Today is April 19th, 2017 and nothing remarkable happened today.
Oh, yeah except for the naming of my biggest riding fear ever.
What prompted this random post was a photo I came across on Upworthy’s Facebook page.
I stared at it for a few seconds wondering why the words felt comfortable, familiar, like an “a-ha” moment waiting to happen. Suddenly, there it was. This saying was the perfect summation of what I needed to figure out so badly in my riding and ultimately one of my riding biggest fears.
Growing up I took a lot of lessons, sometimes twice a week with supervised free rides in between. During those times I felt like an equestrian goddess. I not only rode all of the time, but I got it DONE in my lessons. I mean really progressing.
Times changed and I no longer was getting that much supervised ride time. Cue the plateau. It was frustrating to suddenly feel like I couldn’t do anything. When I rode by myself things never went right and I happy-hacked half of the time just to save myself the trouble. Then during my lessons, my trainer would end up going over what she already taught me for the millionth time.
If I didn’t have someone coaching me, I would get next to nothing done in my rides. I was essentially an ineffective rider, a passenger if you will. Oh, and this wasn’t just like a “stuck for a couple of weeks thing,” I have been facing this passenger issue for years.
Okay your life story is great Emily, but get to the point.
Right, so why in the last 10 minutes has this picture changed my life? Well because it is the root of my passenger issue!
I DO NOT THINK FOR MYSELF WHEN I RIDE.
Whoomp, there it is. Scream a bunch of instructions at me and I can get the job done. But leave me alone in an empty arena I’ll most likely sit there for an hour before I do anything.
I bet that if my trainer could go back and tell me one thing to help me as a rider it would be that quote…
“I don’t want you to think like me, I just want you to think”
To realize that riding is not just about following directions or copying others, but about actively thinking and engaging with yourself and your horse.
I am afraid to mess up, to try. I fear that without instruction I will either get hurt, get my horse hurt, or accomplish nothing. How crazy stupid is that?!? That fear (if I should even be calling it that anymore) is exactly what keeps me from realizing my riding goals.
So this is it. Riding is no longer about being my trainer coupled with the immense fear of failing.
It’s time to just think, to try, to fail a little bit, then to succeed more than I could ever know.
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