I had my lesson today, and since the morning didn't go very smoothly, I had high hopes for a happiness infusion by riding Champ after everyone got off to school and work. The good news was he was super, super quiet. No dancing around in the cross-ties and no attitude about grooming. He got lots of treats. The bad news is he was so quiet, it was like trying to drag a bag of cement through the World's Most Boring Dressage Test. Nothing I could do would get this horse moving forward with anything that appeared to be like rhythm. Ugh.
Then we started working on jumping. I was hopeful for a good practice, because I had been doing really well in the indoor ring with the one cross-rail, and I had jumped a hunter course of four or five fences a few weeks ago pretty successfully. Not today, though. Seven and eight fences, with tight turns. All set at 18" and 2', so you'd think this would be no big deal, but one of my old crappy habits reasserted itself and I barely managed to hang on past the third fence. I have no idea why, but I am dropping my shoulders over the fences, and it's causing me to lose what little balance I have, and causing Champ to jump too early, and to stumble. It was a mess. Totally ugly. I lost a stirrup over the fence, slid sideways in the saddle, landed hard and tweaked my back, jammed my knee because my foot was out of the stirrup, and then it got shoved back in, and could not, could not, could NOT get myself to sit back to slow him down. I must have looked ridiculous. I know I felt totally ridiculous, all floppy and flailing. Sheer force of will kept me on the horse. And then I could feel myself getting nervous, and starting to quietly wish for the lesson to be over. I remarked to my trainer how fast Champ seemed to be going, and she said "Wait til you take him cross-country!", and I knew there was no way I could take him to the horse trials and feel good about it.
I feel really unhappy about my riding, and my crumbled confidence at the moment. I know it's part of riding, and I know blah blah blah good days and bad days blah blah, and I know I can only expect so much, riding once a week, after a fourteen year break. It'll be fine, it's just that one bad day seems like a monument to personal suckage. I just have to get it right in my head that I can't expect too much from myself. But I also think I am not going to compete this year. Maybe I should just stick to dressage.
It's Valentine's Day, and I was going to treat myself to sushi for lunch, but I couldn't get food and pick up Noah in the time I had left after leaving the barn, so I am home, having had no lunch, and then Noah told me I was supposed to be at school for his Valentine's party this morning (which I didn't realize parents were supposed to go). I'm frustrated, and sad, and I don't want to do anything. I'm not going to run in the Monument 10K, and I'm not going to do the horse trials. I briefly thought I'd just let Wren have my lesson slot and stop altogether, but that was a moment's despair that I am over now.
I'm going to bake a double batch of brownies and get dinner started. Maybe chocolate will help.