Should I participate in this clinic?
As some of you may know, I fell off during a clinic a few weeks ago. Due to back pains caused by the fall/ivy pulling, I am taking this Mon-Fri off by orders of my doctor. The same clinician is having a clinic this Sunday. My trainer will be jumping my horse in the morning with the clinician, and I may or may not do some dressage work with her in the afternoon. Both of my falls have happened during this clinic, the recent one with my new horse and a year and a half ago with my past horse. It isn't her fault, but with both falls the cause was heavy rain/storm pounding on the roof while I was riding in the indoor arena. Obviously, I have become quite touchy about riding during bad weather, especially during this clinic. I checked the forecast for Sunday, and what do I see? Rain and 8mph wind.
I am having a riding lesson with my trainer on Sat to get back in the saddle after the short break, and there will be a chance of showers which is okay. I will be working with him this week on lunging him in there while it is rainy or windy in the evenings while my trainer is riding him in the mornings. He is nowhere near as hot as my first horse who threw me, but he is young. I have been diagnosed with depression/anxiety in the past, so in general I am a more cautious person so I would like to see what you guys would do. The clinician is very good and I find her tips very helpful, but I am torn about whether to go or not. I already have a spot reserved, but I am free to pull out because you don't have to pay until immediately following the ride. So here are the pros and cons to going:
Pros: the clinician offers very helpful tips with position and contact.
I need some specific help on my seat during the canter.
Would give my horse and I more exposure to working with a small audience.
Would give my horse and I more exposure to riding during bad weather.
Would improve my riding confidence if it goes well.
Cons: I will probably be tense starting out, which will make him tense and more likely to spook.
The inevitable risk of injury from a fall.
If I fell or there was a lot of bolting/spooking, my riding confidence would decrease and it would be even more difficult to ride during bad weather later.
There will be people watching, I don't like to have an audience and distractions when I am nervous/falling/really trying to concentrate.
Right now, I am thinking that I will see how the weather is on Sunday and then make the call depending on how prepared I feel. What do you think?
Well, if your trainer rides him in the morning it will give him a chance to get used the the arena and sound of the rain, if it is raining of course. But it seems as though this clinician gives clinics pretty regularly, so you could always go at a later date when you feel more confident!
Thank you TNH.
I just remembered, if I wanted to I could ride one of my trainer's old lesson horses. I have known him for 4 years and have ridden him many times in the dark in 30 degree weather when he was unsafe for beginning riders, and I also did a few very small shows on him (this spring, Training 4 2nd place). I would probably have to pay to ride him but money isn't an issue. He is about as nervous as my current horse in general, but he has years of experience with less than confident riders and wind/rain and less likely to be full of energy/spook (you have to love those old grumpy horses). It may not be as progressive as riding my own, but I could get some position work and improved confidence. Just throwing that option out there as well. He is also more than a hand shorter than my horse, I would probably look a little goofy on him and people would wonder why I was riding him, but hey, that's 5-6 inches less air time.
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