Chance has been back to full work for a while now. We have even been jumping 3′ again over the past few days, and he has rocked it! It has been a while since we have jumped any sort of height. With working on his behavior all fall and winter, him having time off with his injuries at the beginning of this year, we have been sticking to little stuff and a lot of technical lessons (trot jumps, combinations, etc.). It has definitely paid off, he felt amazing. I felt pretty good too, except that my eye needs some adjusting. I have either found spots a little too long, or a little too deep. Chance has never really been a fan of deep spots, but he is starting to figure them out. Today, we were deep to one and he rubbed it pretty hard (I actually thought he knocked it, but he didn’t); when we came to it the second time, we had about the same distance but he didn’t even touch it! I haven’t found that sweet spot yet (the perfect hunter gap), but it’s only been a few days! I competed in the 3′ hunter classes for a very long time before life got in the way, so I think that I will figure it out once again.
I am hoping to spend some time at 3′, get my nerve and confidence back, become very accurate then start moving up. My dream forever has been to compete in the 3’6″ hunter classes, and eventually hunter derbies. Then eventually the working hunters. Also, jumpers. And one day, even it’s twenty years from now, I hope to do a grand prix. But for now, I am thrilled to be jumping 3′ again!!
As a pretty ambitious rider, I can get impatient. But I have learned that patience is everything when it comes to training horses, and working with difficult horses. I have learned that I also must have patience with myself. I lost a lot of my nerve and confidence throughout my struggles with Chance, and while I feel like I am slowly getting it back, allowing myself to take a step back when necessary has been key. Which then makes this recent improvement that much sweeter. Sometimes we just have to take our equestrian careers day by day, adding a little more height when we are ready.