Poor Landry. The plan for New Year’s Eve was to ride early and then head to the coast to spend time with my mom. I rode Grail and my “groom” gave him a bath and tacked up DJ. I went to the house to pack with the plan to walk down to the ring and take some video for her.
I have been very proud of Landry’s dedication to get as much as possible out of our boot camp experience and walked into the ring to find she had once again removed her stirrups.
Like both her mother and her grandfather, L rides with an excessive arch in her lower back and carries a lot of tension in her shoulders, neck and arms. This has occasionally been blamed on our start in the hunter ring, but L as Jon was taking away her stirrups he also complemented her equitation. Landry was glowing.
I had really only intended to take some trot and canter video and go back to the house to work, but I could see that both the horse and the child were frustrated. DJ is averse to hard work and L is learning how to ask for more. Landry is an over achiever and wants everything to be perfect. After trying to help her for a bit, I mentioned the theory that some days, just aren’t going to be good days with horses and it might be better to go for a long hack.
This morning as I looked at the video from her ride and listened to my comments, I realized how much we had raised our expectations over the past few days. Last month, I would have been thrilled with the quality of the transitions. Yesterday, they weren’t soft enough.
At this point in my riding life, I am glad to be improving myself and training my horse, but I am really not “trying to prove” anything anymore, if that makes sense. That side of my personality reveals itself with my kid tho, so now I am on alert to make sure we both enjoy the journey and the improvement without the constant drum beat of “it can be better” or “not good enough, again.”