ATTACKATIVE - And A New Approach
Last night Dino and I had our final jump school before our horse trial this weekend. We jumped around with my barn owner and her horse, and true to form Dino put forth some serious 'tude while warming up for jumping.
Dino had some opinions on warming up in the jump field with Sully. They were, namely:
"I HATE THIS. SULLY'S IN HERE. I CAN'T FOCUS IF THAT BIG STUPID HIPPO IS IN HERE, TOO. YOU'RE NOT MY REAL MOM. I DON'T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING YOU SAY. TROTTING IS HARD. CANTERING IS REALLY HARD. I DON'T LIKE THAT CORNER BY THE GATE. I DON'T REMEMBER WHAT LATERAL AIDS MEAN. CAN I HAVE DINNER NOW? THIS IS STUPID."
Thank goodness for Mr. Sticky. Mr. Sticky had a lot of things to say to Dino. Namely, "Yes, leg still means go." and, "No one told you to stop, punk." and also, "Just because Sully is taking a break doesn't mean you get to as well."
|Why dere no snax in dis bucket? OUTRAGEOUS!|
My new buzzword for jumping is "Attackative". I know this is not a real word. But it perfectly describes the attitude I need - that of attacking the fences instead of waffling! I made a commitment to riding forward out of the turns, locking my gaze on each jump, and riding aggressively to and away from the fences.
And you know what? It made jumping so. much. fun! Dino quickly caught on to my rabid enthusiasm and attackativity, and soon we were bombing around the jump field, making inside turns, blasting over jumps, and generally having a great time.
The attackative attitude helped everything flow so much better, and setting my mind in that mode made me able to say, "WE'RE GOING!" when Dino wiggled or had a question about a jump. I felt REALLY good about riding a stadium course after that fun jump school!
|WE DEMAND SNAX.|
The pressure I put on myself to perform at our August HT had terrible consequences, and I'd like to avoid repeating that situation at all costs. It was not fun.
So this time around, I've chosen a venue with a reputation for soft courses and a very laid-back atmosphere. I've prepared myself with as many lessons and schooling sessions as I could afford, and gotten great feedback from my trainer and knowledgable riding friends.
And when the Anxiety Monster starts to rear its ugly head and fill my mind with doubt and lies, I'm NOT giving in!
I've decided to repeat these truths to myself every time I start feeling nervous, or when my imagination begins to run away with me:
- This will be FUN!
- We are well-prepared
- We easily jumped Novice XC fences
- If I tell my pony to jump, he will jump
- My pony LOVES XC
- Jumping is FUN!
- We GET to go to a lovely venue and jump fun courses
- It will be a fun outing with my pony doing what we do best
- BN Stadium jumps are tiny!
Notice the emphasis on FUN?! The more I relax and let myself ENJOY the experience, the better the whole thing will be. At least, that's my theory!
What mantras do you use when show nerves creep up?