Tuesday, August 26, 2014

In Search of Confidence: Seeing Progress

He is the best at series posts.
NOTED: Contest results will be up tomorrow!!

I decided to turn this into a series, because it seems to be an on-going theme for this blog anyways.

Last time, I talked about the things I'm doing to actively develop my confidence so I can be the best rider for my horse. I guess I should maybe do a post about how the MOST CRITICAL INGREDIENT is always always ALWAYS the right horse.

But maybe this entire blog is about that. Let's call that the meta narrative and move on for now.

So with all the work I've been putting in on developing confidence, I scheduled a lesson with our awesome biomechanics teacher on Saturday. I decided to do flatwork because A) I wanted some solid guidance on what to work on and B) my newly-found jumping confidence needed to marinate a little more before I wanted to test it in a lesson. Let's just say lessons haven't been universally positive experiences for me and I want to let the confidence take root before pushing it like that.

downhill over the vertical like badasses
This is more my issue than the instructors' and I know that. I'm not knocking instructors, but I'm playing the hand I have, so easy on the lessons for right now.

Anywho. We did our flat lesson. We worked hard. Courage had brilliant moments and flailing moments (yeah, he still does that apparently) and I rode through it all and made progress and at the end, I almost felt a little bit cheated.

Because at no point was I afraid for my life or worried that I'd get hurt or anything. It was just a lesson. There was no super human feat of courage (ha!) or mental fortitude to just survive the hour. No, I kept my brain engaged and learned the whole time and that was it.

Huh.

yup, did that
Then comes Monday. My mental schedule indicated that it was jump day, so redheadlins set up a fantastic course. She's doing this great thing right now where a course goes from cavaletti up to a large (for my brain) oxer with everything in between. That way we don't have to get off and on all the time and we ride forward and jump and the bigger jumps build themselves into the courses. I 100% approve.

Courage and I had a solid warm up, then rolled through the cavaletti. I was happy with how I was riding and the decisions I was making.

We got close and I wasn't terrified.
And then we jumped. And it was awesome. I had my leg on and eyes up and rode forward and the little man was brilliant. He was balanced and listening. It didn't even matter how tall the fences were. I pointed him at them and rode straight. When he said "are you sure?" I could answer "YES!" It wasn't my best jumping form of all time, but it was hands down the most comfortable and confident I have ever been jumping on him.

I'm completely thrilled. Utterly happy. Can't wipe the smile off my face. It feels so good to be back here.

What a great birthday present.

24 comments:

  1. Awww, this is so good to see! Those pictures are awesome, and I'm digging the confidence. Happy birthday!

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  2. HOORAY!!! So, so happy for you and Courage!! :)

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  3. So awesome!!! Confidence is the best, it's always so great to see a horse and rider become partners!

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  4. Awesome!
    I finally feel like I'm getting my confidence back and it's such a wonderful feeling :)

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  5. Yes! Awesome! You've been taking the time, and it's paying off. :)

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  6. Yay! How fun and exciting! So happy for you!

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  7. Sounds like a great lesson! :)

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  8. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! =) 2 great rides in a row = awesomeness

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  9. happy birthday!! sounds like you two are really hitting your stride - what an awesome feeling :) those jump pics are great too

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  10. I'm glad you had a good lesson... and happy birthday!! My belief is if you are scared for your life more than just once in a blue moon, than you're on the wrong horse.

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  11. Aww happy birthday!! Sounds like such a good ride for you both :)

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  12. Yay for good lessons and birthdays!

    In considering confidence, the best thing I have ever done for myself was getting a bike. Bad habits I picked up on ponies that have been near impossible to break (cough, looking down, cough) were shrugged off within a few rides. There simply isn't time to eyeball something while coming in hot to a turn or meandering at highway speeds. Having a sense of speed helped me as well, since 25 in 1st is every day. The funniest thing to me, however, is how the bike made me stop overthinking things. It's like the honeybadger quote--if you don't give a beep, it is done and over with before you have time to worry about it.

    Courage is the man. Can't wait to see your development through the fall!

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  13. gosh, Courage is just THE cutest!

    I love this series! Considering I'm right there with you! You guys look great..every postt you improve.

    Yay magikal building jomps! Also. Love that shirt color.

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  14. YAY! So glad that your adorable little man is helping you improve your confidence. It only takes that one special horse :)

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  15. Happy birthday! I love your horse. When his little face crops up in my blog reader, it really is heart-lifting.
    This is a fantastic series, and I'm so happy that you guys had such a good time!

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  16. Belated birthday wishes!!!
    Sure sounds like you guys rocked it, keep stringing together these positive experiences and laying the building blocks for better confidence. Practice makes perfect ... or so I've been told my whole life - am yet to see perfection, but perhaps my practice is inconsistent ;-)

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  17. That is so awesome! Definitely the best birthday present ever! Happy belated birthday!

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