Another Tuesday lesson has come and gone. Another Tuesday lesson were I am left thinking – why. Why do I love this sport so much that I am putting all this stress and frustration on myself?
In my lesson last night, I was nervous even before I got to the barn. But (I am going to sound crazy here) I find when I am nervous before I even get to the barn, and it’s usually a different type of nervous feeling, it usually means something is wrong with Abbey. But last night, Abbey was fine. Except, she was being cranky because she was inside for the day due to the barnyard being icy and not having her winter shoes on yet. Turns out I was just being silly again, getting all nervous for no reason. But I do find that I do get that weird pit in my stomach when something is wrong with my animals (true connection maybe?). My stomach settled once I started grooming and once I got on I was more relaxed feeling.
I know that every Tuesday is jump day. Every Tuesday I have to face my mental demons and jump. I will be honest, about 50% of me is excited to jump, to improve, to get those videos so I can look back and see the change (HELLLOO GLOW UP!), but the other 50% of me is like oh shit, not this again. But, going into my jumping lessons I actually am even more confident and more relaxed then I have been in the past. I know longer want to puke or pass out. ALSO!! This is big news.. my blacking out while jumping has pretty much stopped! I have the odd time, but it is NOTHING like before (YAY!).
One of my biggest challenges now that I am dealing with are, my old nervous habits are happening and I am not even aware they are happening; like dropping my hands, dropping my eye, basically not riding properly into the fence. In my head I am counting my pace, I am going for it. I can feel it happening and then nope. I am unconsciously telling Abbey to stop and she stops. God love her for listening to my body cues, but damn it Abbey, just jump the fence.
Last night was no exception to “Abbey just jump that fence”, but because my body was telling her that I wanted her to stop, she stopped. (Babysitter Abbey coming in hot). We had some really ugly jumps, my equitation was shit (praise the lord there isn’t any video from last night). Abbey started out strong, excited to jump and eager to get to the fence. We did make the distance down the line AND I jumped an oxer. My first oxer since the Hants county show in September. But then it was game on. Because I was unconsciously telling Abbey to stop, she was stopping. She was testing me hard-core last night from that moment on.
To say I was frustrated doesn’t even begin to describe how frustrated I actually was. I was so over her and her testing me and just playing this game. I was done. I just wanted to jump, to get her over and not let her win. But she was playing the game so hard. I was so mentally exhausted from this game. In the past, when she would test me like this I would just get off and let someone better than me get on because nothing good was coming from it. But that wasn’t an option for me last night. I was determined to get her over on my own without getting off until we were finished the lesson. And I did. We got over the vertical twice. I didn’t get off; I didn’t let her win the game. We ended on a good note.
I need to look on the positives from last night and not focus on the negatives from it. Because oh boy, oh boy, when I got home (poor Jeremy was on the receiving end of my bad mood) I was done. I was quitting, I was just going to give Abbey to Chelsea (my coach) and walk away from it all. But, Jeremy (seriously, he is the best when it comes to handling a bitching Bethany) said “nothing a little more practice can’t fix & you can be a bitch sometimes too so why can’t she”. I would of personaly left the last part out if I was him, but you have to love him for his honestly. It just took that simple little sentence and a text from my Mom (who had no idea bitching Bethany was raging hard-core at the time) to make me semi take a step back and stop being so dramatic about it.
I’ve wanted this basically my whole life. I’ve said it time and time again; I am doing what little kid Bethany wanted to do. It does take practice, a whole lot of practice. And I’m not a quitter (this time). I always give up when the going gets tough but this time is different, this time I want to ride. If I was going to give up I would have gave up after my first bad fall.
Despite all that frustration and some tears from last night, I jumped an oxer more than once. I jumped a line that wasn’t just cross rails and I showed Abbey that I am the winner in this game.
Today is a new day. Today is a new day to ride. And next Tuesday is new lesson day. A new lesson day to improve.
❤ The Nervous Equestrian