Confession of a Timid Rider:
I’m embarrassed to admit that I feel like I’ve taken a step backward in my riding.
In August I had a bad fall off Delight. It resulted in bruised/ broken ribs and a bruised lung and about a month before I felt some semblance of myself again physically. Truly I was lucky though. As a mother my greatest fear was injury and the reason I term myself a “Timid Rider”. I don’t take chances because my kids depend on me. But all equestrians know you will fall off. It’s just a matter of time.
Logically I know what caused the fall, and it was a fluke. The fact is, I’ve never before been seriously injured horse riding. A few bumps and bruises over the years but nothing that had before ended in an Emergency Room visit. To my credit I wasn’t scared to get back on, or return to riding. In fact, I couldn’t wait.
And get back on the horse I did. But I was different. I was sore, I was tense, and I was unwilling to be as assertive with him as I needed to be. Without my realizing it, my confidence was struggling, and I was backing down.
Do you ever have two sides of your brain that war with each other? Click To Tweet
My emotion and my logic conflicted. And yet, I both knew AND felt that I was out of sync with this horse. Still, I pushed past my comfort zone for the next few months.
And you know what? It didn’t work.
I’m embarrassed to admit it. I was not improving or pushing myself. Now to my credit, my rides were not necessarily bad. I had good days and bad days, but my riding was lackluster. My trainer sensed my frustration with myself.
Hint- I’m not subtle.
As a result my trainer decided I should ride a different horse so I could regain my confidence and be assertive. Confidence builders if you will.
I admit that this is exactly what I needed. Finding my voice again on horseback. Asking and receiving. Clear communication. I am the biggest obstacle in my way. Hands down. I’m still a work in progress as we all are, but I feel like I’m regaining my sense of self. It’s hard to regain your confidence when you are arguing with a teenage OTTB and frankly, losing. Not because of anything he was doing, but because of what I was doing.
I am the biggest obstacle in my way. Click To Tweet
I miss Delight and the challenge he provides me. Logically I know that I rode him successfully for 2 years. Now, however, our relationship has changed and it’s creating some bad habits for us both. I’m doing both of us a disservice by not trying something different.
Is it really taking a step back? I’m still learning. I’m pushing myself to become a better rider and focusing on what I’m doing wrong, not on what horse I’m riding. I know in my heart that sometimes love isn’t enough. Delight is my trainer’s horse and not the right fit long term for me and my family. I will keep moving forward no matter what horse I ride.