Tuesday, September 2, 2014

In Search of Confidence: Grinding it Out

When I jumped last Monday, I was fantastic. I came out ready to conquer the world and I totally did. I was excited to jump, I sort of marinated in my success, and I was gung ho to jump again on Thursday. Monday's ride video below:

And then I wasn't.

Baby steps. Also oxers.
I've spent way too much time complaining about how horse training isn't a linear process to miss the rich irony here. Confidence isn't linear either. Redheadlins and I set a fun hunter-esque course. I told myself it wasn't that big of a deal. I told myself we could do it. I visualized riding over the fences. I knew he could do everything out there.

Hell, he overjumps everything by at least a foot anyways, so it's not like height should be a remote problem for us.

But it was. For me that day, it just wasn't going to happen. I mean, yes, I could have jammed myself around that course and made it through the day, but that wasn't going to build my confidence. It was just going to unnerve me and keep setting me up to fail.

So instead we broke things down and made everything smaller.

Yay giving a nice release!
I'm focusing on the positives from this session. It wasn't as smooth and world-beating as last time felt, but we completely changed up the questions. We did related distances and slightly bigger jumps and lines up and down the hill (our arena is on an ever so slight slope). Instead of completely losing the ability to function in front of the fences now, I'm able to focus on finer details and keep my leg on and think about my line of direction.

Do I need to ride straight and more forward and have a better plan? Yes, absolutely. I can nitpick all the things I need to do better, but for me, right now, this is progress and I am happy with it. I was able to ride my horse forward and put my leg on and be committed to my jumps and give him some release. That's a great start.

I'm happy with how I rode and happy with my horse and we're getting through this together.


  1. he's still looking better - jumping 'across' the fences instead of wayyy up over them. i hear your frustration tho. i've had similar experiences with my mare. she's not green like Courage, but is new to jumping so she relies on me to make all the right decisions... and i'm not super great at that. i rode another horse this weekend tho - super broke lesson pony - and figured some stuff out tho.

  2. Sometimes you have to take a step back and remind yourself "yes, I really CAN do this!"

  3. Very good point about horse training and confidence building being non-linear. I forget that, too, all the time.

  4. no rush....don't forget to take time to enjoy the process!

  5. Taking a step back is not only good for your confidence - but good for your horse too! You know those horses that can go prelim but can't jump 2' or that freak out at ground poles? Yep, their training was much too linear!

  6. AH! You guys look great! And sometimes you do need to take a step back and remind yourself how far you've come. That's a huge confidence builder. Go you! I love how slow and steady he is.

  7. Courage looks as happy as can be, so you're already winning. Plus I love the colourful leg wraps :P

  8. As always, I'm impressed by your ability to see where your confidence could/has taken a hit and act on it.


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