However, there have been some changes regarding my confidence (it's in the 50-90% range now) doing certain things on horseback that I want to revert. All of these particular changes that I'd like to reverse are minor. I could certainly live without them. But - there's always a "but" - I think life will be more FUN if I can teach myself to be 100% confident enjoying them again.
Being an adult has introduced so many more responsibilities and checks and balances to life, y'know? And I have [unfortunately] let that responsibility [and the act of adulting] seep a little too much into my horse life. It's more structured/regimented as a result. And that's great most of the time. But I could definitely stand to let loose a little more. Horseback riding should be fun first and foremost, (okay, well, maybe after assuring it is safe, but safety should be a given before one pursues most activities).
|Trot poles. An approved structured activity.|
And so, in that vein, I made a goal for myself this year to [re]master the art of galloping on Griffin. If that goes well I'd love to reach a point where I could do the same with Q. She's the one who killed my confidence galloping full-bore because she's got a penchant of stopping on a fucking dime the moment something scares her. This leads to me inevitably taking QUITE a tumble. Just ask me how I know...
And of course, I still gallop on Stan. I've already been galloping almost every ride on him. But this is because I have history with him that includes a wealth of trust, so it's easier to let loose.
|Griffin asking to canter with much more gusto than desired in the moment as I tell him, "No. Not yet."|
I've begun to incorporate short gallop sets in my work with Griffin lately in my quest to find comfort galloping again. The biggest challenge for me is to not mentally micromanage the situation, Is that a hole? Will he trip? Will he spook? These thoughts are minor and don't cause me anguish at all. They do result in calmly acquiescing to remain in a nice 3-beat gait or a controlled hand gallop as opposed to letting loose into a full-bore gallop. I basically talk myself out of doing something before I've even started. And I've done this so much in recent years that I've created a habit of staying in my controlled comfort-zone.
But no more!
|Kenai is my favorite part about this photo|
Griffin LOVES to boogie and gallop. And he's pretty gaddamn trustworthy, too. (Read: doesn't make up fake monsters to spook at and drop his rider.)
|Flyinggg. And yes, I pursued this entire effort in a dressage saddle. *shrug*|
I definitely squeal with delight when he really buckles down and launches forward at the beginning. But then I relax and go with it.
And honestly, from the photos you'd be hard pressed to recognize a rider who questions what is going on. I'm balanced and working with Griffin nicely. Which I think I knew, but I wouldn't really admit it to myself until I saw it in photos, y'know?
|Small but mighty...and also trying to veer off the designated path.|
I'm so relaxed physically, that when Griffin decided to LAUNCH us over this ditch with more gusto than ever before, I just squeaked in surprise and we carried on.
|A normal launch over the ditch.|
|The *surprise!* monster launch over the ditch|
He's a damn good horse. And I think he's going to absolutely love doing XC one day.
|Smile says it all.|
So, how about you - what horse-related things do you miss doing now that you used to do as a kid/teenager? Where is your confidence at a lesser percentage than it once was? Have you created a habit of talking yourself out of certain things before even trying?