Getting your mojo back (or... dropping down a level to find your groove??)
Some of you who know me will already know I had a bit of a spill at a clinic this past weekend. I was riding at home, with a clinician that I know and love, on a horse I adore and have been getting more and more confident on with every ride. We have been doing so well and have been increasing the difficulty for both of us - slowly but surely... and my horse has been responding with a resounding "Yes MA'AM" to every question we've asked of him. We've been moving up to schooling some training level heights in stadium and making things more complicated in XC questions (putting fences together, etc). We have both been great!
This weekend I had a fall over a stupid XC fence I've jumped before. The exercise we were doing before this fall was one of the biggest and most complicated things I've ever done, and it shook me up a bit. Then when we moved on, I guess I just didn't have my head back where it should be. We jumped in to this obstacle ok, but I lost him on the way out (it's something called a "rolller coaster" - jump in, slight downhill, uphill, jump out... very fun!)... anyway, he started to go left, I put my leg on to straighten him and BAM! He stopped and I went flying.
I hurt myself by landing on my hand/wrist and was done for the day.
I'm really disappointed in myself. To top it off, I'm now terrified to move up to Novice next weekend at Feathercreek.
So my question is - I'm likely going to drop down to Beginner Novice and just go and have fun, try to get my "self" back.
Any advice?? How do you get your mojo back after something stupid that scared the crap out of you????
I can kind of relate.... I havent come off but thats probably because at this point I dont trust him enough to do anything that will result in a fall
Ive found a rider that will ride him for me, kind of like a schooling ride, I think this will help him as Im hoping when he goes Ape S** it will get it out of his system and it will help me actually SEE what is going wrong rather than just feeling it and riding through it. Im also hoping it will give him a more positive ride, I get all clamed up knowing its coming and get so worried about it.... My fault I know
Im really hoping having someone else gallop him and jump school him will give me some reassurace that he really can do it ( ummm when he wants to anyway ) ....
My advice, drop down, rock around and see if you can have someone else school him over the element that has caused the issues and be there to watch it !!! then you hop on and make it happen !!!
Bump down. This is supposed to be FUN, not scare you to death! Earlier this year I spent a lot of money to go to Poplar Place in Georgia and was so nervous before the training level cross country, I didn't even enjoy it. That was only my 2nd training level in my life.
I now want to go back and ride it again, so I can be smiling and enjoying every second!!!!!!!
If you are a little backed off, the novice course will not be fun for you or your horse. At least the lower level will give you both a run to enjoy!
Even if it costs a change fee, pay it so you both can have a blast!
See you at Feathercreek!
Lisa and Rocky
Sometimes being too good, and not having a bump in the road, or two, can leave you with a real "why on earth am I doing this" feeling when you have a problem.
I think the way to approach it is this: if you have time, have you schooled this question a little bit? Perhaps not the exact thing, but set up something with just poles on the ground and imagine it, and ride it - moving as you would move, forward and back, release, safety seat, then back up in position and galloping on. Then make little cross rails. Then a bit bigger verticals. Each time imagine it's the "bogey" and you're doing it PERFECTLY.
I assume your horse's confidence isn't shaken from this and that he wasn't being naughty and refusing out of meanness or greenness. Just one of those "it happened" things.
I would say, roll a little with it here, don't give yourself the luxury of being sorry for yourself or wallow in a pity place. Stop thinking about being scared, and think about being strong over the things you were good at prior to your fall. What are your strengths as a rider? What can you improve on? Think positive, not negative. That's what I would say, for what it's worth.
I would go and walk that Novice. If you don't like it, if there is anything like that swale jump that makes you crazy nervous, march yourself up to the secretary's booth and tell them you walked the course and just feel it's over your head atm, and could they possibly accommodate dropping you back a division? Almost always if it's possible they will help you here. Organizers are wonderful like that. They want everyone to be safe and happy. If there are scratches in BN and you could jump into one of those slots, they may be able to switch you.
But you may also feel that the course is 100% fine, within your comfort zone, and you're ready to go. If you've been schooling some T and haven't moved up to N yet - there's a good chance you'll see the questions being asked and feel good about the whole thing.
You can always take it one fence at a time, and pull up at any point you feel you're done doing the course confidently. There's no shame in this - you sound like an amateur trying to grow and have a good time in the sport, not someone who needs to push yourself unnecessarily.
The key thing is not to be so tough on yourself. Either way you go, be proud and have a good time. That's what we spend all this money on eventing for, after all!
I talked to the organizer at length and we decided together that I am going to go BN. Honestly - it's hot, it's a new course, and I just want to have a good time. SO, I'm going to drop down and just have FUN with it.
In the meantime, I'm getting back my confidence by setting up smaller obstacles - and yes, it was just one of those things. He's not green and he's a sweet, sweet boy for the most part - just naughty enough occassionally to keep me on my toes!!