A few days ago, some old jumping videos and pictures popped up on my Facebook memories. They were from 2010. I wasn’t in a program, but I was riding almost every day that summer with a friend who managed a small stable and had some amazing horses. One in particular was a Morgan Friesian cross named Mixer. I loved Mixer. He was one of the most honest jumpers I’ve ever met. And he actually truly loved jumping and would go out of his way to jump stuff in his field. I used to jump Mixer and take him to little hunter schooling shows. I was a poor graduate student so I didn’t have a lot of money. We always cleaned up.

Anyway, the videos and pictures that popped up were from me schooling for one of these shows and I was dumbfounded watching these videos. I jumped a couch. I jumped 3’6. What happened to me?

Before I started riding Mixer, he was mainly a dressage horse. Maybe he had been put over little X rails or ground poles but no one had jumped him until me. And I wasn’t scared of him. I wasn’t scared to take him to those jumping shows or pop him over a 3’6 oxer just because I thought he could do it.

So why am I afraid now? Why do I not want to pop over anything higher than 2′?

Fear is a funny thing. Like jumping Mixer, I knew Dandy would go over anything you pointed him at. I shouldn’t have been afraid of jumping him either but I was. The disconnect between Dandy and I on the flat became so over powering that I believe it even warped my courage to jump. And so far that’s been a lot harder to get back.

It will just take a lot more time, I’m sure. That, and some lessons with a pro again. While seeing the video surprised me, it also made me more determined because now I remember that I did this. That I did jump higher. And since I know I could do it, I know I still can.