I started out pretty wussy, jumping a tiny log. Only after being "encouraged" I jumped a bigger log. It felt easy. Hmmmm..
I used to have a problem with my hands creeping up around my face as a reaction to riding a few naughty horses and it took me YEARS of being patiently yelled at by instructors to keep those hands DOWN! It still crops up when I'm nervous and being on a smaller horse it's more noticeable and effective (in a bad way). My habit reappeared on XC with my poor instructor screaming HANDS DOWN! about every 2.2 seconds.
They didn't feel like they were up, yet there they were.
Here's a video of us doing a course surrounding the water complex. I have edited out my instructor's voice for her safety. Why yes, we were supposed to jump that log out of the water. Yes, I did look at that gigantic log and I went "hell no." I wouldn't call this a run out as much as I'd call it a "course correction." Yes, we were forced to promptly circle around and rejump that GIANT log.
...which felt significantly smaller than I thought it would feel. And looked basically effortless from Annie. Sigh.
Here's another video of us jumping in the other field. There were all "big" jumps that I've never jumped before. There was that little voice in my brain that went "huh, that felt like nothing." It felt really great to get rolling, I do much better confidence wise when I keep going than when I have time to stop and think about things.
Last but awesomenest here's a video of us jumping a SUNKEN ROAD. Like real eventers. I've had this well founded phobia of drops, having been bucked off once, launched off a few times, and almost dumped a couple more times. It's all in the technique baby. My instructor talked to me about my position. Hands down, contact but flexible contact, letting the reins slip, getting out of the saddle a bit, and following the motion down.
I'll be dammed if after like a dozen times I was sitting on Annie going "now what was the big deal?" Jumping off the big portion of the bank and cantering a gentle 4 strides to the other bank felt like a piece of cake.
What I liked the most was ending the day with a lot of confidence. The bigger jumps didn't feel any more difficult than the smaller jumps and watching the videos Annie isn't putting in much effort at all. I also liked how still my leg was in most of the videos.
Things I need to do better next time..... Have more confidence in my abilities and Annie's willingness to jump. Keep my hands down. Maintain the canter.