Monday, March 28, 2016

adding to the count (+ perspective)

LOTS of media to share from our rides this weekend - but it's mostly in the form of huge chunks of raw unedited video at present, so please have patience while I transform it all into something more easily consumed!

Things went more or less to plan this weekend. Kinda. Actually maybe kinda not. We ultimately decided to cancel the planned dressage lesson with trainer C on Sunday, after an intense workout clinic Friday and xc schooling on Saturday.

As much as I wanted to see C, it was just too much. I was tired. The mare was tired. We were both sore and a little battered haha. There will be better opportunities later.

couldn't have asked for a nicer day tho
Cross country schooling was alright. Just ok, really. Well. Realistically it was fine for what it was, but I perhaps need better perspective, considering this time last year we were just starting to gear up for our season debut at Intro (before getting shut down with a quarantine, womp womp).

We went back to the beautiful AOPF - site of a couple lessons with Dan. Meaning I had a pretty good idea of which fences to work over and how to string things together.

I'll have all kinds of details (and media!) later - but suffice it to say that I'm really struggling with nerves and confidence right now. Idk. It's just hard. I only fell off once tho (and landed on my feet! #winning) so I guess it's not that bad... Isabel was mostly pretty good tho. She jumps the jumps. Mostly.

mare went into hiding to avoid being shoved onto the trailer yet again lol
As mentioned, the dressage clinic with Grant Schneidman was great but I'm actually STILL sore from it... so presumably Isabel is too? It was one of those lessons intensely focused on the rider rather than the horse. I'll have lots of good stuff to write about it, tho I'm not sure how much will translate to riders not named Emma.

"SOS!! somebody plz to rescue me!?!" - isabel
Part of me wants to hyperventilate a little bit about a series of rides that very effectively highlighted my weaknesses as a rider. I'm trying REALLY hard not to tho.

Like I said - it's all about perspective. Last summer / fall found me riding at a higher level than ever before - in competitions and at home. I had never been stronger as a rider, nor more confident. Sure, there were still plenty of mistakes (probably there always will be) and I was still pretty nervous about the move up to novice - low level tho it may be for other riders.

But generally, it felt like I was at the top of my game. Like I was locked and loaded and ready to tear shit up with Isabel. The possibilities were endless and it felt really really good.

isabel sees goats. and maybe dead people too.
And a huge part of the pain and disappointment with breaking my leg was losing that feeling. Yes that's a little overly dramatic - I was only laid up for about 12 weeks. But that's just how it felt. And I'm realizing now - five months after the injury - that I'm still not fully recovered. I am NOT the rider today that I was on the day I broke my leg. Physically or mentally.

So I still have to come to terms with this. And it's going to be ok. I have great trainers, so many amazing friends who have dealt with their own shares of setbacks, and obviously, an incredible horse in Isabel. Everything will be fine.

But damn, sometimes I wish it were a teensy bit easier!

46 comments:

  1. You will get your mojo back! Confidence is such a tricky thing. It's so hard to gain and really easy to lose (at least for me).

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  2. I think we all go up and down with our confidence, that's pretty normal. Once you get rolling again with more schoolings and some shows, everything will come back to you. Good job landing on your feet. ;)

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    1. idk what it is with me and this horse, but the last three times i've come off her it's been off the left side to land on my feet. not complaining, it's just weird!

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    2. thanks, i think so too. just want it to come NOW haha. le sigh.

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  3. We've all been there, and you have the mental toughness and dedication to get back to where you were before you broke your leg! You've got a rockstar team behind you, don't despair!

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  4. I think we are all right there with you girl. Confidence is a bit** of a mistress. You will get there, I'm sure of it. I know that my confidence can be contingent on my fitness, the stronger I am the more invincible I feel. I wonder if you have any residual weakness from the break?

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    1. oh there is absolutely very real residual weakness through my left side. which was actually pretty much the entire focus of our dressage clinic haha, so stay tuned for more details

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  5. I totally understand how you feel. I can tell you it does get easier. I went back to schooling things that didn't make me nervous and added in the occasional nail biter. Soon, I got bored of the non-terrifying fences and started to have more confidence that the scary fences weren't really scary.

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    1. ha they're all nail biters to me right now ;) i generally avoid jumping specific things that make me nervous or feel scared (unless i have a trainer their supporting me)... but if i stay too long at the lower heights, then EVERYTHING looks giant. a tricky balance, but we're workin on it!

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  6. You'll get your confidence back soon, I'm sure of it! It's hard to suffer a set back when you're feeling so sure of yourself and your partnership with your horse. But, at least you know what that feels like and you can strive to reach that feeling again!

