You just have to have a sense of humor in this business! This time last year I was not yet cantering in a show due to fear of being embarrassed with wrong lead or horse bucking because I was banging him in the mouth. This year I am showing my horse in pleasure with good ribbons, and even won third in the hunter hack on a horse I had only ridden twice, on a whim and with 2 minutes notice (my friend wasn't feeling well and didn't want to go in the hack) (that was really fun!)
So, I finally "got it" with jumping just this month. In a lesson, I can do a reputable few fences without getting left behind and even regulating strides in between fences, although I have no idea yet how to see a spot and aim for it (I just point and shoot!).
Well, my trainer thought I could do low hunters (2' fences, a course of 8). So I have tried it twice. Well, it's been interesting! Attempt 1 was last week and I rode a friend's horse who is more of a steady eddie than mine. But he does get fast on the lines toward the barn. I could handle him in the lesson. The show was, well, interesting. I was sure we were going so fast we were going to win the Kentucky Derby. I grabbed on to his mouth and forgot to let go again. I think I leaned forward the whole course ... well, I got around the course and didn't fall off! Deep breath.
My second attempt was last night. This time I was riding a 21 year old school horse, who in lessons goes about as slow as he can, and we had some really nice fences together. Last night, I felt like I was racing again! My trainer is saying let go of his mouth, leg, move forward, and I'm like ahhh, we're going so fast .... It's SO FUNNY! Well, I got around the course. Missed grabbing the mane a couple times and got left behind. Had a couple refusals and missed one fence just becuase I couldn't get it together in time to take off, so I just went around ... Feeling a little embarrassed ....
You just have to have a sense of humor in this business! And I can't believe how different it is from a lesson to a show (in the evening, under the lights). I don't FEEL scared, but I get out there and everything goes to heck!
What in the world can I do to have my show courses anything like my lesson courses? And any moral support is much appreciated!