As a nervous rider persevering is one of the most important things for me to do. Some days I don’t feel like going to the barn because I worry. Some rides I feel like ending things early because the wind is scary, or there’s no one else around. However, I have to push myself to keep going and to push through my fear because most of the time it doesn’t have a basis. If Gordon spooks once, I don’t need to give up and call it a day, or get my coach to hop on. I just need to push through and focus on relaxing and sending him the right signals.
Thursday I sort of let Gordon’s attitude get the best of me – again. He had a two or three spooks and was really fresh from the get-go, so I didn’t enjoy my ride at all. However, at least I didn’t make Jenn ride. I stayed on and worked my hardest. In the end we had an okay ride, but he never really felt fully relaxed. Our dressage test did improve from the last time in terms of the accuracy of our transitions. I do lean forward too much, especially at the rising trot. It’s not so bad when I’m sitting (at the canter or trot). So perhaps I ought to focus on doing the sitting trot for my upcoming shows, even though Gordon apparently works better at rising (and we have both options available at Training).
Tonight’s ride actually felt pretty good. My boyfriend was out, which gave me more confidence than usual form the beginning. This confidence reflected on to Gordon and he was much less nervous. He is a very sensitive horse that quickly responds to a rider’s emotion, so I need to try to keep my feelings in check (much easier said than done). Anyway, tonight he was pretty calm and had only had one or two very small spooks (mostly in response to a loud car, and since he’s been hit by a car, I think he deserves a little wiggle-room in that department). Anyway, originally he kept wanting to flex out at the gate, but eventually I got most of his focus. I just worry that I was using too much hand and not enough leg to achieve his throughness. This was especially the case during a canter serpentine halt at x exercise I was working on. At first he didn’t want to halt (although I probably wasn’t setting him up properly). As a result, I used more hand than I probably should have. However, he quickly got the memo and became really good at the exercise, and his canter felt way more uphill and together after that point. I really tried to lighten up as he came more together and things felt really good by the end of our ride. I just need to work (as always) on lighter hands and not leaning forward at the rising trot! Hoping to make it out to the barn tomorrow to focus on these issues. Here are some photos from today’s ride:
Sorry for the wonky photo sizes!