Last weekend, I took Berry on a trip down to the barn where I had purchased her from, so many years ago. I even dragged Dave along, and he was willing to take photos for me. But, after he’d already been positioning himself for great photos and snapping away, we discovered I forgot to put the SD card in. Seriously, the worst.
But, he did get a few winners on my cell phone.
I took a lesson with Berry’s brief, former owner, who also trained Pony Man last year. She’s a pretty amazing person overall, but does not usually give lessons. I felt quite special getting one from her.
As with many equestrians, my main problem is confidence. I start to get scared, and then I lean forward, and then she jumps long. I must learn to stay tall and proud! Or something cheesy like that. Also, start actually trying to get lead changes. I basically give no effort, therefore, Berry gives no effort, and we go without. But that didn’t stop me from deciding to take her to a hunter show on Saturday! You know, one of those shows where if you can’t do the changes, there’s basically no point! Unless I can get her to land on the right lead each time. Sure, I haven’t practiced it at all, but maybe I will pull a miracle.
I’ll be showing her at 2’6″, which will be the highest I’ve ever showed her. I alternately feel great about it, or wonder what kind of horrible mistake I’m making. I’ve been slightly concerned that Berry doesn’t quite grasp the concept of jumping, which is why she has been failing to actually jump the jump, and instead just cantering/tripping over them. Trainer Sarah said I need to take her over some more solid jumps, so she had me take her over this very heavy and solid pole.
It felt like she was going to completely face plant, but she recovered quickly for the oxer that was next in the line. After that solid wack, she put in so much effort that she let out a grunt. It was kind of adorable. Her legs probably didn’t feel that great though.
I did feel really confident throughout the lesson, and it’s a really good feeling to just point at a jump, and know you can do it. I just need that feeling to stick with me on Saturday, and for good measure, forever.