My Equestrian Dilemma: Control vs. Trust
Confession: My biggest problem is not trusting myself or my horse.
I need to trust my horse more. I’m a work in progress. I’m hyper organized, ambitious, and I know what I want. All good things, right? Except when I realize that I am a control freak. In my previous publishing life I managed a team of employees. I delegated and I never micromanaged. I swear!
Since becoming a mother, I’m pretty sure that has changed. I feel out of control in my own home most days with three kids and two dogs, and so I strive to control other things like my work…..or of course, my horsemanship.
The problem is this creates more anxiety. My biggest problem is not trusting myself or my horse. There, I said it. New horse means building a relationship of trust and respect. Ferrous is already very trusting so it’s my job to reinforce that and learn to trust him a little more.
In a recent lesson over trot poles and cross rails I found myself clenching. Tightening and hunching. Basically attempting the fetal position on horseback. It wasn’t pretty. So we kept doing it until I relaxed, gave him his head, and TRUSTED him.
You know what? Trusting my horse felt fantastic. Click To Tweet
Forget any other goals I had for my pony. My goal for myself it to trust Ferrous. To give him leeway and assume he’ll do what I ask, and not anticipate something bad. Life holds no coincidences.
I recently interviewed someone for Sidelines Magazine (she who will not be named until press), and in doing so received even more inspiration along these lines. This rider has no choice but to trust her horses, and described the sense of freedom that came along with letting go. This trust allowed her to go from being a “moderate” rider to “winning” rider. The timeliness of this inspiration was perfect. It completely validated everything I’ve been telling myself.
I’m going to be teaching my daughters to ride with Ferrous. I know that I have to chill out, relax and let them have fun with him while learning. The first time I let go of the lead rope was hard for me. True, Cameron has done therapeutic riding for 5 years and ridden much larger horses off lead, nevertheless won horse shows. As her mother, it’s harder for me to let go of control. However, I’m not a trainer or riding instructor and I’m too close to it. But honestly, they were amazing and gave me a sense of confidence and pride. I need to keep telling myself to just R-E-L-A-X.
Will it be perfect? No. But I want them to have a strong, solid foundation and Ferrous has proven himself a unicorn, even with a little girl that was nervous and weak on one-side with Cerebral Palsy, likely a first for him.
So I will let the unicorn be a unicorn.