Okay, the thing is, since the injury, which was last year, I have been falling off.
Also okay, I’d like to blame it all on that, but sure, I can’t. Not really. But let’s say that the injury has loomed large in my mind, effecting the way I ride.
Okay, that makes sense.
Anyway: A couple of weeks ago, I realised halfway through a lesson that my left foot was in the stirrup as it should be, that there was no tug in the Achilles, and that the arch seemed… okay. It was the first lesson in a long time that I really rode. Jelly legs afterwards and all that. Excellent.
I’ve also been easily psyched out by Connell and jumping. Is he going to stop? Are we going to make it over that fence? That’s all on me, and since I’ve felt better, foot-wise, I’ve been slowly, slowly, getting back in control.
So when he ran out of the second fence of three-in-a-row, at the last possible minute, and I felt myself begin to slide…
I simply reached out, grabbed the upright, and slid myself back into the saddle.
Everyone when, ‘Wooooooo!’ and I said, ‘I am not falling off this (!@&ing) horse!’
It has been my goal, over the last several months, to not fall off in the Saturday lesson. And dammit, I made good on that vow today.
Saturdays have been challenging for me. I’ve felt like I’m at the bottom of the pile, and there are generally many more riders — and good ones, too — in the lesson, to what I’m used to. I know, I know, ‘from the brain to the rein’… I know. So it’s been with trepidation that I approach the Saturday hour.
Today, I don’t know? I mean, I had a rubbishy cold all week, and wasn’t sure that I was going to be up to it anyway. But once I got on Con and started walking around, the sheer pleasure of being up there and walking around must has started some early-release endorphins. Once we got out there and started going, I felt like… I felt like, what the hell, let’s just do this.
Sometimes a rest is good. Sometimes, after you come back, you are that bit more conscious of doing things correctly. I felt like: Hey! Legs! You’re on! How about that! I felt like: You know what? If I feel like we don’t have enough impulsion, then I’m just going to circle away from the fence. In this lesson, because it is of an advanced standard, we’re not told what to do every three seconds. We’re meant to be riding independently.
That first time I circled away, I felt like… hey! I made this decision! This is exactly correct!
And it just built on from there. So when I somehow grabbed the upright and pushed myself back [how? I don’t know how. I mean, okay, there was the upright, right in front of me, and then there was my left hand, shooting out to grab it, not caring if I knocked it down, and using to it stay aboard], well, it was another victory.
I didn’t drop the F-bomb aloud, but I gritted it out through my teeth, and every one understood. I am not falling off that horse anymore*. Well, you know. But dammit, I am getting this now, jumping with Connell, and it’s all up from here.
Of course, there was a minor worry when my site of injury went baWHAAAwaaaWHaaa like a plucked string… I massaged it out as best I could, took the fences one more time, and then called it a day.
A really good day.
*This reminds me of this, and I feel pretty good that there may now be an instructor who resides in my head…