Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Auditing Cross Country

Trainer AB shot me a text Saturday about a xc school she was doing all day Sunday. She said she didn't have a horse available for me, but could maybe wrangle something up. I wasn't really up for a xc rodeo especially since I haven't been out on course since February. Instead I opted to go and audit from the ground. 

Sunday morning saw me hesitating. What if I wasn't welcome? Would I be in the way? An unwanted distraction? Would I find myself on the fringe feeling alone? Like the last kid picked in gym class. 

No related media, so you get a dumping of my recent pics that have no other home

Perhaps all of that mental angst was unnecessary. Well, lets be honest. All of that was unnecessary but it is the way my brain works. I'm not inherently a social person though I do enjoy the company of others. It just takes me a while to feel brave enough to do it and until then there is a constant nagging worry that maybe I'm not actually wanted. 

The alternative was intense yard work though, so a drive up north to spend a gorgeous morning watching horses go cross country and soaking up some education seemed the better choice.

And you know what? I am so glad I didn't listen to those voices in my head and went.

The house has been secondary to fixing up the barn but last weekend I got a bee up my bum about how nasty it looked. I did some research on various ideas and put the Hubs to work clearing the front out of all that vegetation

I pulled in and looked around, noticing that I actually recognized most of those present. I said some hellos and quickly found AB and her current group by the water complex. I was a little sad that I pulled in later than I intended as she was just about done with the beginner group. I find that I learn most while watching those close to my own level. 

While I love private lessons, it does perpetuate my tendency to get stuck in my own head. Without seeing other people, I can start to believe that I'm the only one who forgets to relax my elbows, or locks up my pelvis, or doesn't look ahead to the next jump soon enough. Getting to watch others make the same mistakes I do helps to ease this.

This group ended a few minutes after I got there, so I walked back to the trailers to await the start of the next one. And I was pleasantly surprised to realize I knew all three ladies having ridden with the one twice (she was there during my last lesson with AB) and the other two at the Jumping Branch Show. It took them all a few seconds to recognize me in my short hair cut, but once they did it was game on. 

By the time I got home Sunday this was my view. Love it already, but there are big plans for this space. Hopefully it doesn't rain so I can finish it next weekend

I felt so welcome! They all asked about Eeyore, my office and life in general. We talked shop as the one lady has a horse who seems to heal one issue just to get another and they were all genuinely happy to see me there. 

All three ladies are kick ass riders and while I didn't learn a lot watching them ride since AB had minimal to correct and say, it was a glorious morning spent out with friends. We laughed between turns, commiserated about horses being idiots, and congratulated each as they tackled the training level jumps for two of them and prelim for the other with ease. 

Eeyore trying to pretend he wasn't about to chew on his stall door. It wasn't very convincing.

I was in charge of video for the day and at one point the prelim rider lost a boot in the middle of the water jump, so I removed my socks and shoes and went after it to much applause by all. 

I learned a few really important lessons. First, I really miss my orange beast. Really, really miss him. Second, other riders at my same level are making the same mistakes so don't take it personally. Third, go do the things, meet the people and don't worry if you are wanted. An invite means you are and get out of your own damn head. I love these ladies and can't wait until I'm riding alongside them again.


  1. good for you for going out and watching anyway despite your reservations (which are totally relatable, btw). there's so so so much value in getting to watch other people work on the same stuff, tho yea agreed it's not as helpful watching people a few levels above what i'm doing. i find a similar usefulness in spectating and volunteering at horse shows, too.

    also, i hope E keeps healing well and that you get to ride him again soon!

    1. Me too regarding Eeyore. Best case scenario is that tomorrow the vet will allow trot sets. I really missed him out there.

  2. I do enjoy watching lessons. Hopefully soon I can do this. It sounds like a lovely day. And Eeyore being all 'oh. hai. I'm just resting my head. Honest'. :D

    1. He needs to learn to have a better poker face. I can always tell when he is even thinking of doing something bad. Its written clear as day