Another Tuesday lesson has come and gone. Another Tuesday lesson were I am left thinking – why. Why do I love this sport so much that I am putting all this stress and frustration on myself?
In my lesson last night, I was nervous even before I got to the barn. But (I am going to sound crazy here) I find when I am nervous before I even get to the barn, and it’s usually a different type of nervous feeling, it usually means something is wrong with Abbey. But last night, Abbey was fine. Except, she was being cranky because she was inside for the day due to the barnyard being icy and not having her winter shoes on yet. Turns out I was just being silly again, getting all nervous for no reason. But I do find that I do get that weird pit in my stomach when something is wrong with my animals (true connection maybe?). My stomach settled once I started grooming and once I got on I was more relaxed feeling.
I know that every Tuesday is jump day. Every Tuesday I have to face my mental demons and jump. I will be honest, about 50% of me is excited to jump, to improve, to get those videos so I can look back and see the change (HELLLOO GLOW UP!), but the other 50% of me is like oh shit, not this again. But, going into my jumping lessons I actually am even more confident and more relaxed then I have been in the past. I know longer want to puke or pass out. ALSO!! This is big news.. my blacking out while jumping has pretty much stopped! I have the odd time, but it is NOTHING like before (YAY!).
One of my biggest challenges now that I am dealing with are, my old nervous habits are happening and I am not even aware they are happening; like dropping my hands, dropping my eye, basically not riding properly into the fence. In my head I am counting my pace, I am going for it. I can feel it happening and then nope. I am unconsciously telling Abbey to stop and she stops. God love her for listening to my body cues, but damn it Abbey, just jump the fence.
Last night was no exception to “Abbey just jump that fence”, but because my body was telling her that I wanted her to stop, she stopped. (Babysitter Abbey coming in hot). We had some really ugly jumps, my equitation was shit (praise the lord there isn’t any video from last night). Abbey started out strong, excited to jump and eager to get to the fence. We did make the distance down the line AND I jumped an oxer. My first oxer since the Hants county show in September. But then it was game on. Because I was unconsciously telling Abbey to stop, she was stopping. She was testing me hard-core last night from that moment on.
To say I was frustrated doesn’t even begin to describe how frustrated I actually was. I was so over her and her testing me and just playing this game. I was done. I just wanted to jump, to get her over and not let her win. But she was playing the game so hard. I was so mentally exhausted from this game. In the past, when she would test me like this I would just get off and let someone better than me get on because nothing good was coming from it. But that wasn’t an option for me last night. I was determined to get her over on my own without getting off until we were finished the lesson. And I did. We got over the vertical twice. I didn’t get off; I didn’t let her win the game. We ended on a good note.
I need to look on the positives from last night and not focus on the negatives from it. Because oh boy, oh boy, when I got home (poor Jeremy was on the receiving end of my bad mood) I was done. I was quitting, I was just going to give Abbey to Chelsea (my coach) and walk away from it all. But, Jeremy (seriously, he is the best when it comes to handling a bitching Bethany) said “nothing a little more practice can’t fix & you can be a bitch sometimes too so why can’t she”. I would of personaly left the last part out if I was him, but you have to love him for his honestly. It just took that simple little sentence and a text from my Mom (who had no idea bitching Bethany was raging hard-core at the time) to make me semi take a step back and stop being so dramatic about it.
I’ve wanted this basically my whole life. I’ve said it time and time again; I am doing what little kid Bethany wanted to do. It does take practice, a whole lot of practice. And I’m not a quitter (this time). I always give up when the going gets tough but this time is different, this time I want to ride. If I was going to give up I would have gave up after my first bad fall.
Despite all that frustration and some tears from last night, I jumped an oxer more than once. I jumped a line that wasn’t just cross rails and I showed Abbey that I am the winner in this game.
Today is a new day. Today is a new day to ride. And next Tuesday is new lesson day. A new lesson day to improve.
It may only be December but show season really isn’t that far away! I keep saying I need to get my shit together and start prepping… But I’ve been saying that for, ohhh, I don’t know, my whole adult life?! But this time I mean it. I WILL get my shit together & show my ass off and hopefully get some pretty ribbons! All while having fun of course with my barn besties.
I personally find lists keep me on track. I literally have lists all over my office at work. Post-it notes are my best friend There is just something about being able to literally check something off of a list, just doing that check makes me feel good. I totally get it, that it is all a mental thing but I do truly enjoy it. I enjoy it so much I even made a list for my Fiancé – he doesn’t appreciate that list at all (HAHA).
I started a goal list to help keep myself on track for my riding with Miss Abbey (it is actually a HUGE list). This list is goals for the winter of a couple of things that I want to focus on the most. This list will help me come show season as well. The goals aren’t in any particular order – by doing that maybe I’ll actually complete some
-> Stop complaining to myself during a lesson. This one is a toughie for me. I am my own worst enemy. I am so unbelievably hard on myself that before I even get into the ring for my lesson, I have already talked myself out of doing ANYTHING.
