Sunday, March 10

outing the fear

After my accident last year with Bruce
(broken ribs/punctured lung/reconstructive surgery)
I have to confess I rather lost my confidence.

There, I've said it!
out in the open for all to see

My Name is Elaine
And I'm Fearful.

In 50-odd years of riding it's the first accident
where I didn't bounce, bringing home the fears
others express on my behalf (much sucking of teeth/
sharp intakes of breath and a great deal of headshaking)
when I gleefully announce my next horsey ambition.

Bruce and I have spent the winter pottering.
The weather provided a legitimate reason (excuse) to do little;
I've needlessly clipped him, lovingly groomed him and spent time
chatting, as you do. We've done some rudimentary groundwork
to keep our brains engaged, and on a couple of sunny mornings
we've ridden to the end of the drive, admired the view and returned home.

Now spring is in the air bringing hope of new beginnings
 I feel it's time to take fear by the hand.

Step 1 is admitting I'm scared and I don't HAVE to do this,
step 2 is knowing I want to do this and asking for help.

Kirsty is a wise, thoughtful and inspiring riding instructor
who has become a wise, thoughtful and inspiring friend.
She's my first port of call-
her calm presence, quietly helping me fathom Bruce's
tricky side, will put the confidence-building blocks in place
during schooling sessions in the paddock at home.
Then she'll bring her horse Apollo over, and together
we'll venture out into the open countryside.

I realise my journey with Bruce has also been
a journey of self awareness; that he's brought to the fore
doubts I've successfully hidden for years behind
a facade of false bravado, and it's now time to face them.

I realise I'm no longer Super Woman (was I ever?)
and it's ok to give yourself a bit of slack, to mess up,
get things wrong and not know the answers to everything.
Kirsty says
so long as you do what you can do the best you can do it
then that's enough,
so instead of pushing for major victories
 I'm going to acknowledge the pride in small successful steps.

I've also been reading Cathy Sirrett's amazing blog 
The Confidence Blog by Effective Horsemanship
which doesn't just apply to horses and has loads of
really REALLY sensible ideas on understanding
confidence issues in all areas of work and life.
She presents her posts in an orderly understandable way
putting a different slant on traditional methods
which definitely make more sense and seem achievable.

I'll let you know how things go. . .but you know,
it's been really good this evening just to admit the fear

because he's worth it!


lynda said...

I had a super instructor in whom I put all my confidence. If Jane said I could do it, I knew I could...I had a thoroughbred mare that raced but could be a little hot...but we got along well and though I would have never tried hunting her, she hacked really well all over the farm..unfortunately Jane retired and sold the farm and my mare got old and after a retirement here at home, was eventually put is hard trying to find replacements for both!
Keep up the hard work and remember it is meant to be FUN and if it is not, get another horse rather than get hurt is NOT defeat to accept he may be unsuitable, no matter how much you love him...have seen it happen to too many people...

Greenorchid said...

Good for you Elaine... be gentle with yourself... hugs and grounded courage for the journey ahead... Cassx

Sherri B. said...

Bless your heart! Sometimes it is that first step of realizing and admitting that we are human, that is the longest and hardest thing to do (oh, how well I know). We will be here being your cheerleaders as you get 'back in the saddle'..How fun and exciting it will be. Much love and big hugs!!!

lettice leaf said...

Elaine, I just don't get horses... although what I do get in horse-shit bucket loads, is you're facing your fear... I applaud you!


Vintage Sheet Addict said...

Well having never really been on a horse I can really relate to your fear, however, you obviously love riding so I wish you well! I'm sure, with the right support I'm sure you will overcome your fear and have lots more years of enjoyment! :) x

Molly said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I think we all applaud your courage and wish you everything that's good for the future.

Rachy said...

Good luck Elaine!
I was splatted by a horse once, takes a lot to get back on there xxxxxx

elegancemaison said...

