Thursday, May 26, 2016

what comes next

So basically you all are just the nicest, most supportive and compassionate people ever. Thank you. Seriously. Way to go, internet strangers!! You have legitimately lifted my spirits!

Your comments here and the emails and texts offline have improved my outlook and attitude immensely.

It's funny how deeply an issue with our horses can upset us. Obviously in the grand scheme of things, it's supposedly just a hobby or whatever - but still. I don't think I'm the only one who considers horses an inextricable part of my identity.

And so many of you know exactly what I mean by that - and have struggled with this exact same set of frustrations and disappointments. Solidarity, y'all.

strange but true: isabel LOVES my mother. i've never seen her act so affectionate to any individual above the age of 7. this pic is from fair hill a couple weeks ago - right before we headed up to jump.
And so I'm feeling better about looking forward. About making plans. Honestly I can't help myself. I'm a planner by nature. What can I say?

i inadvertently interrupted a moment here. horse and cat were in deep conversation. you can almost hear them hissing at each other "shhhhh! be cooool, she's watching!!"
But the "all pressure is off" rule is sticking. Yes to making plans - but they can't all be dependent on each other. Like, if I plan a show, then I would also need to plan schooling and conditioning and lessons that all add up to a successful competitive experience. Yea. Fuck that right now. None of that noise.

I would like to stick to a regular riding schedule tho, just for my and the mare's physical benefit and enjoyment - but not for any reason beyond that.

perhaps the cat wishes i would butt out?
I will also be sticking with the same regular lesson program. The fact of the matter is that this training issue stems from a lack of discipline. No amount of hacking out and trail riding can fix that. (Of course, we <3 trail riding so there will still be plenty of that all the same!)

But with no competitions on the horizon - no external pressures - we can just focus on breaking it all down, piece by piece. Sometimes focusing on me, sometimes on the mare. I haven't decided what role training rides will play either. Mostly bc my own opportunities for saddle time are limited and I have a couple lessons to learn here too.

We will see tho. No pressure, one way or another.

mare looks like she might have something to say tho. i can see it now: "Dear Diary, Today she...."
And actually - this coming holiday weekend is already looking fantastic from a horsey perspective (again, I owe that sentence and the fact that I'm actually looking forward to riding this weekend all to you - because two days ago I had zero inclination to ride. so again - THANK YOU).

our dressage test from Jenny Camp. pretty solid, nicely consistent! i especially love the "cute" comment at the top. and fun fact - the judge popped out of the booth after i finished to ask if isabel is an Ann McKay horse, bc, in fact, this judge happens to have an Enzio baby too. same age as isabel - her horse and mine very likely grew up in the same paddocks together. so funny - this is such a small little horse community and isabel is so recognizable within it.... if only we could stop embarrassing ourselves in the show jumping ring!!

Working from home today and tomorrow always helps, and we miiiiiight just be sneaking in a lesson with our favorite dressage trainer who we haven't seen in a while. Plus a lesson with trainer P at OF. Because Dan's training ride did in fact give me a couple ideas for how to improve my ride over fences with Isabel.

Sunday is show day for Brita and I am not in the slightest bit disappointed to be spectating instead of riding. It's oddly relieving.

i may be satisfied with isabel's solid dressage prowess. the jumping tho... no haha.
also, handihorse, is that you?!?
And then Monday is very conveniently a holiday, AND a paper chase at Tranquility. So yea. We are gonna do that. Funnily enough, when my barn mate asked if I wanted to go, she offered me the ride on a different horse so I could just sit back, have fun, and enjoy the ride.

And my immediate response? Ain't no better paper chase horse out there than Isabel!! I can already feel the wind whipping past us when we open up into a flat out gallop through the fields....

an oldie, but goodie. this pic takes me back to another time when we couldn't show... for... different reasons.
So. Essentially what I'm trying to say here is that while we are in some ways stepping back - especially from competitions - I'm mentally preparing myself to step up to the plate for this whole jumping problem.

And rest assured - I'll likely have plenty to report back on, especially for those of you who deal with similar issues!!

53 comments:

  1. glad to hear you are feeling better about things! You two got this...it is so hard when you feel that low about it and it makes you not want to ride, but Im so glad to hear you are sticking to it! I know you guys will get through this and you will feel soooo much better for it!

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  2. Glad to hear your positive outlook and good spirits have remained intact. Keep drinking the wine, everything will get better.

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  3. Yay! Hopefully you have a fun weekend. If not Monday is designed for sitting around eating food and drinking. :)

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    1. i mean, i have high hopes that all of these things will happen ;)

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  4. Drinking the wine and holding the cats, that last picture is priceless! Way to keep your head up and make new plans, leave it to horses to force our lives to be flexible. Have fun at the paper chase, rediscover the joy!

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    1. ha that last picture is definitely underutilized on this blog! but yes, flexibility is apparently key here.

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  5. Kick on, girlfriend! The world is not ready for you to quit riding and take up underwater basket weaving. :) <3

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    1. underwater basket weaving doesn't always sound all that bad ;)

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  6. That's what it is all about -- looking forward to the ride! :)

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    1. exactly. not much point otherwise!

