“If you lose your nerve, then you are lacking a skill. And that can be corrected.”
I don’t actually foresee losing my nerve along the way. The only reason I include that disclaimer is that I have heard so many other riders explain, “I’m perfectly happy to stay at Training level. Better yet, I don’t even need to do that. I’m happy to stay at Novice.” I’m getting older. It could happen.
I also understand that the jump from Novice to Training is rather significant…
I’ve ridden in a whole 2 schooling horse trials at the Beginner Novice level, and my current mount is schooling training level dressage with no cross-country experience to speak of. I truly have no idea what awaits us.
We have the occasional moment of brilliance where I feel a glimmer of the potential hiding inside of both of us. We also have the occasional loss of confidence over a fence. She recently scraped the hell out of the back of her front leg (assuming with the back hoof), likely as we were taking off over a jump. It’s no wonder she didn’t think she could go over the fence after that!
The common theme to my lessons seems to be the same whether it’s over fences or dressage:
- obtain consistent connection through the outside rein
- turn the shoulders (the head and neck are more like a hood ornament)
- lift the shoulders (she drops the inside shoulder and it is worse on the left)
- dressage before the fence – dressage after the fence
- STRAIGHT after the fence
There's something to be said for consistency, right?