No fear Elaine. You are clearly now in good hands to help you. How brave of you to admit to your fear. It must be the first step to overcoming it. I wish you well. xx

Despite my country upbringing I'm a true city person unlike my younger sister who I reckon is nearer your age. She has always owned and loved horses and dogs that all obey her as master of the
herd/pack. She has also suffered many setbacks in her life but has come through as the most self-confident person I know.

Wishing you the very best in your journey back to regaining your own confidence. You can do it. Cx

kelly said...

Just wondering if you were wearing a body protector when you had that fall? I often wonder how much protection they offer. So glad to hear you are working at being confident again. Congrats on being so darn brave!:)

Terry said...

I didn't realize how badly you were hurt in your accident. I've had a couple of bad accidents, and you will get your confidence back, but it takes time. Listen to your inner voice. It will take care of you.

The Cloth Shed said...

I think after your nasty experience you are very brave to get back in the saddle... Hope all goes well with your new mentor and you and Bruce form an understanding partnership.
Julie x
Throw lovely Elaine off again Bruce and I will be making a call to the pieman....

Sue said...

You are amazing!!

Admitting the fear and then doing it anyway. Let him know who's boss, mount with confidence and talk with a clear strong voice and hopefully (and with Kirsty and her horse at your side) Bruce will simply behave and then the confidence will come rushing back and there will be room left for the fear.

To have a fear and to face it is to conquer it. Well done you.

Sue xx

nilly said...

Bravo, Elaine!
You put me to shame - I vow to try much harder in future.

Autumn Mist said...

I totally understand where you're coming from, having had a bad fall a few years ago, which is something I never want to experience again. Much better to admit it and make a beginning than make excuses that no one believes, least of all you! Just take one step at a time and applaud yourself every step of the way. Don't stress yourself. No one is asking you to do a hunter trial or go showjumping, so breathe deeply and enjoy the experience.

delia hornbook said...

If i was with you now i would give you a huge hug but im not and so i cant but there is one in this message for you. Im so sorry you had such a nasty accident and i can understand that fear and there's nothing wrong with it i think admitting it is the first step forward and Bruce and you are both worth it. You have do what your comfortable with and small steps are better than none. After having both of my hip operations im very scared of doing certain things to because i know what real pain is and how i felt with the recovery afterwards i was very low. But i think remaining kind to yourself and accepting your limitations but being true to yourself and the way you feel is the best. Good luck lovely, dee xx

BadPenny said...

take baby steps - you & Bruce xx

Sylvia said...

I didn't know you had an accident last year ... having fear is just normal, Elaine, and admitting is the first step !
And Bruce is worth it for sure !
Good luck !

Willow said...

Go at your own pace ... your love of the ride and the horse, will bring you calmly back to the saddle in time

allhorsestuff said...

Hullo there,
I am new here and popped over from Terry's place as I read your comment there, on confidence.
My department, that is. I have had spill and chills and still haven't gotten the courage to ride the arena with my TB mare that **HATES** it.

You sound as though you've got the "leg up" now...with this post!
I am glad , aren't you? Okay too soon...after the first ride that you don't faint on! Your trainer does sound good and good to know is available for boosting you in confidence.

That horse of yours is AWESOME -Gorgeous!
( his name too, my husbands!)

Anywho, be well and do take it one good step at a time, dismiss the crap ones!

KK with Washashe mare~

sandiart said...

Reminds me of a book called 'Feel the Fear and do it anyway' and yes you are quite right, admitting it is the first big step......and he is worth it .
xx Sandi

C-ingspots said...

Thank you for sharing both your fears and that blog link. I've been a lifelong rider that in recent years has developed fear issues as well...maybe this is our subconscious mind telling us that at our age, we need to be more careful with our bodies. I've often wondered...regardless, like you, I still have a strong desire to ride my horse and enjoy the experience without the paralyzing fears that I've grown to feel. That is no fun. Hope you overcome, and revel in the freedom and sheer exhilaration that comes from riding ones' horse!!

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