Horses lend us the wings we lack.

In riding a horse we borrow freedom.

The air of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Conquering my fears, accomplishing my dreams

It has been too long since my last blog. Let me fill you in on what has been happening...

Last May, I decided to take up jumping lessons with an old riding friend. Being dressage/endurance riders, our philosophy is to sit up tall, long stirrups, deep seat and comfy saddle. Not so, is the case for jumping. Crank up your stirrups, hands up the neck, two point position, small, uncomfy saddle and lots of rein contact. OUCH is all I can say, we were in pain.

After a couple of lessons, I started trailering one of our own horses over for lessons. Eddie, an experienced Trillium jumper was needing the work, and I, the mount. Eddie came with a lot of experience and some questionable quirks. (He hates the mounting block, he fusses with his bit and he likes to jump FAST.)

A few tack adjustments (mostly a new bit) and a few pointers for me (take up contact!) and Eddie and I were moving much more in sync. My hesitation and fear to jump slowly disappeared and my need for exhilaration climbed. Next challenge? To enter a show. Now was my time to conquer my fears and acheive a dream I have always wanted to do. It was now or never, and I wasn't about to back down.

A few weeks later I found myself in my first show. I don't think I have ever been so nervous in my life. I had a nervous breakdown during practice- I was sure I was going to forget my course. I even ran through some jumps. But a good pep talk from my coach and slowly the fear subsided and I started to focus. I was going to conquer this, no running away. Come my classes, Eddie jumped fabulous.  He was all business, and so was I.  I was ecstatic. I did it! Eddie ended up 7th in both our jumping courses, and 5th in our flat class. We placed in all three classes. I couldn't have been more proud. And to top it off, I even trailered myself there and back with no help (aside from Pierre- who backed the trailer up for me....)

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