After our rather spectacular fail over the weekend, I got right back on and ended the ride on a good note. Then I hobbled home and into bed and tried very hard not to move one single aching body part for the next 24 hours or so. I also tried very, very hard not to think too deeply on it.
48 hours later, the negative self talk and the butterflies were starting to creep in.
72 hours later, I knew I needed to get back in the saddle and tell those feelings to shut up ASAP.
EC did a pretty good job of calmly listening as I quickly described our little adventure, but Im sure I saw a very quickly covered up look of horror. The butterflies were like "See! This is crazy! Even EC is thinking you're lucky to be here! I bet she's thinking it's going to happen again because you're a terrible rider. You should probably give up riding right now and find a decent owner for poor Bridget. You should just watch horses on TV or something."
Thankfully, EC is amazing at pushing you to get back on track while also building confidence when you most need it.
We started with walk. Medium walk to free walk and back to medium, focus on straightness, keeping same tempo, keeping pony soft no matter what my rein length is. Just as I felt bored, we added in trot transitions. Big trot, little trot, halt, trot, halt, etc. Then some leg yield. Then canter, but on a 20m circle, and only 4-5 strides, then back to trot for a stride, then back to canter.
And so, 30 minutes later, confidence was maybe not at an all time high, but certainly within acceptable limits. While my inner mean girl bully is still out and on the loose, the butterflies at least have been locked back in their little box. I like how it is getting easier and easier to lock them back away and move my focus to more positive things.
We ran through our dressage test a couple of times. Our first run through was acceptable, but I rushed the canter transitions and Midge was not impressed. She got tense, I got tense, and although the test was accurate, it wasn't our best effort. Second run through was about the best Midge and I can currently bring to the table, so I was really pleased to end the lesson on that note.
The judge this weekend is the person we had such a terrible clinic with last year. I know I shouldn't care, but oh my goodness would I like to put in a good test and prove her wrong! EC says that's silly, it was a year ago and she won't even remember us. The voice of reason, as always. But, again, I think I caught I slight crack in the facade...so just in case, I'm bringing my best A game to this one ;)
Then, on Sunday, XC schooling.
SHUT UP ALREADY, butterflies...