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.

Rebecca Farm

Hey blogland!  Alyssa and I will be headed to Rebecca Farm later this week to watch and root our friends on.  Will you be there?  Lets meet up!  I totally failed at meeting up with people last year and want to rectify that!

Just look for a shorty with red hair!

Just look for a shorty with red hair!

We won't be arriving until Thursday afternoon.  I'm ready for some watching, shopping, and lots of adventures!

So beautiful there

So beautiful there

Jordan zooming

Jordan zooming

I competed there once a rather long time ago, some day I will have a horse to do it on again!

Last fence, wheee!

Last fence, wheee!

Find that smile

Thank you for all the support and loving comments on my last post, you guys are really amazing! I gave Slider a couple days off after the clinic and our next ride was done in a rope halter.  One thing that the clinic highlighted was that I am not strong enough with my legs when I ride which leads to crookedness among other things. So I decided to effectively remove my hands from the equation. I also wanted to do something that I thought would be fun and joyful and hopefully fun for Slider. 

Mission accomplished.  

I was literally laughing out loud and grinning from ear to ear. Here I was on my three month ottb cantering around the ring in a halter. He was so perfect. The ride finished with my arms around his neck in a very heartfelt hug.  

 

always more butt scratches

always more butt scratches

The next day we did it again. And I added in jumps. And obtained some proof of the awesomeness.

 

so cool we only need one hand

so cool we only need one hand

Life was starting to feel good again. My legs and seat were obviously effective. We were having fun. Maybe I wasn't a proverbial sack of shit. 

 

even my pants are sparkling! 

even my pants are sparkling! 

This was the perfect prep for the show coming up that weekend. After the terrible clinic I'd scratched the show the next day, but the next weekend was the perfect schooling opportunity. We signed up for a ground poles derby and a cross rails jump only round. The goal was to eliminate crookedness and smile. Our goal was more than accomplished. 

 

hellz yeah

hellz yeah

smiles found, recovery started.