When getting back into the riding scene, you sometimes have to relearn a few things. You might think one thing when your body does another, or you've developed a new bad habit.
For me, the main thing I had to learn again is letting go.
It's almost like you need to regain the feel that was once all too familiar to you... and often on a new horse. Your passion is there, but it's like you're trying too hard to make it all happen again. At least that's what I've been going through.
I've come to the conclusion that it'll take time before I'm fully back to where I've been.
In my past riding lessons, I had been trying too hard to control the rhythm, speed and takeoff approach (just to name a few). That resulted in my body being too stiff and for all of my jumping courses to be a bit messy. Because I was trying to manage too much, I prevented the horse from doing his job, which in turn meant I needed to manage more to try to fix the situation. As you can imagine, it was quite a mess.
After a frustrating lesson, I sat in my car thinking. That's when I realized what I was doing wrong. I needed to let go.
What's so special about our sport is the partnership between horse and rider. Both work together, trusting one another to accomplish one goal. Though I knew this, I somehow needed to relearn it in practice.
So, I've started to purposely think about trusting the horse. And that's made all the difference. I've seen myself improve each day. Hopefully soon, it'll become instinctual again.
I guess the moral of this story is that we should always remember what makes our sport so special. Sometimes what we know and what we do can be two different things. And just like the horse and rider becoming one, these two things need to be as well. Sometimes something just as simple as letting go and trusting the animal underneath you can make all the difference.
Until next time, happy riding!