For the first time together, and his second time ever, we hauled out to the park for some XC schooling this past weekend. It was a blast and I have so many things to discuss I don't even know where to begin.
For one, it made me realize how lucky I am to have such a wonderful group of riding friends, and Supertrainer to lead us in our eventing journey.
|Horse friendz, I needz dem|
For two, I realized I am in worse shape than I thought, and breeches are flattering on no one. Additionally my position has gone to crap and I really need to hike a hole or two up and work on releasing again. Jesus.
|like, what is this. GM would scoff|
One hundred percent certifiably terrified.
I didn't really realize it until we had finished our canter sets to warm up and we all began on a very simple log exercise to warm-up over fences. The third fence was a roll back turn to the tiniest triple bar on earth and my heart absolutely dropped when Supertrainer was explaining the exercise. You want me to to jump WHAT? Are you fucking insane, I'll die!
|You'll notice he's mostly naked now|
I about burst into tears. ALL of my insecurities, worries, doubts, fears bubbled to the surface with this one refusal and I cried/yelled "HE JUST DOESNT DO.... THIS... I CANT DO THIS" and Supertrainer calmly asked me to come at it again and my barn mates cheered me on and he sailed over it, rather awkwardly because I can't ride for shit apparently, but no questions asked, went right over like okay mom
|sheer terror. I mean seriously look how massive that fence is|
OH OKAY so when riders actually ride, horses actually jump. Noted.
Thats the hard part though.
So then we added in trickier things, like a log pile on a bank/hill and even bigger logs after that.
|Barn mate jumping the even bigger logs|
Then one of the girls spoke up and asked me why I was afraid and what happened to make me so afraid. And I sat there like...uhhhhh, I really don't know. I really don't know.
We moved on to other fences, and he refused a few at first. But it got easier, and I was realizing it was mostly my riding affecting my horse. He was having an absolute BLAST and once I got my shit together and realized the baby fences weren't my impending doom and my horse could literally jump over any of them from a standstill (which he did at each stop), I started RIDING.
|more baby log piles|
|super unimpressive log|
Then there's the nagging self doubt. Oh that self doubt, you won't leave me. Typical female self doubt that just exists to torment me. "Oh you're too fat for those breeches. Ohmygod you're position is terrible I bet everyone is thinking about how terrible your position is and laughing to themselves. Oh wow your horse will never amount to nothing and you were stupid to buy him. You'll never be successful, so you might as well quit now"
Like a crazy person.
Then theres the immense pressure to compete and prove that worth, and having tons of successful friends who show doesn't help. I used to love showing, but right now, I can't really decide if thats my end all be all with riding. Like what is the actual point? To win a $2 ribbon and be $800 poorer? Okay....
Then I think about actually competing though, and my heart actually starts to race, not in a good way. I watched a friend post a video of her start box departure on Facebook and I felt my heart contract with fear. Hearing that countdown, I was terrified and had flashbacks from my XC days with Yankee. Which were never bad, to be honest, so I have zero clue about what is happening in my brain.
When I see people posting pics of them from shows over Novice fences I am like holy mutherfucking shit no way that is Novice. I literally never want to jump that, ever. What really freaks me out is Training level, like WHEN did those fences get so massive? I did training for 5 years and not once did I think "oh I might die today on XC". But now, beginner novice fences have me like, NOPE.
So what is wrong with me? Did I grow up and realize life is fleeting and riding is terribly dangerous? Am I scared of failure? Do I just not like riding anymore?
So after all that thinking and pondering while riding, we came up to this incredibly simple log (whoa a log again, its getting wild) in which Bacardi over jumped by a mile and then blasted off on landing. He was so totally and 100% overjoyed that he let out some squeals and some hops and was so proud of himself I couldn't help but smile!
It was then I realized that my horse was not afraid at all, in fact he loved it. After that, I relaxed a little and found that I took was having fun again. Then, he surprised me with no reaction to the ditch at all. None. He just glided over it like he had been doing it forever. That was cool. I can dig it.
I still have a lot to work on, and being more positive with my inner self, pushing away the "demons", but I think I might be getting there again. I don't know how I feel about competing anytime in the near future, but I will admit the XC was pretty fun. I am sure some of you know how damned hard it can be to believe in yourself and that you're not a totally horrendous rider, but thats how I am trying to conquer this fear of XC head on.
So dear readers, what do you do with your fears? Do you face them head on? Do you shrink away from them? Do you find something else that works? Tell me, what do??
That all being said, we are going to KY this weekend to have Supertrainer ride this time (Event only 3 weeks away!!) and get some water schooling under his belt. I can't wait to see her ride him over fences!