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    1. definitely! and thank goodness for this blog too - since i've written fairly extensively about my relationship with confidence - both the highs and lows. just reading back over some of those posts helps give me the perspective i need ;)

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  7. Confidence is such a fickle thing. Hopefully as things pick up and you two go at it more your confidence will also return. You are a great horse(wo)man always looking to keep Isabelle comfortable which means you two have all the tools to go out and rock it. Now its just to get your brain in line too! ;)

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    1. thanks! just needs moar miles, always and always. and fewer cancelled lessons!!!

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  8. I read somewhere that the most successful people are the ones who are constantly reevaluating themselves and finding things they want to work on/improve to achieve their goals. So, this "low" period is only going to lead to some serious goal smashing :)

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    1. ha wouldn't that be wonderful? maybe the key to success is a little suffering... bc if that's the case maybe we're golden?!? lol. seriously tho, reevaluation is never a bad thing!

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  9. Ooh, child, I get you. It's hard not to be able to mentally rise up to the rider you know you can be. You've got such an amazing team behind you, and such a rock solid foundation, you'll be back in the groove in no time!

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    1. thanks! i certainly hope so! just need to not beat myself up for not feeling the same as i did after a full summer of training and competitions haha. we'll get there again in time!

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  10. The great part about having your weaknesses highlighted is you can begin the incremental process of improving it. While totally overwhelming sometimes, its kind of fun too :P Or I'm nuts

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    1. oh definitely - i'm a lesson junkie for a reason haha

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  11. Coming back from an injury is hard, even when it's not some kind of crazy one! I felt the same way after I broke my arm. Confidence will return, even if the process of it doing so is slow and non-linear. Chin up, you'll get back to your former level! (And it's not like you aren't doing great as-is!)

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    1. thanks! we're certainly trying. i might just have to be satisfied for it taking longer than i'd like... that's better than nothing tho!

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  12. I have been very impressed with your riding so far and can't believe you are doing so well! I know you will be doing better than ever again. Soon.

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    1. soon, yes. thanks that is the hope. just takes time i guess!

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  13. If there weren't the "down" moments then those great times wouldn't be so great right? There's always a bit of a plateau here and there- I'm sure you guys will jump out of it soon!

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    1. yeppers! plateaus... and valleys haha

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  14. Frustrating! Confidence and patience...both the most fickle things ;)

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  15. Hang in there! This sport is filled with ups and downs. The downs just make you stronger.

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    1. that's what they keep tellin me!

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  16. The landing on the feet is such a weird yet good feeling lol. I had a horse do this LIGHTNING quick 180deg spook, it was literally so fast that nothing in my position changed AT ALL, I landed on both feet still holding the reins...standing squarely forehead to forehead with my horse. God I wish I had video, it was the weirdest thing!!!

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    1. ha that sounds wild!! i def prefer landing on my feet to some other alternatives... and it seems to be a theme with Ms Princess... so i guess i'll take it. still would rather not come off at all tho!

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  17. I so understand. My surgery was 4 months ago now and I still don't think I am fully back. But yeah, it actually sounds like you are doing really well, so hopefully the brain gets itself in line with believing that! And rider weaknesses, well, that is what keeps the pros in business, right?

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    1. thanks! and you are so right, i have a whoooooole team of pros who are probably hoping that i don't straighten out and fly right *too* soon lol

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  18. Try to be kind to yourself. Injuries are really hard to come back from (mentally and physically). I am on team Emma big time! :)

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  19. You have been doing such a great job with Izzy and you'll be right back to where you left off in no time! I find when confidence is really low, that setting myself up for success to be so important. Create riding plans that are doable and building back up from there. You've got this! :)

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    1. thanks - that is exactly the plan. i got a little too preoccupied with riding the horse i had last fall (thinking i was the same rider as last fall) instead of just working from where we are right now.

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  20. You'll rise above to be an even better rider than before you broke your leg! don't let a little speed bump throw off your vibe

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    1. i'm working on it. doesn't change the frustration tho.

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  21. I wish confidence wasn't so much like a glass house sometimes! But I know you'll find your mojo again. Time is key, but sometimes time is a bitch because it doesn't have a hard limit. You're getting so many great lessons and clinics in though that I'm sure something is just gonna "click" and you'll be back at 'er soon with the same kind of mojo as before.

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    1. ha 'glass house' is the perfect metaphor. and it really is all about time for me. i just need to not take breaks from jumping. jump always, all the time, all the things!! the more we do it, the easier it gets... but things like breaking my leg or winter (ugh) just make that so hard!

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  22. You are one the busiest people I know!

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  23. I'm still dealing with weakness in my right leg from my fall last nov... that was only a fall. You actually broke something. Give it time. Don't get discouraged. You'll get it back.

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