Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Magic in the numbers!

And the magic number is.....#37! Even though I am not a superstitious person by nature, hanging around with Buck Davidson, aka “superstition FREAK,” I often search for signs leading up to an event that will foretell whether I do well, or take the “long walk home.” (Kids, please don’t try this at home!) Anyhow, if I WERE a superstitious person, then I WOULD be extremely excited that my number is thirty seven for the sole fact that three added to seven equals to ten, which is in fact, my favorite number. However, being that I sometimes like to use brand new equipment on the day of cross country, and I don’t have a certain pair of socks that I seldom wash in fear of cleansing the “luck” out of them, I have decided that superstitions just take too much time and effort. I have always been a firm believer in fate and hard work. In fact, a wise horseman once said to me, “Lainey, you’ve got to make your own luck,” and since then, I’ve never looked back.
There is a fine line between acting cocky and being confident. Although this past month I have lacked both, I am slowly gaining my confidence in myself as an upper level rider once more. Because I am overwhelmingly confident in my horse Alex, who I would put up against ANY horse in the world, I have recently learned to piggyback off of that emotion and belief, and force myself to realize that the hands that molded the great creature on which I am mounted were indeed, that of my own. The very fact that Alex has no problem taking the reins and helping his pilot out in times of uncertainty certainly equates to the amount of confidence he has in me; and if Alex believes in me, well, why can’t I believe in myself?
After the Fork I hastily grabbed my Mind Gym, and went to work. Having read the book nearly ten times, decorated with notes from the past five years and highlighters of every color, the book looks more like an artifact that would be found at the Smithsonian rather than my tack trunk. Luckily, mom bought me a new copy so I am desperately looking forward to scribbling, circling, highlighting, and dog-earring the new, unsuspecting pages of Gary Mack’s masterpiece!
Additionally, I contacted the esteemed Laura King, sports hypnotist and psychologist. Laura helped me a ton at the Junior Olympics in 2005, when Frodo and I were in contention for the top medal and I felt the pressure to be a bit overbearing. Knowing that I have a lot of work to do in the week ahead, I figured I would acknowledge and address my weaknesses head on so that I can firmly say that I will holding nothing back come the end of next week! I look forward to working closely with Laura in the coming week!
Aside from working on my mental strength, Al and I have been busy honing in on our skills in the flatwork under the tutelage of the perfectionist herself, Kim Severson. After our lesson today I could probably publish an essay explaining how to perform a correct pirouette that even Robert Dover himself may find interesting, as Al and I practiced our left-hand turn-on-the-haunches countless times until it felt like child’s play! Kim’s stern yet tender teaching skills really help to motivate Al and I, as we continue our quest in performing the best test when it counts the most. I constantly am joking about my lesson schedule because since Al is always on the trailer heading to a lesson or a gallop or a horse show, I have begun to call him my little “purse!” Poor guy....the funny thing is, I truly think Al enjoys the extra attention, and of course the chance to be rid of the smell of baby Higgins, the young calf that inhabits the field outside his stall.
So, we are six days out guys...Six days until the journey begins; six days until I begin to bite my nails; six days until I buy more sticky spray; and six days until Al and I live out our dream...until then, shoulders back, eyes up, and kick on! I’ll see ya in the Bluegrass state!