This blog's name used to be "Wait For The Jump", despite being a more dressagey oriented blog. I switched it to Freestyle because I wasn't able to make up my mind about what discipline I wanted us to participate it, and I figured a jump reference title would confuse potential readers: it would never attract dressage readers, and it would turn off h/j readers when they realized there is really no jumping going on here whatsoever.
I changed my mind; I'm switching it back. "Freestyle" is just a plain old boring title and I'm tired of going "Meh" when I see it. The "Wait For the Jump" title has a story, and I'm going to tell you about it.
When I first started officially jumping, I took lessons with this trainer in the Guaynabo area in Puerto Rico who was famous for teaching kids to stay on anything. Anything. Most of her horses were bonafide bonkers by school horse standards, but they would have been stellar in the US Grand Prix jumper circuit. This woman picked horses that jumped. They would jump ANYTHING you put in front of them, whether you wanted them to or not. I didn't deal with refusals and stops until years later down the line, because this woman had a barnful of horses that were chosen strictly for their ability to lock and go.
The end result of riding horses that would only gallop through a course was that I was incapable of seeing a shorter distance. Longer distances? Hell yeah. The problem with this was that the minute you put me on a horse that was properly trained that needed to be set up correctly in front of the jump, I started rushing, rushing, rushing him to take the long spot. By this time, I had switched to my awesome trainer Ron Howe, who had a bachelor's in Equine Studies with a major as equestrian teacher. He was super well-rounded as a trainer, and he was the first one to teach me that riding on the flat wasn't just w/t/c; there was a lot more to it than that. He was the one who introduced me to the basic concepts of dressage.
Ron put me on increasingly difficult and technical horses who required a lot of skill to get over fences. He said he would exorcise my previous trainer's ingrained bad habits one way or another. (Lol!) He gave me the tools to later be able to train by myself for years (I didn't find trainers of his caliber until I moved to the US) and to be able to figure out a horse within a few minutes of mounting up.
"WAIT FOR THE JUMP!"
I'm an impatient person. People think I'm super calm, quiet and patient. I'm not. Charles, my brother and my mom can tell you all about it. I've become better as I've gotten older, but my mom used to say I would bulldoze through life to get what I want, one way or another. That kind of determination is a good thing to have. If I didn't have it, my life would be a complete opposite from what it is now. Sometimes you really do have to make things happen. But a lot of really good things in life require patience and just simply waiting for them to come. "Wait for the jump" became a common phrase in our house. Whenever I was impatient about something, my mom would put a hand on my shoulder and say, "Wait for the jump." I have it written down in notebooks, graffitied onto every backpack I own, and I should probably tattoo it somewhere on my body.
And that's why I gave the blog that name, and why I'm giving it back it's original name, even though Lily and I don't jump. It applies to the patience you need to properly train a horse; it applies to dressage, to the time it takes to develop a horse correctly so they can do the following moves on the training scale; it applies to rehabbing your horse step by step while allowing her to heal; it applies to quiet days in the ER as a vet tech waiting for the next emergency to come in through the door; it applies to allowing things to fall into place so you can get to where you want to be next. As a rider, as a couple, as a professional. It applies to everything in life. Sometimes you can't bulldoze your way through things; sometimes you've already done everything you can, and you just have to sit back and wait for it to come.
See the distance, sit back, and let the jump come to you.
Wait for the jump.