Ups and downs
Despite my fear I continue to ride (not scary) and jump (less scary at home) and compete (terrifying). We have been progressing well at home and in lessons. Sometimes things feel back to where they used to be pre-baby, pre fall, and sometimes they don’t. But generally things feel good, especially in lessons. I have stopped worrying about how high the jumps are.
It's interesting reading back over my blog posts. When I think back I think how confident I was to be jumping and eventing and how much easier it felt. Right now it feels SO HARD, but I read back and it felt hard then too. I was jumping more back then and I think I was more confident but confidence is something I have always had a hard time with. So really what I am feeling now isn’t anything new. What it new is that I have a little person who needs me in one piece. That’s the new challenge, and I think the thing that is the biggest concern. However I want to jump more than I want to not so I persist.
We have had a few lessons this year and they have been really good, and I have stopped being so scared to jump there I don’t like jumping ta home because I am by myself though I am better when I am doing it all the time. I just get so in my own head that I stop riding. It’s not a new issue, but it was easier to work through. Actually, it seems none of my issues are new! They have always been with me, I just used to work through them better. I think I also had more time and mental space to commit to them!
If I had more time and resources like the old days (aka pre child) I would be having lessons weekly and have a full on comp plan. But I cant do that anymore so I need to think strategically and be ok with not trying to fix the problem immediately. That’s how old me would have done it. New me has more patience and is more emotionally and mentally content and kind.
The last 2 weekend we have been out jumping. Both weekends were training, and they were both at 70 at places we have been to plenty of times.
This first weekend I had a lesson on Friday and then trained on Saturday. And while I was nervous for my first round and didn’t get Hen in front of my leg enough, I nailed the second round and was hugely buoyed by it. I was down right thrilled with how well we both did and 80 seemed way more doable.
Then this weekend we had the same thing, 2 rounds at 70. My first mistake was not jumping through the week. I though that I didn’t need to. Thats not what I need right now. I need to do it all the time. Even if its only a couple of jumps. The second problem… the warmup was electric. Like Hens been there so many times I thought he’d be fine but he actually found it really stressful and I had to get off. So My warm up didn’t go to plan, and I need to do certain things in the warm up to jump well. Like get the horse in front of my leg. Really, I needed to work through that though and get on with it but in my head I can’t think because I am SO nervous and a tricky warm up situation means that the clear thoughts get pushed out.
However, we did it. Which is a big deal right now. It was a pretty shit round. Henry was so behind my leg and my legs were jelly so its hard to improve that. We had 2 stops at the ‘spooky’ jumps because I was like “oh god he’s looking at them” and didn’t have my leg on. So he was right to stop. I didn’t tell him otherwise. The second jump was the same thing, except I had my leg on then took it off. He jumped both perfectly when we represented.
I came out and I cried. not heaps, but it happened. Then I took some breathes, went over things, and got ready to do it again. I was still super nervous. Henry was still too behind my leg, but the second round was smoother. It was clear too. I kept him moving and my brain fog lifted, and I helped him out. It wasn’t perfect, far from it. But that’s where we are right now.
I get frustrated that I can’t just move on. Get on with it and ride like I know how! But I have compassion for myself these days. Yes, I can do it. I am doing it! We just need to take our time and get back to where we were. And when we do, we will be better.
I am stronger, fitter and just as determined. I keep showing up and working hard. I should be proud of that! I am proud of that. I need to remember to trust myself. Remind myself that I am actually good at riding. Give myself credit for that.
I also thank my horse daily. He’s maybe not the easiest sometimes. He can get nervous in certain situations like a crazy warm up. It can be a little hard to predict as some days he couldn’t care less! However, he looks after me, he holds my hand and doesn’t care what happens in the ring. He isn’t worried about a deep spot or a long spot if I am there with him. He is reliable at home, and he keeps improving despite my nerves. He is special and I love him!