Into the Home Stretch…

I have one more chapter to go in my horsey-divorcey book, and I  — I don’t even know how to get my head around that.

The last chapter to go is the penultimate chapter, which is weird, but not. It’s kind of the ‘biggest’ one of them all, and the actual last chapter was really easy to write, I think it was the fastest one of all.

I think there may also be an epilogue, maybe.

Sorry, totally talking to myself! I had started about three posts this last week, all with variations on the theme of ‘life-lessony stuff’ and I didn’t get anywhere with them.

I also started to post, at least twice, about how spectacularly well Tuesday evening’s lesson went. I’ve usually got a little bit of the fear after a fall, but holy wow, I went at those fences like, I don’t know, A Really Determined Equestrienne. They weren’t massive, and I can’t resist pointing this out, the second fence of the two, organised as a related distance*, was 80cms, and: not a bother on me. Tiny bit of a bother on Con, who wasn’t only nominally in the mood, but I managed to convince him to rise [LOL] to the occasion, and we went really well. Really well, especially after such an annoying tumble on Sunday.

My impulse had been to write about making excuses: I had been going on and on in my head about Oh, those fences looked so high. And maybe they were ‘so’ high. And another part of me goes, So what, just ride… In a gentler way, a few days later, I can agree with that. On Tuesday, we were coming around to the first fence (a turn which seemed really tight to me…) and we did it really well! and then I got caught in the thought, That went really well! and in the seconds during which we approached the second, I realised at the last minute that I wasn’t very well prepared for it, I was just sitting there, and sure enough, Con stopped. [I didn’t fall off!]

It doesn’t pay to focus on the triumphs any more than the failures, apparently. One of the things I really want to get in the book, and that’s why I think there’s an epilogue-y bit, is something one of my instructors said to me a couple of years ago. It was under very similar circumstances: I had Delilah in a private lesson, and we were coming around to a related distance, and as is her wont, she cut the corner extremely tightly, and as I berated myself for letting her, we barely made it over the first fence, and as a result, struggled with the second. When I said I had realised the turn was too tight — trying to justify why the jumps had been poor — my instructor basically said: get over it and get onto the next thing in front of you.

If I could needlepoint, I’d stitch that on a pillow.

The next thing in front of me isn’t the thing that made logical sense, and I went ahead anyway. I’m tip-toeing around it a bit — let’s say, I’m still warming up. I’ve got it all in line, and with all going well — nope, I can’t even write when I think it will be done, because it’s really soon. Don’t want to rush my fences…

* From A related distance ‘refers to a distance in between two fences that the course designer has set to be ridden with a certain number of strides in mind, this is where the skill of knowing your horse comes in so that you can judge how best to ride the distance, for example if you have a four stride distance and are riding a short striding horse you may adjust your horses stride so that the distance becomes five strides instead of four.’

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