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Friday, 6 November 2015

Ultimate Rubble Lesson

Before you go any further… You need to go back and read the title of this post in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice (I will explain why later).


When I was a teenager I took weekly dressage lessons from a woman named Val.  I learned a lot from her, but she was super tough.   More than once I was in tears afterwards.  

I had an older friend named Thomas who rode with her as well.  He is amazing horseman.  His timing was impeccable and he rode with such grace and kindness.  He had recently moved to Canada from Switzerland when he started riding at the barn.  Thomas told me once (after a tough lesson) that some lessons are smooth like sand.  But sometimes lessons are rockier like pebbles.  Really difficult lessons are like rubble.  When you work at pebbles/rubble you wear them down into sand.  I needed to keep at it and do the work to have lessons that were like “sand”.  This sounds especially deep when it’s said with Swiss-German accent (which sounds similar to Arnie’s Austrian accent).

The following week I had an even more challenging lesson.  I trotted around for 90 minutes trying to correct my leg position.  It was a struggle.  I dismounted covered in sweat and tears.  Thomas looked at me with wide eyes and said:

“That was an ultimate rubble lesson.” (this statement sounded exactly like Arnie!)




I haven’t thought about the ultimate rubble lesson for years.  Until last night.  When I had another one.


Gotta tell your mom when you have a crappy lesson.




I’ve been riding a lovely warmblood mare named Mighty in my lessons with Coach D.  

I rode her in my very first lesson with Coach D.  And I really didn’t enjoy riding her.  We didn’t “click” and we weren’t in sync at all.  I couldn’t figure her out.  

I rode Betty (Draft cross! My people!) in the following lessons and had so much fun.  I felt like we clicked and I really trusted her.  She is a very similar ride to Apollo.  When Coach D suggested I ride Mighty on my birthday lesson… I wasn’t super thrilled, but I did.  I had probably the best lesson of my life on my birthday with Mighty.  I felt like we figured each other out and we were having fun together.


Mighty is highly trained in dressage and is a very sensitive horse.  She requires a lot more correctness and precision from her rider.  And I really struggle to ride her well.  



Birthday lesson on Mighty 

 

I had a lesson with Mighty last night and I felt like my timing was terrible.  I felt very clunky and disorganized.  I couldn’t seem to get the feel back that I had on my birthday lesson.  I got very frustrated with myself.  My brain knew what to do but I couldn’t seem to get my body to cooperate.  So I focused really hard.  And stopped breathing.  And got tense and my brain stopped working.  It was a mess.  

As I was riding around I decided that I needed to sell my young horses because I am the worst rider ever.  I was drafting an e-mail to the natural horsemanship trainer who offered to buy Henry to pick him up ASAP.  I was drafting an e-mail to Mystic’s trainer to post her for sale.  Because I felt so horrible about my riding that I knew I would ruin my young horses.  Apparently Apollo was safe from the fire sale because I didn’t decide to randomly sell him in my overly dramatic sucky-rider state.

Didn't think I got any media of my lesson...oh wait, here it is. 
 

 

Coach D was super supportive and positive.  She tried to focus on the things that I was doing right.  And tried to get me from over-thinking and being so hard on myself.  We did a few simpler exercises to end on a good note.  

My first instinct when things get hard is to quit.  I am a great quitter.  Sometimes that’s a good thing.  When you hate your job, you should leave.  When people treat you like crap, you shouldn’t hang around them anymore.  But I love riding and I want to be the best rider I can be.  So I’m not going to let an ultimate rubble lesson stop me. :)  I’m just going to work on grinding the rubble down into pebbles…and maybe one day even some sand. 

A good reminder :)

 

15 comments:

  1. It is hard to not beat up yourself, but don't do anything dramatic. Having trouble is a good sign l. It means you're trying to improve. You ate learning more, adjusting,etc. If you were never challenged, you'd always be in the same place. Nothing wrong with that, but it is okay to want more. It is okay to fail. You fail before you succeed. Good luck! You are on the right path.

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  2. It is hard to not beat up yourself, but don't do anything dramatic. Having trouble is a good sign l. It means you're trying to improve. You ate learning more, adjusting,etc. If you were never challenged, you'd always be in the same place. Nothing wrong with that, but it is okay to want more. It is okay to fail. You fail before you succeed. Good luck! You are on the right path.

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    1. That's a great way to look at it. I kind of hope I have a smaller amount of trouble in future but I guess I had some big lessons to learn :)

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  3. Good thoughts, and sounds like you've totally got the right mindset to learn and improve! Btw email me your address when you can (ghchang1[at]gmail.com) :)

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    1. Thanks! It was not a great day but I know if I keep at it things will improve. :)

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  4. I've had my share of ultimate rubble lessons with Bridget too...funny how some horses you just don't click with. Good news is I do feel like my persistence is slowly making me a better rider :) Really love the sand, rubble analogy!

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    1. I hope the persistence pays off for me too! Just got some rubble to work on :)

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  5. i love the rubble to sand analogy too! and i'm glad you're not actually selling your young horses. those struggle bus lessons are.... ugh, challenging. but ultimately we grow from them ;)

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    1. I'm glad I'm not selling my babies too, I know I would regret it bigtime! Just need to keep at it! :)

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  6. Great analogy! And you know, some days just suck. You might be feeling off, your mount might be... you BOTH might be. It happens. Try to put it behind you. It sounds to me like Mighty might be a moody mare, so some days are amazing and some...aren't. Try to take what you can from it, but don't dwell on the negative.

    www.amateuratlarge.blogspot.com

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    1. Yeah I definitely sucked that day! I am trying to put it behind me and start fresh next lesson :)

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  7. Gosh the brain and body not connecting....I know that!!! We ALL have been there. Dont beat yourself up so much! These lessons are the ones that make us grow even if it is painful :)

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    1. It's the worst! I used to be able to do a lot more/better...so I that makes me even more frustrated, I just can't do as much as I used to be able to (out of shape/rusty). I will keep at it! :)

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  8. Team Chestnut!! :)

    Don't get too down on yourself!!

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  9. Although I don't "like" this post, I REALLY like that saying. What a fantastic metaphor... we've all been there in those damn rubble moments. Don't beat yourself up - you'll get there, the sand is just around the corner!!

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