Nicole and I have been saying these words a lot lately. Things are really coming together for Savy and me. After two plus years of training, I can finally ride my horse on the bit and over her back consistently. I can make her neck longer and rounder, and I can raise her poll. We can comfortably and consistently have nice work at the walk, trot, and canter, both directions. I can’t tell you happy our progress makes me. Sure, we still have tough rides every now and then. Savy is still an Arabian mare after all, but we work through the tough spots.
In addition to having a good grasp on the basics, we’ve been working first level stuff pretty comfortably too. Lenthenings are getting easier. Savy kicks ass at leg yields. The work is there for first level, now we just have to polish it – i.e. keeping her rounder and completely through during the more difficult movements. During my last lesson we worked a tiny bit of passage. It’s so difficult, but after just a few steps of passage, the regular trot work was so much better and uphill (and easier).
There are two major reasons I think that have made all the difference in the world for us. The first was Savy’s bone-deep cut at the end of December. My mentality towards Savy and training has totally changed since then. Mainly, I don’t take the training as seriously. If we have a bad ride, it doesn’t upset me. I know that tomorrow is a new day, and every day I get to ride Savy is a gift. She could hurt herself today and be out of commission for the rest of her life, and it can happen in an instant. I forgot that riding was a privilege. A privilege that I have yearned for my whole life. I find myself rewarding Savy a lot more now, and focusing on all the positive parts of our ride. As a result, Savy works for me, she tries for me. We’re better partners now.
The second is my fitness level. It’s hard to make progress when you’re trying to work through a movement and your muscles are shaky and ready to give out, and then you have to take a walk break. I expect Savy to be an athlete and it’s only fair that I do the same myself. I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but Beachbody has made all of the difference for me. Before I bought Savy I used to workout 5 days a week and eat low calorie meals. I got stronger, but I never really got the results I wanted. After Savy I thought my rides would be enough of a workout, but they’re not. The meal plans and the workouts, combined with coaching from Beachbody have really worked for me. I push myself harder than I would if I didn’t have a coach and other people doing the programs with me. I find myself becoming increasingly more passionate about the company and the programs, and that’s why I decided to become a coach. If I make a little extra money from doing it, then that’s great, but mostly I want to share this feeling with other people. I’m going to continue my fitness journey with Beachbody, and it would be great to have people doing it with me. Enough about that 🙂
Our first show of the season is THIS weekend. We’re showing Training 2 & 3 to get our feet wet. Depending on how things go, I’d like to show First Level at the next show. I’m still super nervous about the show, even though I feel pretty confident at Training Level now. My biggest worry is that Savy is going to jig in the walk. Jigging – for my non-horsey friends is somewhere between a walk and trot, and judges do not like it. Sometimes Savy jigs in our rides and sometimes she doesn’t. So I’m practicing positive visualization by running through our tests, and visualizing them going perfectly. I’ve read a lot about the power of positive visualization.
Also, I washed my comforter so that I can show everyone the re-decorating projects I’ve done lately and it shrunk 😦 Once my new one comes in I’ll get some pics up here.