Gosh where has the rest of this year gone? I only post when I feel I have something to say and over the last 4 months, every time I have thought about blogging I have just felt like nothing has changed, nothing has happened so there is nothing to blog about. This reflects how I feel about my riding in general – I feel like I am stuck in old familiar patterns and I am just going round and round hearing the same things again and again, struggling with the same issues and, despite trying my best, still making the same mistakes over and over. Every time I considered writing about something like – say – Amber being too forward, lack of consistency in dressage, my fears of jumping and hacking, Amber not being ride-able and adjustable enough, me over-relying on my hands, my need for better balance and an independent seat etc etc, I realised I had already written about that. Often more than once. So the blogs themselves reinforce that sense of stuckness – Blogs 2 years ago are about the same issues that I had last week!
So why am I bothering writing at all? Well I use blogging to track progress over time. I use it to get my head round issues and to identify things that are either blocking my progress or helping me. And this feeling of stuckness is the thing that is most on my mind right now, so I decided to blog no matter what. To just start writing about how things are feeling and see if anything useful emerged from forcing myself to reflect.
So what are the issues? Well, Amber locks on and launches and does not jump out of a nice canter rhythm. Except sometimes she does. And each time she does it is a bit better than the last time she did. And each time she locks on and launches it it is less bad than it used to be. I am scared of jumping and hacking, and those fears re-surface every so often. But the things I’ll jump when scared are bigger than they used to be and the things I’ll jump when confident are much, much bigger than they used to be. Amber is inconsistent in dressage. But her good work is better than it used to be and her poor work is less bad than it used to be. I am too handsy and lack balance. Well yes I am and I do. (I suspect those things just may be linked!) But I know I need a better seat and I am working on it. And 3 out of 4 ‘aint bad!
I guess what feels like a circle is more like a spiral. We are both orbiting the same set of problems because her character is her character and my limitations are my limitations. She will always be enthusiastic, onward bound and ginger! (Photo evidence above!!) I will always be slightly nervous, wonky with deeply ingrained riding faults that are improving slowly but won’t just vanish entirely. Each time I am on the riding badly/going badly side of the spiral I feel like I am getting nowhere, but each time I spin round to going well/riding well we have moved on from before. The highs are higher and the lows are less low. So in that sense I am not actually stuck at all. I just need to keep doing the work, keep aiming to improve and not lose heart.