Typically, when I tack up for a jump lesson, I find myself battling some internal demons. It is usually a process of dragging myself to the barn and forcing myself to grab my jump bridle. Not because I don’t like jumping. Honestly, I LOVE IT. There is NOTHING better than the feeling after a great jump school.
However, I battle a lot of anxiety around jumping. Most days, that anxiety makes me want to run to Dressage. But then, last night happened.
Last night was the worst set up. I got stuck at work a half hour late (but have an amazing trainer who DIDN’T EVEN CONSIDER canceling on me…. is it too early to start thinking of Christmas gifts??). Then the pressure had me sporting an INCREDIBLE headache. When I finally got tacked up, it started down pouring. Annnnnd I forgot my regular jumping bit in my show trunk because I had switched to a gag bit for the hunter pace.
Oh, and yes, that hunter pace IS the last time we jumped.
However, I am not sure if it was the combination of knowing we now have a show on the calendar, the cooler weather, or the brand new jumps in the arena… but I was DYING to jump. Luckily, Mandy was cool about waiting even LONGER to start my lesson as we waited out the rain storm. SO. SO. THANKFUL.
When we got out there, the footing was perfect, but all the jumps had that “shimmery” quality jumps get when they have water sitting on top of them near sunset. No big deal.
We warmed up through an exercise that focused on moving May off my inside leg and connected with my outside aids for canter/trot/canter transitions. This went mostly ok.
We warmed up over a small course that, honestly, went really well. I had a bit of trouble getting May really in front of my leg in the bigger bit (UGH), but figured it out by the end of the course and my second attempt was good.
Then, we moved onto a longer course. Single diagonal, triple line, skinny vertical, bending line to oxer, roll back, then sharp bending line to a vertical. WHEW! The first attempt was good. The second attempt tho, was EVEN BETTER.
Not only was the second attempt better, but the jumps were bigger. And you know what? I really wasn’t nervous. The entire lesson. No nerves. WHO AM I?
Are there things to fix? Of course. Am I going to get nervous in the future? Of course. But last night was FUN from start to finish. I might write a more in depth post about this lesson, but for now, I am just going to bask in my love for this little yellow horse.