-> Successfully jump a course indoors without having trot transitions. This is another toughie. Abbey is a TANK. A tank with a huge stride. We have a fairly good-sized indoor ring but Abbey covers a lot of ground quickly and our corners are tricky spots for us.
-> Jump 2’3. Enough said about this one. I’ve jumped 2’9 (once, maybe not quite 2’9 but when we measured it, it was close) but I have jumped 2’6 numerous times. There is ABOSOUTLEY NO REASON why I can’t jump 2’3. I have too. I am showing low & modified hunters this season. I need to get my ass into gear.
-> Stop worrying about seeing a “spot”. This one stresses me out SO DAMN BAD. Seeing the perfect spot is my biggest worry right now when it comes to jumping. I’m past all the other BS but I still struggle with knowing when the take-off spot it. I clearly get it, but then I don’t. I mainly don’t get it because I over think it so much.
-> Trust Abbey. I do trust Abbey, but because I lack the trust in myself in the fact that I do actually know what I am doing, I don’t trust her – but it’s only when it comes to jumping. Abbey isn’t a dirty horse. She actually babysits me and try’s so hard for me. I need to return the favor and do the same for her. Abbey LOVES to jump. She really does love it. She is a show horse, she knows her job. I just need to know mine as well.
These aren’t all my goals for the winter, but these are the ones I want to focus on the most and really work on overcoming. I was there once before and I can get there again.
It’s been one wholleeeeee year since I started this blog. One whole year since The Nervous Equestrian began!
When I turned 30 last year I didn’t want to celebrate it but to instead celebrate all year long by doing things I’ve always wanted to do & just doing things for myself; from small to big things. I wish I could say I completed that list, but this is reality, do we ever really complete everything on our to do lists!?
Looking back on the past year, at first I was disappointed in myself that I didn’t do everything I wanted to get done or to set myself up to have them completed, but truth is.. everything that was suppose to happen, happened. (I know, I know, how cliché – but true).
The biggest, most exciting thing to happen over the course of the last year was the purchase of Abbey. I’m still blown away by the faith in some people and the fact that I own that magical unicorn. Even in her true Abbey diva moments I absolutely love that mare.
Since Abbey’s arrival in March, we have had our share of set backs but we have had our share of great moments. We went to 2 off property shows – even jumping at one! (Flash back to that …moment at Hants -_-). From our first off property together, to our snuggles and her constantly testing me, I’ve learned so much from her already and as long as I stay out of my own way we will continue to grow together as a team.
I started doing more things on my own this past year. I starting making an effort to go out and do things for my mental health. Just to reset and to frigging relax to be honest. I would do anything from random late night drives to Tim Hortons, to just my dogs and I going to the beach and hanging out in the evenings. And of course, I drank wine. Lots of wine… with the occasional beer with my neighbours.
I’ve met a few people over Instagram and from blogging that I stay in contact with, that are just like me! Nervous as shit and can’t get out of our heads when it comes to jumping sticks.
Blogging has been a way for me to express and talk out what I am feeling. To work out what is going on in this nogging of mine. Blogging is starting to open up different opportunities for me & I am so excited to see what happens in the next year.
Now that… *ahem* I am another year older, it’s time to keeping doing my list and set some goals for Abbey & I. Oh, and also maybe finally get that tattoo I’ve been talking about for the past 10years
Abbey & I FINALLY had not one, but TWO lessons. After set back, after set back, we finally did it. We are at the point again that we are able to start back up into the lesson program. My saddle fits great, her leg is back to normal and my life is finally starting to relax.
We had a fantastic first lesson back. I was so unbelievably nervous. Like, the most nervous I have been in months. I was THAT nervous, that I almost sent a text to my coach telling her I couldn’t make it for some BS reason. But my Fiancé told me to stop being dumb and just go do it. So I did. And I’m so glad I didn’t let my annoying nervous personality win this round.
I’ve been flatting Abbey (but not jumping) pretty consistently. Minus the cross rail we did last week, oh and the time we jumped the mounting block while attempting a lead change, but hey, if its in your way – jump it! So the nerves I was feeling seemed pretty normal to have – all things considering!
For our first lesson, we simply just did cross rails and then a vertical a few times. We just went back and forth, over and over again. Just working on developing my eye again and gaining my confidence back. Once I got over my “first jump fear”, it was fine. I didn’t see a single distance but I trusted Abbey and just went with her and hoped for the best.
At our second jumping lesson, I was less nervous and felt more confident. I have a horse that loves to jump and knows her job very well. She has schooled 4ft, so my little verticals and cross rails are a joke to her (she’s laughing at me, I know she is). We worked on the same thing again; just developing my eye again and just keeping it simple so my confidence won’t get shattered.. again. It was a fantastic lesson. I just trusted her, and went for it.
I believe that all the setbacks we have been having, and having missed this show season, has truly helped us develop our bond. I’ve only had Abbey since March, and we have so far formed a great bond and I do trust her. She definitely takes care of me! It’s going to help me so much in the show ring & gaining my confidence back.