Two-Pointober final time

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Let’s all breathe a sigh of relief that Two-Pointober is finished and try to forget that we’re on to No Stirrup November. My final time for the month was 11:34; my starting time was 4:06, so I feel happy with the improvement I made!

My plan to improve my time mostly included adding an extra day of (very slow) jogging and a day of pilates/yoga. I felt like the jogging really helped with this challenge. For me, jogging is a mental game. I am very slow, but I jog at a pace which feels doable and that I can sustain for 25 minutes or so without breaking . But jogging is boring. I don’t like to talk and jog. I find music distracting. I’ve tried reciting dressage tests to myself, but after the fifth time I’ve repeated Novice Test B or First Level Test 2, I want to throw myself into oncoming traffic. It takes me a long time to truly clear my mind and think of nothing except the motion of my arms and leg and the breath going in and out of my lungs. Once I’ve reached that point of mental nothingness, I can jog a couple of miles and feel okay about it. Until then, all I can think about is how much I hate jogging, how much my body hurts, and if this stitch in my right side will ever go away.

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Sustaining two point for a while is a similar process for me. There’s a little more to think about, since I’m astride a 1100 animal covering ground at an average pace of 12 miles per hour. But really, Gina is a very easy horse to manage. She cruises along at a beautiful pace. We’re both familiar with the sights and sounds of our hay meadow. It has excellent footing and no obstacles. So I two point and Gina canters along; I think about how much my legs are burning and that I’ve surely been doing this for several minutes now and how nice it would be for conditioning if there was a hill or two in our field. But with a little concentration, I can stop the mental chatter. Just like with running, I can focus on how I’m breathing, on how my legs are absorbing the shock of Gina’s strides, on how Gina’s ears flick back and forth, on the wind whipping at my face. Eventually, my body fatigues and Gina’s breaths get shorter and harder, and we have to slow down.

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But for eleven and a half minutes, all I thought about was nothing. And it was glorious.

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

12 thoughts on “Two-Pointober final time”

  1. What an awesome improvement! I’m the same way with jogging, but honestly don’t get to that ‘good place’ very often. Hence why I continue to suck at jogging.

    1. I feel like I am *THE WORST* at jogging and this is pretty much confirmed every time I try to keep up with a group or run a 5K. Apparently, jogging is about ‘the process’ or some other bullshit, so I try not to feel too bad about it lolz

  2. We have the exact same thought process while jogging. I go super slow, hate it the whole time, and have occasionally thought about just turning and running into traffic to make it stop. I haven’t done two-point in years but I imagine that I’d feel the same way! Congrats on your improvement!

    1. So, here’s a true story: I joined a free jogging group through the county health department a couple of months ago. Last month, I was out with the group, chugging along super slow in 90 degree sunshine, and I thought, “My shoe is untied. Maybe I could ‘accidentally’ step on my shoelace and fall down? Maybe I’d get hurt enough that I could just go back to my car?” That can’t be healthy.

  3. I’ve never achieved this zen you speak of. Whilst running, all I think about is how much I hate it. Or occasionally how shocked I am that I’m not hating it (that’s rare). I think because Jamp is such a spook, I’m constantly thinking about what he’s looking at or what might startle him. I think maybe when I could ride Rio I achieved the zen from time to time. But who can remember for sure?
    Awesome job on the two point! That’s a huge improvement!

  4. All I can think about when 2 pointing or doing no stirrup work is how much I hate my life at that moment. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy for a month to end!

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