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Remember Horse Shows Summer 2015

How Tracy Got Her Groove Back

Did you ever seen the movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back with Angela Bassett and Whoopi Goldberg? It’s honestly not that good, but it’s all about striking the right balance in your life and the pursuit of happiness. While these are things I think each of us struggles with and strives for everyday, in my equestrian life this has recently been a big theme. And (luckily for my marriage) instead of meeting a hot guy during a beach vacation, I got my groove back from a really good jumping lesson this week.

We started with a simple crossrail to warm up, and I focused on keeping my eye up, leg on, and riding the landing. The first few times I really had to work hard on finding a good focal point and riding to it, plus GALLOPING into the corner. It’s important to establish a rhythm and the ‘rules’ early on, for both Miles and myself; “this is how we ride and jump and this is what we have to do,” so to speak. After discussing the path after one jump in particular (don’t fall in!), we moved on to coursework.

Feb 1 2016 Lesson Courses

Our first course the jumps stayed small — I would say around 2′ with maybe a 2’3″ vertical somewhere. However, considering just a month ago I was struggling to trot crossrails with Miles, we’ve improved my leaps and bounds. I’ll admit I was a little nervous, which translated into a short distance to the first fence and big chip to the second. But we circled, recovered, and went to the four stride line. Again, I got a little tight to the in of the line, but I added leg and we galloped out in an easy four strides. Go team!

Remember Horse Shows Summer 2015

That really boosted my confidence. Even though I made mistakes, I still made decisions, plus Miles listened and helped when I needed it. He didn’t punish me when I got unbalanced after the second fence, and most importantly we both recovered and I pushed forward to get the strides. Longtime readers will remember that I’ve struggled with striding between fences, since, well… forever. So getting the correct number of strides was really awesome.

Trotting Fall 2015
Wow, I really need new pictures.

Our second course started out with a 2’3″ oxer. I was nervous, and I asked Trainer to lower it… but she said no. So I put on my game face and went for it — and it went perfectly. I found a great distance, kept my leg on, eyes up and rode the landing. We even got our lead change afterwards! Then it was on to the four stride line, where I actually had to half halt a little bit (!!). I again got a little bit short to fence four (astroturf box) and fence five, so I came around and did them again right away. This time I found a much better spot to the astroturf and a longer spot to the blue and white vertical but because I had more confidence, I just added leg and went for it. We sailed right over, got the lead change and Miles got tons of pats for being so good.

And THAT’s how Tracy finally got her groove back.


Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

20 thoughts on “How Tracy Got Her Groove Back

  1. Yay!!! I’m so excited for you and Miles! Sounds like a fantastic lesson, filled with confidence and good decisions.
    Riding is a lot of two steps forward and one step back. So your little blip this winter, which may have felt like a hundred steps back, has clearly left you with a big leap forward! (The good kind of leap, not the kind that leaves you going one way and your horse the other…)

  2. Yay! So glad you and Miles are clicking again, and that you’re feeling more confident over fences. There’s nothing like feeling as if you can conquer the world via 2’3 oxers!

  3. Yay! Very happy for you. Seems like lots of us have struggled this winter, and I find other’s success inspirational, like maybe I’ll get some gumption back to jump too….maybe lol… Also there’s a Miles doppelganger for sale I keep seeing ads for and thinking of him.

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