Saturday, January 28, 2012


Serenity Now!
I graduated from an Agriculture and Environmental College (Cook College, Rutgers University) during an era where folks really, really thought about the Environment...  not as a "selling" point but as a movement... a passion for making a future healthier. 

This is not about the Environment...  nah...  This is about a mindset... thinking young and innocent and building trust slowing and methodically until it is embedded once again.  You see, the realization that maybe, just maybe I wasn't the only one having a confidence crisis surfaced at our last Jumping Intensive.

Hey, just a thought, but why don't we act as if Sugar's a green bean, a youngster, a baby...  a horse trying her heart out but just doesn't know...  Treat her as if she hasn't been the recipient of thousands of dollars of professional training. Forget that she is a solid Training Level horse and act as if she's never seen a Prelim course. 

Sug with Trainer
prepping for Prelim
How kind and nice it is to think and act Green.  So exciting to see your little girl try even though she's scared.  It's such a nice energy... far kinder and more positive than - MARE-ISH, spooky, naughty and all those salty phrases that are bandied about.  (Oh, she is that...  but in this mindset, we want uplifting.)

So neck strap/sissy bar firmly in place, the rehabilitation begins another phase.  Oh, did I mention that there is "No I in Team!"  My "up/down" jumping lessons are strengthening the same trust muscles weakened along the way.  The hardest battle, so far... is fighting with a fragile ego and resisting the urge to should've-ing all over myself. (I should've jumped more...  should've jumped bigger, should've been anxiety-free, should've wanted more.)

Ahhh, the underutilized neck strap...  when my trainer first suggested it, she apologized.  She did not want me to think it insulting.  If Sug spooked, I could let go of her face (don't pull) and really steer with my legs, letting her work it out.  And if she jumped huge or awkward, the neck strap helps to kick on...  no pull on her mouth.  I love the neck strap... but often forget to grab one and go.
Going to get there!
Photo used with permission

Today was a most awesome lesson with the New Barn Girl's trainer - the Long Lining Goddess.  She had us bending, turning and jumping...  on a longish rein using our bodies to turn.  It was twisty, and turny.  And I laughed, smiled and, even learned alot.

And, when the lesson ended...  I was hungry for more... more height, more jumps and more fun... 

Going Green - fun for the whole Team!


Niamh said...

I'm always impressed with the big guys who ride with neck straps! Wiliam Fox-Pitt and Sinead Halpin always do!!! It's awesome that you can put aside your own ego to work on making Sugar more confident (and yourself at the same time!)

Boss Mare Eventing said...

I always jump with a neck strap...just in case ;)

SprinklerBandit said...

Interesting idea. I'll have to see if I can dig mine out.

Amy said...

Hi, other Sug's Mom!
Wanted to say I liked the post AND let you know I nominated you for the Liebster award in my latest post!

Amanda said...

I guess I should have read these comments before I nominated you for a Liebster award. :) I guess you just get double the fun! Anyways, I really enjoy your blog! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Suzanne said...

Thanks Amanda and Amy... I'll check it out! I've been crazy swamped this week at work and woefully behind in my reading (your blogs) and writing (my own)... Lol!