So last week I put up a post about my wavering confidence over fences despite the fact that my mare will jump just about anything without batting an eyelash. I would fidget and fuss before the fences out of nerves, and it kept messing her up and blowing our courses.
WELL....today I had an epiphany
I had my weekly lesson today and my trainer (I love him for never getting too frustrated with me) kept telling me to stop messing and just ride the line. Finally, (I think because he was at his wit's end) he told me that he wanted to hear me count out loud the three strides before the first fence and then count the number between all the fences on the course because I was pulling her up and causing her to either chip in or take off early and we were blowing the number of strides between. So, although it felt like taking a big step back in my training, I did it, and you know what??? It was our best course in months. Having to concentrate on the counting did not allow my mind to wander to all the what ifs as we cantered through the course. I didn't have time to worry or fidget because I was so focused on the strides and moment. Before I knew it we had jumped all ten of the jumps, including ones I usually get really worked up about and it was perfect - no chips, no early take offs. After I was done the trainer looked at me and said it was perfect and I was smiling ear to ear. So, it might be noisy to jump with me for awhile until I learn to internalize it, but being in the moment and knowing the numbers and counting for them between fences certainly got rid of all those wandering thoughts.
Don't you love when you are riding your horse and something just clicks and you get that perfect ride? I live for those moments of pure bliss.