Double thread: Riding question and mental question
First with the more positive part.
I have wanted to get my to drive more from the hind end forever. If I don't encourage it she drags herself along. You can actually hear her feet hitting the ground and dragging at the trot. About a week ago, I decided to try something to see if it worked. I could hear her dragging her feet as well as feel her schlepping herself along. I lowered my hands, I picked up slightly more contact with both hands, pushed with my legs and set my weight farther back. Suddenly her feet stopped making that dragging sound, and I could feel her MOVING. Her withers seemed to come upward. Am I properly making her work from her hind? If I am, I'm really excited!
Now the more upsetting part.
Two days later we went to a horse show. Jumping at training level (under 3'), hoping to maybe amp up the jumps soon as I was getting really comfortable with this height. First round my head wasn't in it. I messed up half the course and got DQ'd. Second round was clear, but I knew I did some jumps like an idiot. I brushed that off and got to the third round. Well I OWNED the first half. I knocked one rail but my time was so good I still made the jump off. So the course starts with a jump towards the audience with a tight rollback to a long bending line, with the second part of that line being a WIDE oxer. First jump, score. Beautiful, balanced turn to the next jump. I'm not exactly sure what happened next. A combination of my general excitement, my urgency to get to the next jump, or the fact that I was happy I didn't tip over on the last turn, or that my horse just was excited and decided not to listen to my inside leg, but it all led to me taking the jump like an idiot committing suicide. (jump was on the rail) I was on the inside edge of the jump, taking it at a 45 degree angle for whatever reason. Stupid stupid stupid! My horse is a savior, because she takes the **** jump, clips it in the back (understandable, this thing was huge and just became bigger because of the angle), which causes me to flip over her head and land square on my back. (On a side note, whenever anyone else fell off that day their horse ran off. She stayed right next to me. ) I open my eyes and I see her neck above me. I roll over onto my back when I realize that it hurts really, really bad. I decide its better to not move. They take me on a backboard to the hospital with all this rushing around, to find out that I sprained muscles supporting my spine and pelvis. It was difficult to walk. Flash to a week later, which is today, and I can walk perfectly fine. Stairs hurt, running hurts, touching my back hurts, and I have semi-permanent superficial nerve damage to an unimportant spot on my back. Flash to two days ago, the first day I rode (walk trot only) and I was basically crying every lap around the ring. I lost a lot of leg strength from sitting around all day for a week. This made it really difficult to even attempt to do anything I was doing (see part one) and when I did attempt it, I couldn't keep anything up. Now last time something like this happened it was just me going through a phase. I was saying I hated riding and horses and everything and thinking about them made me upset, but I realized I was being stupid. But this time I just don't like riding anymore. I can spend all day grooming and caring for her, I just don't want to put a saddle on. Before my fall I was overconfident in my skills, and now I feel so weak and stupid. I know that as soon as I'm well enough my trainer will try to make me jump again. My hands are shaking just typing this. I'm not scared of falling off. I lost all confidence in my ability to ride, especially jumps. I guess I am afraid of falling off, in a sort of "I'msobadI'llfallwhenIjump" way. Giving up jumping would mean paying for expensive-ish lessons to only do flatwork (which, btw, the instructor will occasionally walk away from if there is something to be done. Don't comment on this please I don't want to talk about my trainer AT ALL.)
I don't know what to do anymore. I don't want to to talk to any of my riding friends because they've never been in this kind of situation. The only one who has was riding a horse way above her level that she was rather mean to, so neither of them liked each other. I love my horse to death. I don't want to be scared of one of the only things I truly love.
Sorry for the wall...
"The wise man thinks he knows nothing.
The fool thinks he knows everything."