Poplar Place was a fun event,but one I left in a state full of self dissatisfaction,worry and doubt. I hadn't felt my horses that edgy all year and I was concerned and harbouring far too many thoughts about going backwards with my Devils instead of forwards.
We all try to pinpoint the good and the bad. The good always has to come first, or else the negative can outweigh the positive.They say there is a reason for everything.I racked my brains and was happy we all came home safe and sound but something was a miss.
Dressage was very tense at poplar but I think I can really attribute that to a very busy and crowded warm up. My boys aren't used to that yet. They will have to learn to deal with it but for now it is what it is. I am very pleased with their confidence cross country and feel pretty good about that area.
Show Jumping has long been a real bugaboo for me.I have battled the hold back then squirt and run to the jumps syndrome for eons.This year I thought I had met a lot of those demons head on and thought they were gone out of my reperatoire,but they surfaced again at Poplar."Oh no,not again," I thought.
So off I went back to Micheal Tokuruks for some lessons with the FOUR devils. I thought I'd ride King Riverdance first as he has been SOOOOOOO Perfect for so long.We call him my equitation horse.Micheal asked me what I wanted to do and all I could say was ride better. I whined about what I was thinking ,he smiled and knew I was making it all up.
I felt so rusty infront of Micheal. I rode like a real putz,froze up ,was stiff,spastic and generally quite pathetic.But........his eyes were able to pinpoint what I was doing and I was able to feel it ,realize it and adress it after jumping a few lines. OH THANKGOD. COULD THIS BE WHAT WAS WRONG?After Rivers lesson I was feeling more positive and couldn't wait to get on the devils.
Long story short. Harry (Next Dance) was next. Everything reverted back to disater from the first jump on.Then I fell off(second time in two weeks,but a different horse) through and oxer about 2'6" broke a rail. Harry bolted back to the trailer ,destroyed his bridle in a million pieces and stood there shaking.Great. Just what we needed for our shattered confidence!I switched bridles,got back on and finished.He was better after the" gallop" as Micheal so kindly put it but I was disgusted and still at a loss.
Peter jumped well enough but seems to think he is the black stallion at the moment.I had to carry a persuader,not for jumping but to keep his mind on the ground. He seems to want to jump up in the air a lot lately. But I felt secure on him and we were Ok about his lesson.
Pickles has been great this season with very consistant clear rounds. We ended up putting the rein off his gag and onto just the snaffle . He was strong but we liked it. I wasn't thrilled as I had hope when I left and Barbie kept saying to me."We need to come backsoon for more lessons. "In all fairness I haven't had a lesson in a year. I am rusty to say the least.
Micheal said I was using too much hand and not supporting with my legs enough. I take away from the approaches and I don't trust my eye. True true true..But how to fix it? UGH. Don't want to go backwards.
So now I had an event and a lesson day that made me even more frustrated with myself. What to do? I do not want the horses to go backwards.
The next day , I reset the jumps in my ring to simulate a few very simple lines from the day before and went out there with just plain snaffles.I worked on the same ideas we discussed in the lessons the day before. I worked it out with all the horses and myself!.So I plan to jump again in two more days just to see if I was lucky or I can own it.Then I'll have to see if I can take it with me to Pine Top.
I would like to think there is a reason for my shakey experiences at Poplar and during my lessons.I think that someone out there is reminding me I need to ride better.I am very grateful that someone from above allowed me to feel good about myself with my horses yesterday.Confidence makes for more confidence.That's 99% of the game.
Five days to go till Pine Top. Stay tuned.