Selective Memory

I did not get any lesson media from Saturday. Part of me wishes I had, part of me is glad I didn’t. Eli warmed up fine, but our first full course was a nightmare. I had to circle more than once to get control. After that, I took off my spurs and my trainer told me to stop over-riding. The next course was actually great. That’s why I wish I had video–to see the contrast. We needed to do one more course, and while the first part of it was fine, Eli got away from me again toward the end so I had to pull up and regroup.

Rides like this remind me of my selective memory when it comes to bad rides versus good rides. The overwhelming majority of rides, right down to the overwhelming majority of individual jumps I have taken on any number of horses, are good and some are even great. But guess what stands out? The fall at a liverpool. The rail at a black and white skinny jump. The stop at a 2′ gate (on a known stopper, not even my fault). (None of these things happened on Eli, by the way.) And now this nightmare of a course–one course in one lesson out of dozens and dozens of satisfactory to excellent efforts–is also going to stand out. This is most likely not an advantage in sports. Remembering the good, and how it worked, how I got there, what resulted, how I was rewarded, how my horse was rewarded–these things would be better remembered. My brain needs training as much as my body. My brain needs to highlight the good rides, the good jumps, the fantastic efforts. Yes, remember the bad so as not to recreate it, but remember the good, too, and strive to repeat it.

So now that we all know I desperately need a sports psychologist, let me update you on Eli’s status:

swellingHe’s got some swelling I discovered Sunday evening, lower inside of the left front. My initial reaction was AHHHH WHAT THE F. But then I started poking around and assessed the nature of the swelling. He has a scrape right in the middle of the swelling, which appears to be localized and is not all that hot. I don’t think the tendon is implicated. Also, he is sound on it.

scrapeCan you even see the scrape? It’s there, I promise. My guess is he did it Sunday in turnout earlier in the day. I decided to work him very lightly because he was sound on it, and I wanted to see if movement helped the swelling to go down. It did go down a little. I then cold-hosed it until I was bored (I can cold hose a LONG time before getting bored) and scrubbed the scrape with Betadine. I threw some wraps on his fronts after the leg dried and put him up for the night. I left my trainer a note so she’d know I know about it. I’ll cold hose it again tonight and probably just hand walk him for a while. This puts us in the questionable category as far as showing on Saturday, especially if the swelling doesn’t go down.

I also managed to butcher his mane a few days ago…

chopjobI am definitely having one of those GOD I SUCK AT THIS streaks. Eh, it happens. I’m not overly worried about it and ultimately I am laughing at myself for being unreasonably harsh on myself, but being in the middle of one right before a horse show really, really sucks. However, it is excellent fuel for my “ride better today than yesterday” fire.

27 thoughts on “Selective Memory

  1. I think it’s good to practice intentional mindfulness. When you catch yourself dwelling on a negative, acknowledge it and then purposefully change your thought to something more positive. Don’t beat yourself up for thinking negatively, just let those thoughts pass and choose a happier one. It takes some work at first but pretty soon it becomes a habit!

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  2. Eh, humans tend to remember the bad more often than not. I think it’s one of those survival instincts? Do we still have those? Anyway, thinking only good is just as ineffective as thinking only bad. Remember the bad and what caused you to be in that situation, then don’t do it next time. I’m like you. I think about how I completely bombed my way through one course without remembering how I got it together for the next one. Ya live & ya learn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I very much like your balanced approach to thinking about it. My biggest problem seems to emotionally separating myself from the mistakes. When I do something right, I break it down into how it worked and look at it pretty objectively, and I need to look at mistakes and bad rides the same way, instead of just obsessing over it.

      Like

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