Why is it that, as riders, we feel so much better when we cause a problem and it turns out to not to be our horse's fault? Are we that much of control freaks that this makes us feel that we are influencing the outcome - even if the outcome is bad?
Well, apparently I am...
The P-man and I had our last lesson for a couple of weeks with Steven on Saturday -- Mission: Raise The Fences. He/we started out super with a grid (on stride-bounce-two stride-one stride). From the get-go he was so balanced, eager and willing... must have been all the pole work I've been doing at home. He did get a bit bored and was ready to jump different fences after going through it a few times. We did a bit of a course set at about Training height and he was spot on, but a bit bored with the whole thing. Even a large square oxer on the second element of the in-and-out didn't phase him (although it did phase me!).
Things went to the dogs when we set the fences bigger. For some reason, I didn't trust that the canter that I had at the slightly smaller fences would cut it, so what do I do? Why, pull and let him get flat, of course! We jumped everything so flat that our highest point of altitude was a good 2 feet after crossing over the jump. He saved my butt and very easily could have quit several time, but didn't. We got around, but not something I would have wanted to watch....
So we were both panicing, right?
I was panicing.
After I got my brain screwed on right, changed by ride around the corner and contintued to ride to the line, the horse jumped brilliantly and couldn't have cared less about the size of the jump.
"Textbook." That's always a nice word to hear out of your instructor's mouth at the end of a ride that has to keep you going for two weeks while your out of town.
Naturally, I've ridden that ride in my head about 3 million times since then, and will continue to do so as I make my way to Vegas and then to Lexington over the next two weeks.
Stay tuned for my shopping adventures since I won't be updating about P-man for a bit!