Saturday, February 4, 2012

if my brain could knock it off, that would be lovely.

First, I am having a giveaway contest for a free painted saddle pad. There aren't many entries yet so your chances of winning are quite high! Details are over on my Facebook page (click here).

Ok, now for the tale of my inability to get my brain to shut up:

Poor Lucy. I don't know what my problem is but I had another tough ride today. It was not Lucy's fault. Kenny put some jumps up and immediately I started getting nervous. We warmed up over low fences (crossrails and 2') and we had no problems at all. As soon as the jumps went up to 2'6"+, I spent the entire approach to the jump a) starting at the base of it and b) silently freaking out. We jumped everything but I had a minor meltdown after she refused a fence (because I pulled her to the base of it, AND I was staring at the ground). Every ounce of me was subconsciously screaming "STOP!" and so that's exactly what she did, and then I lost my confidence. She has done NOTHING wrong and I am really alarmed at myself. We ended up with a very small vertical just to end on a good note, and then we went on a long hack where we had a really lovely, long canter along a section of the trail that is very straight and flat.

My plan is to jump only very tiny tiny jumps for a few weeks. Nothing big, no complex lines, no oxers, etc. I will stick with this height until I am bored out of my skull, then put everything up one hole. I always appreciate Kenny's help setting up jumps for me, but he tends to start them quite high right off the bat, and when they go up, they go up by 2 or 3 holes at a time. I also plan to go on lots of trail rides and really enjoy myself.

Anyway, here are some photos from today:

playing with the small bank jump :)

and back up into the ring


  1. Love the pictures! She (and you) look awesome!

    It's always crazy to me how my mind can play tricks on me .. keep your head up :)

  2. I think you guys look awesome too! Kenny is taking some great photos. Your plan sounds like a winner to me. Are those Fits breeches? Do you like them? I've thought of getting a pair, but I'm not sure 'cause they're different, lol!

    1. Yes they are FITS! They are FABULOUS!!!! I actually won these when I went to Rolex this past Spring. I got to meet the owners of FITS and ride a mechanical bull. I had a blast and these breeches are so great!! I can't believe I actually won them.

      I highly recommend them, and you'd like them a lot especially because you ride dressage. Sitting the trot in these things is like cake, but they don't restrict your flexibility like a lot of full-seat breeches do, because they have patches instead of a one piece full-seat, if that makes any sense.

  3. I think your plan of scaling it back, sounds perfect. It's what I would do, although I'm NO WHERE near your level of riding, but I think building blocks of a good confidence foundation for a bit, you will be right back up in no time. Those are MEGA jumps AND Lu clears them with ROOM, I can only imagine how high/fast flying it feels :)
    You guys get the BEST pictures!!! We need to clone Kenny and I can send my Husband to "School o' Kenneth for supporting wive's riding addiction and wanting trillions of photos/videos?" ;)

  4. I definitely struggle with confidence so I totally understand what it feels like when no matter what you do, you can't get out of your own way (so to speak!). One thing that has really helped me it to count. It helps me maintain the quality of the canter or trot and the jump seems to fall into place. I think your idea of keeping things small is great too - this will allow you to feel better about Lucy being able to get herself out of a least that's how I feel when I do this with Charlie. Best of luck! Your pictures look great!

  5. Great photos! You guys look amazing. I think winter is the perfect time to scale it back and enjoy some time outside of the arena!

  6. I didn't know Lu had tboots. So cute!!

    As for the confidence issues, I'm right there with you. I don't know where it comes from, but I spend plenty of time visualizing riding well. Also riding well. I set myself up for success by not riding things that scare me when I'm alone or if the horse feels weird. It also can help to visualize whatever it is you imagine happening, but follow through and make the ending a good result. Ex: Lu spooks and spins. You ride it out and use the forward momentum to improve the quality of her gait, rather than fixing on whatever the scary image is for you.

    I rode two horses today and wasn't even scared! It comes and goes, though. Let me know if you find a cure-all.

  7. Working on perfecting your form and style over tiny fences is the way to go. Not only is easier on your mind, it's easier on your horses body. You will be amazed at how quickly you can feel confident to increase the size of the fences. In reality though, there is no need to worry about how "big" you are jumping.

  8. I'm always amazed by the power of the mind. I've never had a bad fall, trust my ponies completely, and am pretty confident in my riding abilitites, but I still get a nervous flutter in my stomach whenever I mount a horse.

    Jumping lessons were always the worst. Once I'm on course I go into auto-pilot, but waiting for my turn is havoc on my nerves.

    I think your plan of a attack is a solid one...


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