|This was an epic outfit|
On the Ground
Jess (if you don't read her blog, you should start) recommended Jane Savoie's "That Winning Feeling" to me. I believe her specific recommendation was "I don't usually like this kind of book, but it's really good". I got it on Amazon for like $4 shipped and started in. I haven't even finished it yet, but I already love it.
|This outfit was great too|
According to Jane, our subconscious is a powerful thing. Instead of just letting it run wild and screw us over, it makes way more sense to harness that power and use it to our own ends. To do that, she recommends positive self talk--saying "I will" and "I can" instead of "I'll try" and "I hope". She's also really big on visualization. I really latched on to this concept because my biomechanics coach reminds me that the human brain can only process one thing at a time. That means everything else has to be muscle memory. The nifty little aside is that the brain really can't differentiate between created memories and actual memories sooooo....
|It's ok. I visualized this already.|
And then I do it again. I'm really specific about the type of jump I visualize. Things I'll see, things I know will bother me. I realize that's maybe not practical for shows, but I'm not worried about that right now. I want to set myself and my horse up for success.
|I think he cleared it|
Everyone should have a Lindsey of their very own. I'd be sunk without her. Lindsey helps me tag team on Courage--she puts rides on him for me now and then and she's always giving me helpful pointers when we ride together. It's not that I can't ride--it's that I can get in a mental rut and it is really helpful to get those quick reminders. (I wish I could say I was equally helpful to her, but pretty much I just share tack and hold the video camera.)
Work That Conscious Mind
Here's where I really benefit from reading through old blog entries. I try to review lesson write ups and then ride. I want Courage forward and off my aids. I want him responding to me. I want his mind so busy processing what I want him to do that he isn't staring off into space and inventing monsters to spook at.
It's hard work for both of us, but it really pays off. When Courage starts saying "yes ma'am" and toeing the line, I know we're ready to jump. Right now, that means he has to put his head down (joys of remuscling an upside down neck), go forward and back within gaits, and do a solid leg yield each direction.
|A little more reasonable|
I know that putting pressure on top of fear is completely useless if you're trying to work through the fear (different story if you're trying to save the world, but I sort of don't see a scenario in which I need to jump 2'6" on my greenie to avert planetary destruction in the near future.)
So. I've been setting jumps at my comfort height. Sometimes poles. Sometimes 12". Whatever. I let that be the height for the day and I jump it until I'm bored. Then afterwards I think about how fun it was. I smile (release the endorphins!!) at the memories and I incorporate in emotions from other times I've had fun jumping.
Tuesday we jumped through the course that Lindsey set for Prisoner. We did the baby crossrail until I was happy with how I rode it. We did the bigger crossrail until I was happy. Then we strung the two together. Then we added the barrels and the vertical.
One step at a time. Each when I was comfortable with it. On my timetable.
There is a time to push and I time to just create calm, positive experiences and really soak them in.
|I did a photo editing thing|
I think yes. Not only do I have fantastic jumping pictures, but I think I rode better than I have in ages and I feel very happy with the ride. Courage did some typical green horse wiggly stuff and I was able to confidently ride him through and git'er done. That is the ingredient I was lacking and I feel like it's back.
I'm going to keep things slow and advance when I feel confident and continue to use the hell out of my resources, but I'm on the right track and I'm excited about it.