When you gotta go

I'm getting the impression that if I don't write a post about Prisoner jumping again...y'all might mutiny.  My feelings about it all are pretty much the same as in this post: Make Me a Liar.  He continues to get more bold, yet also more relaxed with each session.  Funny story about the second jumper show we went to. 

We arrived. I signed up for my classes and tacked up.  I hacked around the ring during warmups, showed him some jumps, but didn't actually school any of the fences.  They were starting with 2'3" and I was starting until 2'6" so I had plenty of time for a leisurely warm up. He was great with the exception of one GIANT sky leap for no apparent reason.  Maybe he was feeling joyful.  We went in for our first class and I really wondered if we would make it over all the jumps or what.  We did.  The course was rather poorly designed so there was a turn I didn't make, but my goal was for Prisoner to have a happy successful time, he doesn't know we threw in an extra circle.

Can't even believe how great he was

Can't even believe how great he was

We did have one blow sideways, but it was several strides away from the jump and if I had backed down to the trot I think it wouldn't have happened.  He finished the course though with nary a blink at even the spookiest of jumps!

Hard to see here, but the base of that jump is like a legit 2'3" cross country jump

Hard to see here, but the base of that jump is like a legit 2'3" cross country jump

I was thrilled for our first effort over bright show jumps in a place he doesn't school for the first time in a year.  He was just so great.  We chilled out, waited for the jumps to go up to 2'9" and headed in again.  We still missed the one turn, but again, my goal for him was to feel confident not swerve into jumps.  This round was smoother and straighter.  Unfortunately at the third jump from the end he hit it and the pole went between his legs. He was fine but we had to circle before the next jump as it was a three stride line.  Still though, he jumped everything and was really bringing me to them.

He even grazed while I was on his back!

He even grazed while I was on his back!

He was jumping great and we were improving so I decided to do the 3' class too.  Height has never been an issue for him and after my rough summer mentally I was thrilled that 3' looked totally doable.  We went in and he had the first rail down, then he jumped two more, then he stopped.  Not a bolt sideways, an actual stop, which actually worried me as he has never done that.  We made it over that jump and then he stopped again.  I put my hand up.  The jump judge is awesome and had me go over two other single fences, but he still didn't feel normal.  I was pretty sad.

Wheee!

Wheee!

Aimee, Alyssa, and I headed back to the trailer and I handed Prisoner to them so that I could stop at the Porta potty, omg I had to go.  I get back to the trailer and Aimee has the bridle off and is putting on the halter when Prisoner stretches out and pees for like 3 freaking minutes. A huge weight lifted from my shoulders. My horse wasn't hurt, or scared, or anything.  He just had to go!

Still got satin!

Still got satin!

So now I know, if I'm doing more than two classes I need to get off and let the poor horse pee (he's done somewhat similar things at other shows).

Time to go shopping at the tack trailer!

Time to go shopping at the tack trailer!

Aaanndd it's been a month

I'd say I don't even know how it has been a month since I last posted, but I do know how.  First I spent a week in Canada, then I went to horse shows on back to back weekends, and then I rode in an amazing clinic with both Prisoner and Slider. And that is how a month as passed.  Also I got the hubby packed up and back to Phoenix and I'm getting logistics nailed down for the big trip to Kentucky at the end of October!  I'm hoping lots of you can come to the Makeover!  It should be an Epic blogger meet up in my opinion!

On a sailboat with the Hubby!

On a sailboat with the Hubby!

Prisoner jumping the jumps at a horse show! PC: Alyssa

Prisoner jumping the jumps at a horse show! PC: Alyssa

Prisoner jumping the jumps at another horse show PC: Alyssa

Prisoner jumping the jumps at another horse show PC: Alyssa

Business as usual prepping for the Makeover freestyle with Slider PC: Alyssa

Business as usual prepping for the Makeover freestyle with Slider PC: Alyssa

OMG Prisoner jumping my xc jump!!!

OMG Prisoner jumping my xc jump!!!

OMG best clinic ever

OMG best clinic ever

Aaanndd that my friends is how you have the fastest month ever!  

A sappy post for the weekend

Probably the number one thing that has helped me get through this summer of rocky self confidence is hashing things out with my friends (and mom!). They make me laugh, give me a shoulder to cry on, and promise to slap me if I have a truly terrible idea.

Mostly we just take pictures with our horses

Mostly we just take pictures with our horses

They give me permission to get pissed off, or to have a judgement free crying session.  They help build me back up and tell me when the stupid thoughts in my head are lying to me.  They encourage joy inducing ridiculous behavior with horses as well as eating my sorrows away in a giant bowl of frozen yogurt.  They are always reaching out a hand and pulling me out of dark holes, they shine light in the shadows.  We can't talk for long before my sense of humor comes out of hiding and my incessant positivity reappears. 

Smiles for everyone

Smiles for everyone

I think we all agree that horse friends are the best friends and I don't think that it can be said enough.  Whether you need a pat on the back or a swift kick in the ass, horse friends are there for you.

Even Slider looks at the camera

Even Slider looks at the camera

I was listening to the radio the other day and hating myself a bit for loving the new Justin Bieber song.  Seriously though, it is pretty great.  Except for maybe two lines it really applies to friendships.  Yes, I'm going to share it with you, and you are in luck, it is the lyrics video so you don't actually have to see the Biebs.  In fact lets just pretend someone else is singing it.

