Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hello Darkness my old friend

I know I have been a bit elusive to whats been bothering me on top of some general, not feeling right with my riding. 

Its hard, after finding the complete in-sync feeling with your horse, to lose it and try to ride them without it. It just feels wrong. 

Lots of reconnecting happening over here
I have mentioned in previous posts I just want to sort of reset and evaluate. Come back to a safe zone and just wrap my brain around this whole season in addition to whats next and what my goals are. What should I being doing my next few rides? Can I work on what I learn in lessons at home and feel progress? If not why? If yes, great! 

This Novice, leading up to it and after the event I remember feeling so completely in tune with Tillie 
I took time to reflect on when I felt the most trusting of Tillie and factors around that. Her comfort is top of the list. When mare isnt 100% she lets me know and she lets me know really quick. In many ways this is good, I can order the ulcer meds, get the farrier out or the chiro...but sometimes it means a ride that mentally is a set back for me if she is really unhappy. 

For all of us, we know we are the biggest advocate for our own horses. No one else will notice the small its up to us to listen to them. 

It always is a tremendous relief to me when I am able to pinpoint an issue of being physical or training related. 

Tillie loves her massages
I have learned how Tillie learns and our recent move up has been shockingly easy for her as far as XC goes and even dressage (Maybe not for me!! lol) but the phase that seems to be at the current forefront of my mind is stadium. 

XC will always be the beast...I will always need to manage Tillie's excitement, but in light of our recent paperchase, I think I have figured out what we need to do for galloping. 

Like being able to gallop like this, uphill!! 

Leading up to our Training debut and even up until last week, I sort of felt like we havent been on the same page in stadium jumping. Stadium is so technical, its really hard when you are out of sync to not have some biffs and shittastic moments. 

One stride lines, set reallly tightly can feel a bit shittastic
I have also come to realize rails are not as easy to keep up now the jumps are bigger. When I suck, Tillie cant do her job. 

I came to the realization I havent had a good old fashioned P lesson in ages and just riding around doing coursework was what we were missing. Sure the technical exercises are helpful, but sometimes just going around, no pressure over a series of jumps helps knock out the cobwebs. 

My lesson with P couldnt have come at a better time since Tillie had a fairly significant setback at a lesson earlier last week and was back to galloping at jumps flat and totally not paying attention...exactly what I do not need in working on allowing her to be more independent. It really makes me want to micromanage even more. 

Getting there...
I honestly resolved to hanging out the rest of the season and just lessoning. Going back to basics and taking off the pressure thinking maybe Tillie was just burnt out. 

Well my girl showed up and we rocked it:

Patti even had some of them set to 3' whoa. They didnt feel that big at all, and Tillie soared over them quietly without getting too heavy and generally showed up feeling like a trained horse. 

Absolutely no effort on Tillie's part on this one
Between my extra dressage lessons and this one, It was just the lesson week we needed to catapult us back into that comfort zone I love, even though its doing the higher or harder stuff. I am still planning to keep the rest of the season light and just explore. We dont have anything planned as far as events until October, but we wont be slowing down on lessons anytime soon! 

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