So we practiced going up and down the chute between the top two rings. And we jumped courses made up of singles in each ring. No big deal. Tucker was feeling tired so I’m glad I didn’t have to push him through a line.
He did have one moment of panic when he thought that the poles and jump standards on the outside of the ring were going to attack him. Nothing I did would turn him. He ended up going over the ditch and up onto the berm where the judges booth is. What a nerd!
Thursday night lesson… I thought that I was semi cured of the anxiety associated with going forward and height. And then anxiety gave me the big middle finger.
We were in the middle ring where a full hunter course had been set. A few of the jumps looked huge! I’m positive that they were higher than 2’6″. The lines were set sooooo long! And it’s been hot this week which makes Tucker sleepy.
Coach G had us start the lesson by doing a figure 8 over one of the jumps. You know that you’re in for it when you can’t even accomplish a lead change because you’re going so slow and not asking right. F my life!
Eventually I got my shit sorted out and we moved onto a course.
Course 1: left rein to quarter line, to diagonal 7 stride, to outside 6 stride, long approach to diagonal oxer, to outside 5 stride. G told us to circle or come back to trot and reshape wherever we felt we needed too. Whatever we decided though he didn’t want us to just sit there and do nothing. Make decisions and ride.
THE LINES WERE SO LONG!!! And I wasn’t riding forward. We made the 7 stride but only just, we added a half stride into the 6 stride line and the out of the 5 stride was almost scary long. So that decision making G was talking about didn’t happen.
I tried. I swear I did, but I just could push past the panic. The ins of the two outside lines looked so big!
Course 2: left rein quarter line, to outside 5 stride, to diagonal 7 stride, to outside 6 stride, long approach to diagonal oxer.
The course that I did: left rein quarter line in slow motion, chip into 5 stride, circle in the middle, continue to not add leg get so close to the oxer that we’re practically under it and crawl over, bring Tucker down to walk/halt and have mini breakdown, get talked off the ledge by G, pick up canter, remember I can ride and it feels good to go forward and actually ride properly, push Tucker through the 7 stride, push through the 6 stride, nice waiting distance on the long oxer, continue on and fix the 5 stride, push through and make the 5 strides.
I think I might have shouted after the last jump. I was so happy that I was back on it. But I still have this evil little area of doubt in my brain that every now and then screams unhelpful things. It can be so hard to let go of the negative!