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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Little Victories: Panda and Riding Goals

Everyone has different goals when riding whether its just becoming more comfortable on a horse or showing in the AO’s. In more recent years I’ve been struggling with the what-ifs of riding; What if I fall off? What if I miss the distance? It took a little while for me to find my happy place again after taking a 2 year break from riding when I was first starting in optometry school. 


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Who couldn't love this face
Ocho was a great horse to give me confidence on and start jumping bigger (for me) courses on. He would never stop and was very athletic and scopey, so I didn’t have to worry as much about the 'what-if' I miss the distance. I feel like he sort of clicked and I learned so much about the finesse and strategy of riding from him.

After I finished school and moved back home I started taking lessons after taking six months off of riding to complete my rotations. I had my confidence shaken once or twice trying to find a barn and new horse to start riding, but then I found Panda.


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 She's a sweet mare and dead honest to boot. Panda is a smaller horse than I was used to riding but though she is small, she is mighty. It took a month or two to really click but now everything has fallen into place and our last bunch of lessons have been really productive and fun.

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This used to be one of my 'Jesus take the wheel' fences, but recently it hasn't posed us a single problem

We're going to start showing this summer and I can't wait, she's all business on show day and really well behaved. This is perfect for me because I'm able to focus on what I want to work on with out having to worry at all about how she'll be. I've already gained all of my confidence back and she's really good at pointing out what areas I needed to improve in.

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We even jumped a bunch of swedish oxers

Now I worry less about the 'what-ifs' and I don't find myself doing so much second guessing. Instead of taking last minute flyers, I'm closing my leg and moving up from a couple strides out instead of the last two or three strides. This alone has decreased my 'what-if' anxiety and I finally feel like I'm ready to start increasing the fence height.  I'll post pictures from our next show which may be as soon as this weekend but until then, here are some more pictures of us from the last week or two.

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This is one of my favorite pictures from last weeks lesson

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