Quit while you're ahead...

There's no denying it's been a busy few weeks. And it will continue to be a busy few weeks. In fact, I'm not sure when my next few days of 'down time' will be, but that's life, right?

In fact, I'm writing this before I head to work on an already super humid Monday, which makes me glad I'm heading into an air conditioned office instead of trying to go ride a few horses.  The humidity is just overbearing and oppressive, and it makes summer riding more of a chore versus a fun activity.

Anyway, getting back to the theme of 'quit while you're ahead'; yesterday, for whatever reason, I was in a funk. And it wasn't just a funk, it was a super funk. I couldn't escape it or shake it; even a good gallop on Bedford first thing still left me trying to figure out what exactly was weighing on my mind.

Getting on Marshall next, and trying to fit in a good jump school to prepare him for the next show at Stable View on 1 August left us (okay, mostly me) bumbling over the jumps, chipping in to simple coops that we've jumped a million times before, and nearly toppling simple cross rails in the stadium field. Finally, I resorted to an old standby; realizing I was gripping and grabbing with every body part I could, I knotted my reins and headed towards a small log (12" or so) out on the outdoor course and started focusing on my breathing, pushing my heels down and keeping my body soft, while holding the knot in the reins. What would you know, but it was the best jump we had. I went back to the Stadium jump course after this, and instead of trying to figure out the best course to jump, I took it one jump at a time, and if I caught myself holding my breath or gripping, I went back to the little cross rail, until I found my focus again.

About five jumps later, I found my mojo, and we were finding our spots and Marshall was jumping like the pro that he can. I wanted to jump off and put a few poles up on some of the jumps, but then I realized that was a bad idea; if it took me that long to get my groove on around a small course of 2' to 2'3, I should probably stop when things were good, not to mention it was just me, myself and I out there; no trainer Kim in sight, and I doubt the guys mowing the pastures would hear me should something go wrong.

So this is your reminder that if you're having an off day, and you get something small right, it's not giving up to stop on a good note; it's a sign you've finally grown up and realize that continuing to push for more isn't going to do anyone (you or the horse) any good.


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