On Friday following Spring Bay, MET had an open schooling day which gave us the chance to school the N XC course.
In true KB fashion, I let the words “move up” get into my head (why? I have no idea. We schooled N all of last year). I was nervous and my default position when I get worked up is hands on M’s neck, leg off and assume the fetal position.
Which works super well at a jump that petrifies you. Stupid Log Oxers.
I have no idea why this particular style of jump bothers me so much. I do know that out of all of the jumps on the Team Challenge course last fall, it was the one that I was flipping out about the entire course walk (which is sad, because it was maybe 2’3″). And when riding up to it, it looks GINORMOUS.
The one at Masterson has terrified me and every time I ride past it I can hear my brain going “NOPE NOPE NOPE”. I picture us landing in the middle of it because it feels so wide. So of course, this was the first N fence we had to jump after we warmed up.
I did my normal whimpering and Julie responded without batting an eye “you’ll be fine!”. So we jumped the first few, then galloped towards it.
And I assumed the fetal position. M stopped. Three attempts and Julie screaming “GET YOUR BUTT IN THE SADDLE” later, we made it over. And then jumped it again. I rode away from it as fast as I could as Julie reminded me that its a permanent jump at Masterson and I will be schooling it all summer. Blech.
The rest of schooling went okay. We had several stops-well run outs-because he would get heavy, pull me out of the saddle and get long, then run out left last minute. It became a bit of a vicious cycle, as it caused me to lose confidence in him, which only made me ride worse and caused him to do it more. After a fit that I am not proud of (beating him in the middle of the XC field while yelling “YOU JUMPED THESE 5 DAYS AGO ON COURSE” and realizing that had it been a show I would have been handed a red card) we adjusted my reins to the lower ring on his 3 ring, and I had a bit more whoa, it got better. Julie continued to yell “GET YOUR BUTT IN YOUR SADDLE” and “GET YOUR HANDS UP”. We still had a couple stops, but overall better.
So we definitely have a lot to work on before MayDaze but at least (other than stupid log oxers) the questions and the size aren’t the issue. M is pretty brave, just not an easy ride. So I’m going to spend the next month working on sitting back, getting my butt in the saddle and getting my hands up.