Life can be pretty scary. But sometimes, scary can be fun, and downright AWESOME! Recently, I had the opportunity to conquer one of my fears. Ok, maybe conquer is too strong. It still scares the crap out of me. But now it exhilarates me, rather than filling me with dread.
I finally jumped while a-horseback!
This is something I thought I’d never ever EVER do. I’ve been taking riding lessons for a long time now, but progress is exceptionally slow, alas. When you take piano lessons, you have a half hour to an hour lesson each week, and you’re expected to go home and practice for an hour each day on top of that. Not having my own horse, I never get to “practice”. I just have my lessons. Also, I’m the nervous type. It took me forever to just be able to canter without fear! Going “fast” just terrified me, and you can’t progress if you’re not willing to *make* that horse do what you told it to.
To be honest though, I got “lucky”, if you can call it that. One week in our lesson, we practiced our two point position (which I am terrible at). The following week, we did it over trotting poles (poles laid on the ground to make the horses pick up their feet). The following week, the poles were raised at one end, so the horse had to either step really high or jump. Then the next week, the poles were put into a little “x” shape so the horse had to really jump the cross rail. It still wasn’t very high at all, mind you. I think I do higher box jumps at CrossFit. But I “lucked” out in that I honestly wasn’t given much of a chance. I made some semblance of protesting, but Marty (my instructor) would have none of it. I suppose I could have protested more profusely, but the same traits that kept me from using a whip on a horse that really needed it kept me from arguing with Marty. (Plus, she can be scary!)
In the end, not only did I manage to jump the 4 jumps twice around, I did it in a show too! I didn’t get any refusals and managed to get 4th place in my class. (out of at least 6, if not 7 or 8. And there were 3 divisions of “intermediate equitation over fences”. Kind of like heats in a race when there are lots of participants, but they pin each division separately instead of trying to figure out who did best out of all 20+ girls (and one boy). Not a grand feat, but at least I pinned!)
I really need some private lessons to work on my two-point position as well as not driving with my seat in the canter. Video below of my “ribbon-winning” round!