Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Anxiety is like a balloon...  If you fill it, it will eventually break if the pressure isn't released.  Sometimes it explodes into tiny bits and sometimes it lies wilted like an exhausted being.  Neither is good... 
Sigh, despite everything I've done, my anxiety is back. 

You see, while competing at Millbrook was awesome, the experience  brought flashbacks to my disastrous Groton House experience.  I think it was the bigness of the event, the fact that it was a dream event for me, just like Groton House.  I kept seeing my happiness at finally being there end at the base of a tree.

So, the balloon filled all day in preparation for my 4:18pm cross country run.  I meditated, practiced TFT, called in my spirit guides, practiced all the tips that my Stressless Riding Camp gave me and I still filled that damn balloon. 

It reached its peak just as the storm broke loose.  After stretching the balloon to its breaking point, the organizers called it a day.  I withdrew so Sugar could continue on as my niece's horse during her last two weeks working her eventing camp.   I never did get to release the anxiety keeping that balloon tight and explosive.

Three weeks later, I needed to gallop over some terrain and jump some XC jumps to prep for Town Hill Horse Trials.  So, I entered a 2-Phase - Dressage and a Derby Cross.  Perfect, I thought!  Kills three birds with one stone and it was a Schooling Show!  I could practice my, "Who cares!  I'm just schooling for Town Hill!" (said with a haughty/superior tone).

What Sug thinks we're jumping and how I look jumping her
Photoshopped by Bestest Eventing Buddy
Did I mention my anxiety was back?  Full tilt, dread!  Yup, it was back!  And I really couldn't believe I felt that way...  It was a SCHOOLING SHOW!  It didn't count!  No one cared!  But that balloon came taut and I kept shoving more anxiety into it. 

{{{I was quitting!  Never going to do this again!, I can be a dressage queen!  That's fine!  I don't need to torture myself!  I'll scratch Town Hill, GMHA and ESDCTA...  I will not do this anymore!  Nothing is worth this!}}}}

My Bestest Eventing Buddy was competing her finished-rehab-and-newly-returned-to-eventing pony also as a prep for Town Hill Horse Trials.  She called over from her trailer that she would try to come back and warm me up for XC.  I told her if it didn't work out, I'll be fine...  "It was just a SCHOOLING SHOW."

She came back and went to work kicking my brain back into working.  She knows the fine line between babying/supporting and giving me a good swift kick in the butt...  For that I am grateful.  "Keep your hands low because when you don't, you look like you're riding a jet ski over a whale!"  Oh my!

How I will look again!
Photo used with permission

And off we went...  Sug boldly going forward, then squiggling like she never saw a XC jump and then jumping when asked and boldly going...  repeating the sequence for almost every jump.  I do believe that I've finally become that girl...  chanting and talking through every jump... loudly...  ewwwww...  But my hands stayed low, we jumped da jumps and I felt whole again!

Finishing that XC course was the release that needed to happen allowing that taut balloon to empty itself of all the anxiety of two shows.   All was right in our world again.  I felt competent again.

I'm praying that my GMHA experience was not a fluke and that I will be riding that ride again at Town Hill this weekend.  Where FUN is actually fun and not an acronym (F***k U Nerves) but an actually feeling I experience in the moment and not just on the drive home!


Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHA that Photoshop is epic!

Anonymous said...

That photoshop is amazing!

Suzanne said...

Absolutely, my friend achieved perfection with that one... If you saw the original, my face could be locked in fear or as I remember it... whooping because we got over a "Sugar Scary" jump.