|March or April 2014|
|Engage Flail Apparatus|
But I know that's not it. I even wrote an angsty post about it, but it annoyed me and I never published it.
Really, we were unlocking Courage's body and allowing him to use it in new ways. As a smart, athletic horse, he was exploring what that meant.
|Early summer lesson|
|Learning about bascule|
Truthfully, he's very difficult to ride because he is so sensitive, especially when he isn't sure. Our horrific XC experience at least led to time out of the saddle where Courage could figure out his own body.
The basics were in place, but it was more low jumps and steering so we could be on the same page. It didn't really matter that I had confidence issues, because Courage didn't need big jumps. He needed slow, steady repetition to figure out the rules of this great new game.
I'll be honest and say Courage is hands down the best jumper I've ever put time on. He's not just safe--he's talented and sensitive and scopey and if he needs me to ride better, then I owe it to him to step up my game.
Not gonna lie. This part was hard because it forced me to break my mental game down to it's minutest pieces and put it back together in a whole new way.
|On the same page, finally|
I have no doubt that Courage and I have lots of adventures and lessons to come. I"m hardly the world's greatest rider and he's still plenty green, but we're in a place where we can learn together and still have a good time.
|Back to the calm|
So did this summer's crap come from pushing too hard or would I have gotten through it sooner if we just pushed harder? I don't really know. I guess there is no way to know. I'm sue there are other ways to address the problems we had, but our way worked for us.
A big takeaway for me is that handling pressure is a trained response and in order for Courage to thrive, I need to be very in tune with how much pressure he's up to handling on any given day.
|Note world's longest running attachment.|
Truthfully, I just want to ride competently around 3'-3'3" courses on my fun, safe horse that I also trail ride and play on.
Instead of being frustrated by our set backs, I remind myself of just how far we've come this year. Yeah, the jumps aren't much bigger and we're a far cry from that 3' course, but Courage is stronger, braver, and more educated and I'm riding at a whole new level.
It just takes time.