Hopefully you enjoyed that.  Anyways, back to my point.  Get yo self some horsey girl friends, they are the best. I realize that that advice is pretty redundant with the crowd that will be reading this, but that doesn't make it any less true.  Really what I need here is some sort of mega blogger selfie, all of your support has been very appreciated

Friends who wear bracelets together stick together, or something like that.

Friends who wear bracelets together stick together, or something like that.

Make me a Liar

So if you follow along on facebook or instagram (@redheadlins) you know that I've been jumping Prisoner.  A couple weeks ago something new (to me) and magical and french arrived in the mail.  It felt so magical that I decided I would pop over a few jumps with the floofy pony, no pressure, just for fun.  I thought he might enjoy the change of pace after 4.5 months of nothing but dressage.  Well...he was freaking fantastic!

Like no big deal

Like no big deal

I started out trotting over some cross rails and little verticals, he felt so great I up and decided to canter around a turn to this oxer.  He just cantered right up to it, no rushing, no head in the air, no sideways, two times in a row.  I promptly cooled him out while grinning like a loon.  In fact he felt so good that I brought him to a jump lesson the next week.  I went with the plan that if he wanted to jump then cool beans and if he didn't than no worries I would just keep calling him a dressage horse.  It was a whole cauldron full of cool beans.

Don't mind us, just flying

Don't mind us, just flying

It was practically magical (apparently this is today's theme).  We were forward, straight, and honest.  I think that our months of dressage gave him a chance to get more trained, gave the both of us a chance to work through some baggage that we had with each other, and I really think it also gave him a chance to heal from some underlying body soreness.

Bold as can be

Bold as can be

It was an amazing feeling to be jumping this horse and feeling all this training that I have put in with him and have it all click.  I was actually able to trust him and I think he felt like he could trust me.  I worked hard to not sing 'climb every mountain' (sound of music) all week and keep any sneaky hopes and dreams at bay.  One good jump session does not a Prelim horse make.  I went for another lesson yesterday and it was not quite as magical, but still pretty great.

Saddle pad spoiler alert

Saddle pad spoiler alert

Aimee even came and took video and pictures.  I started out slightly worked up for who knows what reason, but then we settled and had some great jumps.  Prisoner attempted some drama at one point (at a cross rail after already being fine with verticals, oxers, and flowers) but I didn't play into it and we quickly moved on.

Watchful coach and her trusty sidekick cat

Watchful coach and her trusty sidekick cat

He was a bit zoomy, but we still felt like a team and that was a great feeling.  I'm going to keep jumping him, not putting pressure on myself, and see where this goes.  I love adventures!

Let's just stare at my leg

Let's just stare at my leg

Side note here, it is possible that I never want to ride in a non french saddle ever ever again.

Life and Times

Goodness gracious, time flies.  I can't even believe how fast this summer has been going.  Full of ups and downs and always an adventure.  Alyssa and I had a blast up at R Farm, my apologies to those of you who said you would be there that I didn't contact.  We both walked around in a starstruck/pulled pork on mac & cheese daze.  Too many jumps and beautiful horses to actually remember things like checking email.

A couple of really excited ladies

A couple of really excited ladies

Things are progressing one hoof at a time on the riding front.  This has been a really tough summer mentally for me.  Thank you KOC for decimating any shred of self confidence I thought I had.  I've been feeling beaten up and broken and worthless.  Add on the pressure of getting Slider to the makeover and Prisoner sold and the generally ridiculous pressure I put on myself for no good reason and a really freaking screwed up Lindsey is what you get.  My mom likes to joke with me that I should be Catholic because I'm so good at guilt tripping myself.  True story though, if my brain could flog itself it would.  It is a strange attribute to go with my nearly unending positivity.  Aimee and Alyssa are surely scratching their heads at my craziness, but thank God I have them as friends.  

Pink for life

Pink for life

They keep throwing me life lines in the midst of the turbulent sea of self loathing that I'm being tossed around in.  It is a scary crippling place to be guys.  I somehow manage to blame every issue a horse has ever had on myself.  Every vague post I read about riders or trainers doing something negative I convince myself applies to me.  Every stop or runout or spook I blame on my ineptitude.  

Never lose your sense of humor

Never lose your sense of humor

Luckily for myself and for all of you that read the blog I can't stay that dark for long.  I talk with my friends and my coach and they refuse to let me get stuck in a deep dark hole.  They help me make new plans, they listen to my crazy ideas, together we keep stepping forward and finding healing.  When you hit bottom or reach shattered there is no where to go but up, nothing to do but start picking up the pieces.  I know that confidence (of any form) is something that I'm not alone in struggling with so I want to delve deeper into the ideas that have helped me start healing.  I've written about confidence several times before as has Aimee, and I'm going to do it again.  I blog to keep track of my journey with these four legged beasts, and to connect with new friends, and to hopefully help even just one person out there who might be having some of the same issues as me.  We are all in this together.  

*Spoiler alert* Last night I had a jump lesson on Prisoner...It was amazing...And healing...And guilt lifting...aannndddd I'll tell you all about it soon.