I didn't go to my jump lesson last night. I could have. I told myself I just didn't feel like it. It was cold. It was dark. It was raining. It's the same weather that it's been for the last month and will continue to be for the next few months. Nothing new.
I know that it's because I'm afraid. But I'm questioning my goals and my fear. Because this might be a healthy fear. Jumping IS more dangerous. There's loads of things I can do that don't involve jumping. So why am I jumping?
It started as a way to do something different and a way to meet the basic Pony Club levels. However, I've done that. I've jumped my course of 18" jumps (and some a little higher). I've jumped crossrails, cantered through ground poles, jumped oxers and sailed over verticals. It was scary every time. And though I felt a sense of accomplishment, I feel like I just realized that now that I've accomplished that I need to move forward.
Moving forward is jumping is bigger jumps. Jumping more jumps. More complicated patterns. More chances of accidents. The jump clinic is looming in my future and I'm not looking forward to it, I'm terrified. I don't know how to say "Sure I want to jump, but I'd rather it was single jumps and only 18 inches high".
I'm thinking of dropping out of jump lessons but I don't want to let fear get the better of me. I think what I really want is to try some other horse things that involve less adrenaline. Some trail riding. Some Western.
A friend of mine asked me the other day if I had fun at the barn. I paused. For a long time. I love the people. I love my horse. I love my trainers. But fun? What I feel after a good lesson or a good ride is a sense of exhilarating accomplishment. But I'm not sure fun is the right word. Maybe that's what's driving my sense of their being something not quite right? Maybe I'm looking for fun?
I started riding at a barn with a serious lesson program. Lessons are what I know. But at that barn, we used to have fun days. We'd have a polo instructor come in. Sometimes, in our group lessons, we were paired up with a partner and had to ride dressage tests in tandem. We went on a few short trail rides. Though the barn was primarily dressage and jumping riders (all lower level), it wasn't unusual for someone to decide to try reining and to put a Western saddle on their horse and tool around. There was goofiness and silliness. The riding was not as perfect, we weren't taught softness or lightness. But there was fun.
I know we've gone down this road before, but I'd like to hear from you guys? Do you have FUN when you ride? Is it every time? Sometimes? Is it your barn that helps create this fun? Tell me your stories!