Friday, June 16, 2017

Perils of perfectionism

I was going to write about spurs, but then I decided I've self-flagellated enough on that topic.  It's been almost two weeks.  I can stop the beatings now.  Instead I'll share the video of my bad outing and everyone can see that it is straight up self-flagellation from a perfectionist and we really didn't have that bad of a day.  It wasn't the score we wanted, but we didn't have people clutching their pearls or fleeing the area.  Pony was distracted, then pony was lazy.  Rider was distracted and overly stressed.

I got my spurs back after talking to Trainer A and deciding that it really is a mental thing for both me and mi papi.  He associates spurs with a serious business ride, even if I'm not using them.  For years, only Trainer A and I rode him in spurs.  Everyone else (when he needed to be ploppy pony) went without.  He's not a fool.  He gets a little bump and shifts gears to working pony.  We're going to work on weaning us off of them, but cold turkey is not the way to go.

Yes, we have a lot of work to do on getting him in front of my leg.  So, so much work.  My gods that horse is lazy.  Today we practiced walking forward like he has somewhere to be, halting like a gentleman, and then walking off promptly and starting from his hind legs.  Turn on the haunches, repeat in the other direction, a couple steps of rein back, repeat.  Walk is good for building up accuracy and strength.  But you know your horse is lazy when working walk with correct balance makes him protest.  But it's haaaaaaaard, mom.

I also got tortured on my sitting trot.  My left hip is killing me, so I must have been doing it right.  Trainer A was very pleased and we had a couple steps where Theo really had some loft while I was sitting.  Both of us must be getting stronger, he's getting very confident in lifting his back with me sitting.  Work over raised trotting poles is getting us both comfortable with the idea of bouncing along together.

And then he hung his head and acted like we were the cruelest people on earth.  Believe me, papi, I was working just as hard as you.

This is the downside to being a perfectionist.  I can tear myself up over flaws that are, objectively, very small.  I have to remember to stop the self beatings at some point and move on.  It's not an easy hobby, no point in taking all of the fun out of it.  So yes, lessons learned, progress to be made, but I think I'm done beating myself up.  There's always another show and we're still making good progress.  Time to go back to enjoying myself until the next time I make a series of dumb mistakes.

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