What a complete whirlwind. I have found temporary solutions for Jazz in the form of lots of help from my dear friend Kristina. She is coming twice a week to ride Jazz for me to see if we can help get him back on the straight and narrow. It has got better. I got on board and took him up the lane and back. Ok, it wasn’t a long or exciting ride but it was a start. I didn’t feel nervous, even when he span round. More like frustrated, though I was careful to not let my personal emotions run over and spill out to affect the horse. Something I learned the hard way – taking a big deep couple of breaths. Staying still and counting to 10 really works. The frustration fades away quickly. I didn’t feel nervous, a more accurate word would be apprehensive. I didn’t particularly enjoy riding him as such; a feeling that I am definitely not accustomed to or would want to get used to. I love riding. I have always loved riding. Even when the ponies were naughty and did really daft things that horses tend to do from time to time I didn’t feel like I minded. That day I did mind. I didn’t enjoy it. But I was up there on him and thats a start maybe. I haven’t fully ruled out selling him to a more suitable human but I’m not as stressed about it as before. And I really am not a stressy person at all – much more chilled, happy-go-with-it type of person.
Anyway, I have my plan for him. I’m going to see if he settles at all over the next 2 weeks and then re-evaluate again. I can see the potential there and he could be the horse of my dreams if I could pull myself together a bit. Self doubt, feelings of failure and negativity aimed at myself have been prevalent this week. It’s a hard thing to climb out of.
In better news, my angel Storm has been my saving grace, as per usual. We went cross country schooling at Kelsall Hill – a FANTASTIC facility over in cheshire. I actually ran Storm at the BE80(T) event there last year and it was my favourite event of the season. It was also the first event I ran him at after my nightmare summer in hospital so it probably feels extra special for that reason too. Unfortunately I didn’t go with my mum so I had no pictures 😭😩 But he was INCREDIBLE! I did come out very apprehensive and a little nervous. Taking him very steadily over the tinniest, baby logs there. Slowly my confidence grew and grew and about half way through I gave myself a good talking to and kicked myself into gear. Rather than ‘holding’ him all the time, be brave, trust the pony and kick on! Once I got this mantra in my head, we were flying! I mean he zoomed around this huge field stuffed full of cross country fences of all heights. He did a couple of big ones (big for me) that when I first walked into the field I though, ‘no chance’, and I felt (if I had been brave enough) I could have had him over the Novice level fences and he’d have flown them. Really did something towards healing my sad, broken soul. Especially along the gallops at the end. He raced along. There’s not a feeling like flying along the gallops. So fast in never ending line. It was fabulous! I already want to go back again before the Kelsall Hill Event in April.
To top matters off, I had a brilliant dressage lesson on him today and he was like magic. My long-time instructor said we were brilliant and so good she couldn’t think of anything to add after about half an hour. It boosted my confidence a lot and made me feel better. Something Graham and Beth said to me also helped this week when they came down to see what was going on with Jazz (if you remember, I bought Jazzy off Beth and Graham and he had to live at their place for a long time while we waited for a stable at the farm). Graham said to me, “you aren’t a crap rider, you’re just having a confidence crisis”. Maybe so, I do think I am the issue though. But like I’ve already said. I have a short-term plan that I just need to let play out.
Poor Dice is still not quite right. I rode him today after he looked absolutely great being lunged and he wasn’t quite lame but something felt off. So I have booked him in to the vets for Monday. If they tell me he’s fine then I’ll leave it alone but they might pick up something on X-rays perhaps. He was so excited to be out though. He leapt in the air and jogged/cantered all the way home going sideways and pulling me all about the place. See, on a 14.1hh pony its funny… not so much on something 16.1hh. Maybe I am just a pony rider after all. We’ll see….
Seeing as I didn’t have any pictures of our XC schooling at Kelsall, here are some throwback snaps of when we competed in the BE80(T) event back in September.
Another shot of us competing at Kelsall, Autumn 2016. Going back to do the BE90 event all being well in April.
The silver lining of my life right now. Storm is one in a billion ❤️