Riding Diary – 11/11/21

From the last lesson we had, I could only go up, so up we went.

The more I ride Riley, the more I’m intensely grateful to ride a mature horse with a nice brain. It does so much for my confidence and allows me to hone in on how I can improve myself. Short version, we did get to jump a little crossrail, working on straightness, creating a good pace and starting to train my eye again.

The lesson was crafted around opening up Riley’s stride to get a nice, forward pace by getting off his back and reinforcing my leg with a light tap of the crop. The crossrail we went over several times on the left rein was positioned at the quarter line, angled about 45º from centerline.

Improvements & Deficits

I enjoyed my lesson for a different reason this day; I got to turn my brain off and focus 100% on something physical. Work was giving me a bit of a beating emotionally. My team had one of those days where a client was less than happy and wanted an update on where we were in our process. I was scrambling to send information to my team and ended up leaving a bit later than I wanted to for the barn. Being late is practically a cardinal sin in my family, so it’s an instant catalyzer for stress. I had to remind myself several times to not bring the stress onto the saddle and managed to still be on time for my lesson. It was an excellent reminder to be present and do what I can in the moment.

Mentality-wise, I was pleasantly surprised that I had forgotten about my work issues during the ride. However, I do think I brought that negative energy in with me, but it materialized in some old self-sabotage behaviors of mine. In particular, disparaging my accomplishments during the lesson. For example, Saint Trainer (her unofficial title, because her patience and understanding of my skill level is heavenly) complimented my approach at one point and offered an improvement for the next time. I then asked if I had gotten in Riley’s way, which she reassured me I hadn’t.

Again, I made a self-deprecating joke about my lack of physical capability, but I could hear the lack of mirth in my voice. It came out with too much self-loathing. In retrospect, I realized my amazing attitude from the last lesson needs to be curated. Like bravery, I won’t just stumble upon it.

As far as the jumping, I think I focused too much on my technique to really just enjoy it. We worked on trotting up and cantering away, so maybe next time we can start putting some better approaches together at the canter. Overall, Riley was a good boy who helped me feel confident with this whole jumping thing. There was never a moment I thought he wasn’t giving enough or too much.

The most concerning thing that happened to me was toward the end of the lesson when the outside of my right ankle seemed to give out. I was shocked when I felt it. I knew I was tired, but this was a different feeling all together. It felt like instead of balancing and apply pressure on my footbed, I was using the end of my fibula. There was no numbness or tingling, but it felt like my ankle was too weak to support me, so I was forced to use the bone and tends above it. I powered through the lesson, but knew PTH would need to offer me some insight.

This Time & Next Time

This time, I let a bad day get too much into my head. It kept me from being receptive to instruction and positivity.

Next time, I’d like to go in with a better attitude. Not only to perform better, but to just enjoy it.

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