Confessions of a Timid Rider

Ending On A Good Note- Training Challenge or Handy Excuse?

My trainer has always stressed ending on a good note with my horse when in lessons. It always made so much sense, when they get it right, stop and that is a positive reinforcement and reward. 

But if you are a timid rider like me, then often you use that cliche to stop before you challenge yourself or your horse.

I was visiting a client and fellow timid rider who is struggling with a sensitive horse. She had a very scary experience in the arena with a new horse and has been reluctant to push him again even though it was likely pain-related and addressed. Knowing what may have caused the rodeo broncing doesn’t mean the fear just drifts away, does it? 

While we were talking we both realized we have a similar tendency. The tendency to come to the barn determined and pumped to push ourselves a bit and be brave only to duck out last minute with an excuse.

I am the queen of excuses. For example, Delight was recently ridden by his trainer, something I’d been waiting before getting on him myself. He was a rockstar, relaxed, willing, and utterly perfect. I went to the barn a few days later determined to check the saddle on him again and his back, then perhaps ride him also. I arrived with plenty of time but was waylaid by another rider on the trails creating havoc in the pasture. The boys were so funny and left us ladies in the dust to deal with the man-eating horse by ourselves. The cowards ran for the run-in. It was hilarious. While slightly delayed, obviously they weren’t hard to get and after some cuddles, I realized that after he was galloping around like a lunatic moments before that maybe it wasn’t a good time to try his saddle.

Total cop-out. 

In my defense, my friends were waiting for a happy hour up the hill so I had that to look forward to as well. But I was distracted and just decided not to go through with my goal for the day. 

This happens a lot to me. I tend to set a plan only to realize when I get to the barn that I have zero desire to accomplish it. 

More, and very particular to timid riders, I often have a goal that challenges me a bit and decides that almost is good enough. Or, I tell myself that we’re ending on a good note before I complete the actual challenge. 

I am brave in my head, however, when it comes to physically accomplishing my goal, I am not always as bold as I would like. Do you ever do this?

This is your reminder to do what makes you happy and go at YOUR own pace.

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