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  7. I love your attitude in this post!!

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    1. thanks! some of it is forced... but sometimes ya gotta fake it to make it, right? sometimes positive thinking can be a choice... (even if we would rather not lol)

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  8. Sounds like you're being really thoughtful about all of this! I was going to go to the paper chase too, but I'm having a Memorial Day party and need to prep!

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    1. aww it would have been awesome to see you there!!! let's definitely try to do something like that this year tho. we went to a paper chase at tranquility last year and just had THE MOST FUN EVER :D

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    2. TEAM BLAZE FACE CHESTNUT!! I AM INVITING MYSELF TO THIS.

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    3. ha yes you are alllllways welcome!!! it's really not all that far!!

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  9. Omg that last picture is a new level of epic

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    1. lolz it's a little silly but i <3 it

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  10. One of the things I love best about blogging is how supportive the online equestrian community is! Tends to generally make my day a little bit brighter. ;)

    (My blog URL has changed to myhorsenextdoor.blogspot.com. To continue reading my posts, please update me in your links!)

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    1. i definitely agree!! also thanks for letting me know about your url update - i see that i've missed a bit!! will update all the links etc now :)

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  11. That last pic wins the internet. WINS.

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  12. I was hoping to offer support on your last post but then saw this one pop up so figured I'd do it all here! It'll get better and your attitude is spot on. I think lessons are a great idea (no idea what ditch I'd be in without them) and working slowly back up to where you are comfortable again. Isabel isn't inherently evil, so you know that with time and patience you two will work through this! You're an inspiring pair and I can't wait to read about the future of you two!!

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    1. thanks!! i'm a huge fan of lessons and have been taking two weekly lessons for... years now. so that won't be changing, but it's also not the magic bullet that will fix this issue since this issue cropped up despite all the lessons. and the thing is - i AM comfortable right now. my confidence is fine - i'm doing everything i can to ride the fences the way they need ridden. but now the horse isn't doing well. i guess it's a pendulum swing or whatever. we will see what happens tho!

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  13. Woot. GREAT plan! Enjoy your lessons, work it out. Then get back to showing later, when you are ready and feeling better about the whole thing.

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    1. yup that's definitely the hope. i love horse showing... except lately when i definitely DO NOT love it haha. we'll try again at some later date...

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  14. Yay for the paper chase! That sounds like fun. I hope you and Izzy get to go on some fun new adventures and she rediscovers the joy in jumping!

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    1. she's a pretty great horse for adventuring!

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  15. You have such a wonderful attitude about all of this. Keep on keeping on - no one knows your mare better than you and you guys WILL overcome this <3

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    1. thank you! i'm certainly going to try my damnedest!

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  16. That picture is awesome! I hope you have a fabulous weekend and that Isabel is amazing. I think your plan is good, better work for a while with no forced end in sight, I'm sure it will be over before you know it :) In a good way of course

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  17. Rawr no my comment was eaten by the internet. Basically the gist was, glad you are able to have time, take the pressure off and work on the little pieces, sometimes it's really what you need and the period may go by faster than you think!

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    1. Oh wait nevermind my browser is just epileptic

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    2. Gosh.. now I've left like 10 comments..

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    3. Actually not 10 I'm being facetious

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    4. FAVORITE COMMENT THREAD EVVARRRRRRRR :D

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    5. OMG stop L, stop being weird and leaving comments!

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    6. but also yes, focusing on better work with no end in site, no manufactured due dates or forced goal lines... yes i think this will help us both.

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    7. I really need to stop, it thought I was a robot with the last one and I had to click all these pictures with milkshakes in them and then I thought about that song by Kelis "My milk shake brings all the L's to my Blog"

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    8. hahahahaha wherein L Williams becomes spambot extraordinaire!

      mmmmm milk shakes :D

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    9. in.fucking.deed.

      i could apprentice thee, austen & L, but i wouldst levy a fee!

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  18. Sounds like a good plan. I like the "cute" comment as well.

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  19. Oh, I have no doubt that you will get through all of this. And come out even more awesome in the end. I wish it was quicker and easier for you though!

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    1. thank you. i love quick and easy... but that pretty much never works out with horses, does it?

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  20. I totally get what you mean when you say horses are part of your identity. Pretty much my whole life plan revolves around including horses. So when things are not going well, it definitely makes my whole life not as great. It sounds like you have a great plan moving forward though, and yay for blog friends that know what to say to make things better!

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  21. I'm so glad you're feeling better! *hugs* Sometimes we all have to hit the reset button on our horse mojo and then its back to being an all-consuming, wonderful, happy-time, passion. :)

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  22. Yay! So glad you're feeling more positive. I think that you have a great plan to move forward with. Have a great weekend!!

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  23. Yay to wind whipping past you!!! Good luck today!! Have oodles of fun!!!!!!

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  24. Sorry things haven't been going too well lately (we've all been there, thought it doesn't suck any less), but happy you're feeling more positive! Things will work out, eventually!

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