Sunday, April 7, 2013

I Haz Good Peeps: PI

I have a couple posts on draft, and I really need to update on this weekend! It was a good one, thanks in part to my posse. Where would any horse girl be without her posse of supportive peeps? Lost and alone.

Part II will highlight today (dressage show) and how all that went. But before that I wanted to talk a little about Jackie and her awesomeness. Many of you longtime followers know who she is, but newer ones may not.

Jackie is a jumping goddess. Like for real, I bow down to her. She also happens to be my best friend and leased Yankee last summer before she bought her own mare. Shes new to eventing and dressage, but used to catch ride jumpers and literally has no fear. She is my PIC in all adventures, horsey or not and on Friday she came out to the barn to help me with our jumping.

Since 2010 I have had this weird aversion to all jumps over 3'3. I've been told not to fixate on the incident by many people, so I will not mention it, but I now have anxiety in stadium...and yeah.

It sucks being an eventer with jumping anxiety because usually those are the fun parts that people live for. I think most eventers have a little dressage anxiety because that score determines where you add to that, I'm just a ball of nerves at every show now. While they are my favorite phases...they are also the ones that I screw up repeatedly simply because I have a horrible mindset. I wish I could go back in time when I was fearless and rode correctly. I'm not "afraid afraid",  just anxious...and therefore my riding is not as good as it can be. Jackie helps.

My biggest problem is tensing up before the fence, looking a the groundline and jumping ahead, which in turn puts me forward in the landing and unable to gather us for the next fence. Basically I can't keep my shoulders back. All I really needed was someone to yell at me on the ground and show me that, "Yes, you can do this. You can. You've had the capability, you just need to not think about what could go wrong".

Enter Jackie.

We set up a neat little small course that was meant to give me no time in between to think, only time to ride. Yankee was very excited to jump since we had been practicing dressage all week and was a BIT fresh, but he still listened.

The entire "lesson" was spent doing jump after jump, concentrating VERY hard on keeping my shoulders back and Yankee UP towards the fences, relaxed over them and sitting UP after fence fence to recollect.

Without fail, everytime I tensed up, he jumped like shit. He even refused a few times because I dropped him. Whenever I sat UP though, and softened my rein, whaddayaknow, he jumped the moon.

Jackie was very good at being quiet until she saw me tip and would yell "BACK" or "SOFTEN" and it always jolted me out of my bad riding mindset. She even had me ride oxers with my eyes closed to learn to WAIT for the jump and TRUST my horse to do his job. He knows his job. I get in his way. It was incredible the difference. I maintained a pretty solid eq. and he put forth a great effort for me!

What I'm saying is, that I am extremely lucky to have her in my life.  Not many friends would take 3 hours out of their day to help someone with something, without getting something out of it. I always appreciate my horsey friends' support and I really don't know what I would do without them. She is definitely a big reason of why we get better :)

Here's a sneak peek from today! The boy, another amazing person in my life :D