So I am bummed to report that during my lesson on Saturday I was not as confident as I was the week before 😦 It didn’t start right away, I was okay when I got on, but the SchoolMaster was having a day and thus jumping at EVERYTHING. It was so annoying! It started to make me get nervous which gave me the racing thoughts.
My trainer had a new idea to deal with my lack of confidence. Instead of letting me talk to her and tell her what is going on in my head she decided that she would just make me work through it…literally.
I got on after the first lap around the ring with the SchoolMaster having an issues like every 10 strides she told me to pick my reins and work on getting the walk forward and in to a free walk. There was a lot of “More left hind” and “Use you outside leg” before she told me to trot. Right away just like at the walk it was not enough to just do it, it had to be done better as though I was improving his gait and not just being a passenger (which my trainer always tells me…but she really got after me about it). When the SchoolMaster was out of breath (and I was ready to die) we were allowed to walk again. Just like at the start of my lesson we were walking with a purpose. This was clearly not a walk break, but rather a continuation of what we were working on.
I know that I have mentioned I am pretty out of shape, but after this 25 minutes of just walk and trot my abs and legs were burning. When it came time for canter work I didn’t even give it a second though. So what if the SchoolMaster refused to settle. We were working. I still might have had the racing thoughts, but they were more like whispers instead of screams instead of my head. As we started to work on canter extensions I started to not be able to breath I was working so hard. I did not want to give up when I was getting what I wanted. My trainer had mercy on me and let me take a real walk break to catch my breath.
She said that I had just done a fantastic warm up. WARM UP! She then went to get my camera out so she could take a video. At this point I could not even talk I was so winded and both the SchoolMaster and I were drenched with sweat from our 30 minute set of solid focus and work. She looked up again and asked if I was okay. It took a few tries to get out, “I just…I just…I just don’t know…if I can do…if I can do…anymore”. Clearly I looked a pitiful sight because I was told to cool out.
I was also given homework. I must exercise three times this week because there is no stopping my lesson next week.
As the SchoolMaster and I walked back to the barn my thighs were shaking uncontrollably. We walked in and were greeted by 5 people all commenting about how exhausted I looked. It was so embarrassing! I don’t mind being fat, but I really, really hate being that out of shape. I joked that I should take up barrel racing…that way I would only have to get through a 12 second run instead of a 6 minute test!