Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Overcoming obstacles (including self doubt)

So here is part two from my Saturday lesson (see part 1 here) - This is the overcoming obstacles and self doubt part. As I said in my last post, I wasnt super excited with my wasnt bad, but I didnt feel like we knocked it out of the park either. I know I know...less than stellar rides happen but I am sure you can all tell I am bit of a crazy lady and have a hard time feeling good even when I should about a ride. 

Before I continue, I am sharing some stills from the lesson that made me, in retrospect, feel a lot better about our ride:
Tillie and I getting it!

 ------------------------------ Part 2 ----------------------------- 

So at the end of the lesson, just like P always does, she asked if anyone else wanted to do or try anything else. I usually dont say anything...but I reallllly did want to try the barrels after I saw Emma post about her lesson that she went to on a weekday (I had this pesky thing called work so sadly couldnt go).  

So in true, FOMO I was dying to try...but wasnt going to speak up until, like a true friend, my barnmate did since she know how badly I wanted to try.

warming up before the lesson
P is so sweet and let our lesson run over and started to set up the barrels. For me, doing these barrels symbolizes overcoming a major obstacle and fear...I wanted to do it because neither Tillie or I have done these so knew it would be a test of our relationship and groundwork from the last few months.

Shockingly, as she was setting up, I thought I would be more nervous...the only tiny bit was evident when I asked P to set us up one small barrel on its side to start with just to familiarize Tillie with it.

Tillie Didnt care! 

So after we cantered the small barrel P shouted, ok keep coming!!! Which in hindsight was a good thing since it sort of gave us a rhythm to start with.

Approaching the barrels, my thought wasnt, oh god thats was more or less, thats skinny and interesting looking. I know If I find it odd to look at, so will Tillie so I just breathed it out sat back and allowed her to look at it on the approach:

So we kinda missed it at first...but I LOVE this mare for being so game. She never offered to stop or change her pace. She kept going forward, just got a bit wiggly. So new goal: start jumping low skinnies to teach her to look for the jump rather then look for the other side.

So we land (Tillie seemed not to be too rattled) and around we come for the 2nd try...This Time I was was more prepared and closed both legs around her. She faltered a little again and jumped them a little off to the left this time:

Talk about being brave and getting it done...

Ok so we know we need to try again and hope we get it just right in the middle this time and finally things clicked into place:

Just in case you missed it i have TWO angles of it:

P wanted us to try we did. It didnt end on quite as awesome since we couldnt seem to find the right distance the last two attempts, but I definitely seem to have mastered the eventing equitation of stay in the back seat and let the reins slip:

Tillie was very proud of herself and celebrated around the turn...but it was reasonable and a perfectly acceptable one! HUGE progress for Tillie...especially since landing from a gappy distance like this in the past would send her on a full rampage. 

Pats for Tillie!!

A few things came to light through doing this:

  1. My horse is awesomely game and brave
  2. We need to work on teaching her to look for the fence itself rather then the other side
  3. I need to not get ahead with my shoulders - which is the reason for the gappy distances
  4. I need to work on folding and being softer in my hip (being defensive is all great, but sitting that upright just looks ridiculous)
  5. Tillie REALLY likes her job
Ears back ready for more!

The majestic tail flip

See - upright position, but hey Tillie is stretching! 

not enough release here, stiff upper body and not folding enough for the height.

just another angle

So all in all I was really excited with giving this a shot. It really showed how Tillie and I have gotten to know each other and faced this obstacle together...this really helped my self doubt in our abilities and talent. While I am sure Ill still doubt, for now I am just happy with how willing she is to try for me! 


  1. Willing to try is the best feeling ever! Once you get that the rest will come. :)

  2. wheeeeeeee go Tillieeeeeeee!!

  3. Replies
    1. honestly, I never realized how important that is to have in a sport horse...the rest will come with time, but this game attitude cant be trained so I am thankful shes got it!

  4. That's so awesome! I love watching her figure it out!

    1. It is neat to watch the progression :)

  5. Jumping so well!! and I totally get it I'm usually way too self critical of meh rides as well when they were really just fine rides, but then the great rides, ah they feel soo good.

    1. You think so!? I am so critical of her form and mine lol so yea those ok rides always turn into me picking