Monday, October 3, 2016

The insurmountable wall

Sometimes I don't post about crappy things that happen because I've been told that nobody wants to listen to you talk about your bad day.  All people want to read are happy sunshiny butterfly days.  Which might be true, but either way if you don't like crappy posts feel free to not continue on.




Well, you did it.  Here's my crappy post.

A few weeks ago I went to my usual lesson.  I was on a post show (in which we jumped all the things!!!) and a post lesson (in which we jumped enormous things like bad asses!!!) high.  Now, jumping makes me nervous.  Or rather, the fear of failure in jumping makes me nervous.  But I still jump and take lessons as often as possible because when it goes right and I control my nerves I have fun and I love to fly.    I felt a little overfaced in the beginning of the lesson but mostly had faith that my instructor wasn't going to get me killed.  It's tough being me.   I really do find it a struggle to follow instructions that are perfectly logical from someone perfectly qualified that knows me, and well, curling up into a tiny little useless ball.

So, I wasn't really expecting what happened.

In short, we didn't jump the things.  Any of the things.  We stopped in front of the things, we stopped 20 feet away from the things.  When the things became speed bumps we stopped, when the things became poles on the ground we stopped.  At the end of the lesson we simply gave up because not a thing was to be jumped and I could hardly make my horse trot, let alone walk slowly over a pole on the ground.  

We talked about my role and how I have not really improved my riding.  We talked about how I am always mounted on green horses.  I cried.  A lot.

I spent several days (ok still thinking about it) thinking about what to do.  Honestly, I wanted to quit.  Quit jumping.  Sell my horse, pack it in.  I was quite frankly never going to be any better than I was that day and if I by some miracle was mounted on the far out of my price range packer I would promptly ruin it (having been told that very thing several years ago).

I struggled with how a few weeks ago I was making plans to move up a division in the late fall, then another division in the spring.  Goals were formed that I saw no reason could not be met.  We had gotten over our bump and we were on the downhill slide.

Then we couldn't get over the wall and I became the unteachable student on the unjumpable horse.

So, where do we go from here?

Am I unteachable and unimprovable?

Does my green horse not want to jump, or not want to jump with me?

Can I learn to ride a horse that might need a perfect ride over a 2 foot fence?

Did I just ruin a horse that had been improving over the year I've owned it?

How do you move on from a lesson so mentally devastating?


  1. Take a deep breath, eat some ice cream and maybe a nap. And then try again another day. I hit some walls too with Ramone, and just showing up and riding and doing the best you can each day is the best you can do sometimes and eventually things work themselves out. Bad days happen, Bad weeks, hell even bad months (totally had bad months!)

  2. Bad day, bad lesson. If you have a day, where all you are getting are stops. It generally starts with the rider, but then the horse loses confidence in it's rider and things all go down hill. If you can't canter the jump, then trot. if you can't trot the jump then make ground poles and walk the poles. Finish on something good. But, that day is gone..on to the future. Find a instructor who can help give you confidence and one who will inspire and help you. You will not ruin your horse. You are not unteachable, you are improving, but there are deep valleys of despair for every pinnacle of hope. Don't give up, keep going, don't over jump or over mount yourself. Confidence is slowly built by little success's. If you have to go back to ground poles...that's where you are. Don't judge your journey by other people's success's or failures. But...please..find a really good instructor. And remember jumping is just flat work with some poles around the arena. Best Regards, Carol..a fellow life long struggling rider!

  3. Sounds like a rough mental moment - be patient with yourself.

  4. It's rough. I know- I hit that wall when I couldn't get Carmen to go on a freaking circle without spooking. I love L Williams suggestion. Maybe go back to some flat work and go from there.

  5. Peaks and valleys. Peaks and valleys. It's always the way with horses no matter how careful and dedicated you are. Usually tho the general trend is upward. A pro recently told me to get excited about the valleys bc it usually means a breakthrough is close at hand. Don't give up!

  6. Focus on flat work/dressage for now? Everything I have heard says this will improve your jumping. Maybe take a break from poles and jumping - get in some dressage lessons with a fabulous trainer (I think you have one!) and get your confidence back up :)



 Hello all,  Life has been busy and I have not felt I've had anything worth blogging about.  Or that my blog is particularly interestin...