|Last year course walking with friends|
With that said, I am using this post to sort of relish in just how far we have come since winter and count my blessings. I know how fickle confidence can be and how easy it is for one split second your horse can go from being fine to not fine. You could say this Saturday was a bit of a moment of reflection when there was a moment of thinking we may be out the rest of the season.
|moments like this were quite frequent in our rides for the first few years|
Oddly enough, in that moment, I felt positive despite potentially being done for the season. I felt incredibly happy with what Tillie has done, how hard shes tried for me and counted my blessings that I even have a horse capable (the whole cellulitis thing a few years ago still lives in the back of my brain).
|Yep or this...|
I almost want someone to pinch me to make sure this is real life. I think back to the first 3 years of owning her...and it was hard. REALLY HARD.
Not that we dont have hard moments now, we do. But thats just it, they are moments now, no longer entire rides or outings. They have slowly dissipated into a horse that knows her job know and gets excited without the leaping and twisting in the air.
|soooo much of this....|
Its funny how change like this happens. It isnt over night so you dont even realize its happening...every day thats shes been good I have been eternally grateful -
As are my limbs which my left ankle still isnt quite right from two winters ago from this:
I have a hard time really enjoying success because I want everyone around me to be feeling happy where they are too...but such is life and we dont live in a perfect world. I also have gotten so used to feeling good, and then the rug being pulled out and either Tillie would get injured and be back on stall rest or something under saddle felt like a set back. So Ive been extremely cautious to allow myself to fully let my guard down for fear the universe is waiting to throw something terrible my way.
|You know like this, or the stitches...|
My posts lately, including this one, are trying to be more positive thinking and trying to allow myself to enjoy our progress. I nit pick everything little thing in our rides, every video. I am my own harshest critique which is why most of my posts on social media have the hash tag #progressnotperfection because while I know we are improving, I KNOW we are never ever going to be perfect (despite what Tillie may think).
|Starting to jump like a normal, quiet horse|
I have had a lot of really cool things happen to me this year...making doing all the things and the lessons so much more accessible. My truck and trailer purchase was one that initially I had a slight twinge of buyers remorse thinking of the price tag, but now do not regret it at all.
This purchase allowed me to take way more P lessons to get our jumping under control and just something not soooo exciting for Tillie:
It has also meant way more dressage lessons with C, which have gotten my poor downhill-built mare able to carry herself more uphill:
It has meant more clinics and xc schooling...making going places also not such a huge deal, and XC not jumps that are so incredibly exciting for Tillie we have to go warp speed at them:
and of course all the shows we have been to this year:
Tillie continues to surprise me, both good and bad. I am realizing the more and more we progress, the more and more neither of us know. Kind of like the blind leading the blind. I am relying heavily on my trainers to coach us through and really excited at the long laundry list of them that I have that they all are saying similar things or at least not contradicting each others training methods.
|Would NEVER have schooled like this at home before|
I know we will always have a ton of work to do. It will never end. Right now, its inspiring when before I used to feel defeated at that thought. I think because I have realistic goals where as last year I was wayyyyy too ahead of myself. Stepping back and working on baby steps has helped us progress way faster this year than before!
So why now reflect on alllll this and get all mushy on everyone? Well, her close call last weekend put some things into perspective, but we also have another move up coming this weekend. I signed up to do a derby at FH at training level which includes stadium and XC only. It isnt timed and basically a fundraising event so mostly a schooling situation....but perfect to test us because these two phases are the ones that really will tell us if we are ready for a full event or not.
|Think we can manage this in the dressage training level test?!|
I have been really agonizing over whether its the right thing, if I am setting the bar too high too soon again. Novice has been feeling realllllly good. The past few events have been a breeze for Tillie and shes only been getting more confident, but still I dont want to risk pushing too fast too soon. I sightly panicked for a last minute additional jump lesson with Dan in addition to Dom this week letting him know why and I was instantly put at ease by his oddly pep-talk like response: "You'll be fine"
While that may not seem like a great pep talk or confidence instilling...from Dan it is. In the past he would bluntly tell me to wait to go show if he felt we werent ready so the fact he is ok'ing it and saying we will be fine, really makes me believe we will be fine.
So we are officially on the road to Training level!! We will see how the derby goes this weekend...we also have another starter novice at FH July 2 and one more recognized Novice at Loch moy July 10. If those both go as swimmingly, we are aiming for a move up at our old stomping grounds OF for their recognized trials which I am told their Training is a nice softer one.
So keep us in your thoughts because all the good vibes are working!! :)