Courses and Nerves

First, I love having two lessons a week. I feel like I am getting so much more stuff done and I have a chance to really solidify what I’m learning each week. My lesson last Thursday started and ended wonderfully, though I did have to deal with the sassy pants in the middle, but I also got to do my first course of jumps in over a year.

So on Saturday, I got the boy to come out with me to take videos. His real reason for coming out might have been to play with his iPhone 6… but I’ll take what I can get!

Again, we got to jump and this time Dandy was awesome the entire time. I was so thankful because it meant that we really got to focus on me and what I was doing through the course. It’s funny because everything I was being told, counting, waiting, half halting, how to set up the line, etc. are things I know, things I learned in my hunter jumper past but the nerves are so strong these days that it’s all I can do to hold it together for one jump at a time.

But like JLE is quick to point out to me, I’ve seen Dandy do amazing things this year, I know he can go over the dinky little two foot jumps we’re doing.

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I’m still nervous though. The first part of the course was pretty simple and not scary: a baby cross rail across the middle of the arena to a four stride line of a second cross rail to a vertical. We had done this exact pattern on Thursday (though going towards the barn) so I was confident over these little jumps.

The next part though was a little two stride across the diagonal; an oxer in and a vertical out. And they were bigger. The first time through, I made it over the first fence fine if a little flat but then I completely let my nerves get to me and went limp going into the second jump. Not only did we do the two in a very long one stride, but I just gave the jump away and flopped on his back. Sorry bud!

We did it several times until I could do it better though I was surprised at how much I really had to half halt into that first jump.

Finally, JLE added the last line which was just a five stride but the verticals looked HUGE to me! I know they weren’t more than 2’3 if they were even that (I think the second one was) but I was scared. Still, I was going to do this. I was determined.

And then I flaked out on the second fence and let him run out. Bad me. I know better. I do.

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So we came around to the line a second time. Because I had let him just causally run out the first go around, he made to do so this time too. Instead, I yanked him back in front of the jump, grabbed mane, and kicked. We popped over it, though it wasn’t very pretty.

Finally we put the whole course together. It wasn’t perfect, but I have to admit, I was pretty proud of myself. I managed to put each jump together and still road between the jumps.

And here’s my secret… I finished that course, pulled up to a trot and was just about sick. I completely collapsed on Dandy’s side while JLE was telling me what I had done well (and what I needed to work on) and heaved. Poor JLE. I don’t think she knew what to do because she finally asked “Are you ‘good’ okay?” Thankfully, by that point I was and I sat up again and gave her a thumbs up.

Because I was okay. And I was happy. It’s just hard to get the nerves to line up with my heart sometimes.

11 thoughts on “Courses and Nerves

  1. Good for you for getting through those nerves! Keep practicing dealing with the nerves and it will get easier. Dandy has no problem with this jumps, and you don’t either. 🙂 Looking good!

    1. Haha. No I don’t want to pass out either! I have to remember to breath through my courses and my nerves. It’s the first thing I forget when I’m trying to do everything else.

  2. On the one hand, my confidence absolutely increases when I’m pushed a little bit outside my comfort zone and I survive.

    On the other hand, if you’re nerves are to the point of almost getting sick and/or passing out, then that sounds much too far out of the comfort zone!!

    Glad that overall you’re feeling positive about the lesson and your riding. Getting over a jump immediately after a run-out takes skillz.

    1. Yeah, it’s important to know your comfort skill but I also know that I need to actually push myself to get over that next hurdle. The big thing, I think, is that I really do forget to breath and so that combined with the nerves made feel just sick. How I know I’m good to go though is that I was ready to do it again as soon as I could breath. 🙂

  3. Breathe! Don’t pass out! That being said, I love love love how y’all look here. His canter is just happy and rolling and you are totally in control. The nerves will slowly go away – ask me how I know 🙂

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