scared of pace and ride a horse like Addy, because I would spend the whole time grabbing mane and screaming to slow down. It was SUPER weird in the jumpers to just roll with the galloping step, but it was so so so much fun! Addy has so much power and to feel her beasting around that course was incredible.
- Stopping at jumps. Don’t get me wrong, I HATE this. Hate with a capital H. I want that pony to get to the other side of the jump- over, under, or through. But it doesn’t freak me out to get a stop. It used to make me very nervous, but I’m apparently sticky enough to keep my seat (another new development), so I’m less likely to fall off the front or side. Now it just makes me mad. Especially when it’s a simple vertical. How is that scary to DragonMare?!
- Random distractions around the farm/showgrounds. Pretty Girl only gets bothered by this stuff if I do. Our last show was the first time I warmed her up myself and we went all over the place, and she didn’t blink. Sane pony means I can stop spooking at the water truck.
There you have it! I’m really happy to have such a trustworthy partner as the DragonMare that lets me focus on the joy of riding instead of my nerves.
PS- Please forgive my re-use of photos. I just love them. She’s so cute!