Last summer, about 10 days before a horse show, I took a nasty fall off Miles. He slammed on the brakes right before a white coop and I went over the jump without him; neither Trainer nor I saw it coming. My hip hurt so badly I went to the ER to get it x-rayed, convinced I’d broken something. Luckily I didn’t, but it wasn’t a quick recovery for me and ever since I’ve been terrified of the coop. Of course at the horse show immediately following this incident, there was a brown coop in the ring that Miles jumped several times with no problem.
However, my terror of OUR white coop has remained. I’ve been so adamant about avoiding that stupid white coop jump, that in lessons it’s not even a question anymore; if a course includes the coop, I skip it. However, that streak has finally came to an end. I am proud to say, after all this time, I finally jumped the white coop!
I had my weekly lesson on Moiya on Thursday evening. We rode a bit later, the lesson began around 7:30 pm, so for most of the ride, we were under the arena lights. That doesn’t bother me at all — I could honestly care less and of course Baby Moiya doesn’t care if you don’t care. We started out with a crossrail, and the theme of my ride was to take charge: pick the pace, follow the path, ride to and away the jump. Wash, rinse, repeat. Our first course was a little bit sticky — Moiya was sassy and I got nervous in the line, which caused us to wiggle.
Our second time through, and every time after that, we were on it. Sure, things weren’t always perfect and we had some closer distances than what I’d prefer, but Moiya can do that. And more importantly, that’s what I asked for. One time we came into the six stride line really strong, and we could have easily made it out in five strides if I’d just let her cruise along. But Trainer said to do it in six, so I sat up, really half-halted and made the six happen. The best part was the five stride pace wasn’t scary to me — I wasn’t nervous. And the second best thing was Moiya listened perfectly and was happy to do it — no sassy head shaking on the landing.
In our last course, Trainer said if we wanted, we could add the coop in as our final jump. As soon as she said it, I got nervous — physically nervous. I got really hot and started breathing faster. The fear was real, ya’ll. And of course I’d been first to go all night, and this time was no exception. Going into the course, I was still unsure of whether to do the coop or not. But as Moiya and I were cruising along, I realized tonight was a good night. Moiya and I were working really well together, she was happy and I was having fun. So if not now, when?
So we went for it. I was nervous about jumping it (and staying on), I was nervous about how Moiya would jump it. But we did it and it was GLORIOUS. We found our distance, and sailed right over. Moiya didn’t even peak at all — jump flat as a rock and I stayed with her; she didn’t even come off the fence like a rocket — her pace stayed exactly the same. As soon as we turned, I gave her huge pats and hugs. What an amazing, little mare.