So as I am standing on the ground freaking out I realize that I am acting like a 2 year old. I am humiliated by my behavior and want to crawl under a rock. As soon as I yell myself in to silence my trainer jumps in. She says that she knew I didn’t feel comfortable, but the didn’t realize it was that bad. How it is okay if the SchoolMaster and I don’t work well together, she wont be upset. If I don’t want to ride him I shouldn’t be riding, how this is supposed to be fun and how I am getting better all of the time but if I don’t feel like I am getting better I am wasting my time. She told me all of the things that I wanted her to say to give me the okay to quit, and yet for some reason I couldn’t let myself walk out of the ring.
I knew that I had every right to give up and leave, but for some reason knowing that I could did not make me any happier. I looked my trainer in the eye and said that I didn’t want to give up. I just needed a minute to collect my emotions. I hand walked the SchoolMaster around the ring a few times wondering why I am so damn stubborn. If I am not happy why do I have to keep doing something. Why was I making myself ride when I didn’t feel comfortable?
The answers are always the same. I want to be good. I don’t want anything to stop me. I don’t want to be the rider who can’t ride this horse or that type of horses, etc. I also reminded myself that the SchoolMaster and I really are well matched if I could just get my head out of the way. It is not like I was being over mounted by anyones stretch of the imagination. There was nothing that the SchoolMaster could throw at me that I could not handle, and yet here I was feeling like I couldn’t handle anything.
I took several deep breaths and tried to get out of my head as we walked back towards the mounting block. My trainer asked me what I needed, and I told her the truth, that right now I just need a security blanket. She grabbed the lounge line and said that she would do whatever it took to make me realize that I was okay. So on to the line we went. You might think that it was humiliating, but really of all of the things I did on Saturday that was not the one I was ashamed of. Even on the line the SchoolMaster was keeping an eye out for ghosts, but the difference was I was feeling safe so I was fine. And of course since I was fine, he was fine. When we changed rein my trainer took the line off, but stayed close by to give me the feeling of comfort. I walked, trotted and cantered like it was nothing, totally confident and okay.
After my lesson my trainer and I talked. She asked me point blank why I was riding a horse that I felt that uncomfortable with. She asked me what I was trying to prove, and why hadn’t I been more honest with her about being scared of the SchoolMaster. I answered back that I was riding the SchoolMaster to prove to myself that I could get over it because I don’t want anything to stand in my way and that I hadn’t told her that I was feeling scared because I didn’t even realize myself that I was afraid of him. She said that if he is not the right horse for me that is okay, and that we could stop. I told her that I wanted to at least try riding him on my own again and see how that went.
I spent the rest of Saturday in a complete and total funk. Why was I doing this? What happened to my joy with riding? What was I doing? I thankfully had plans for dinner and a movie that night so I dragged myself off the couch to hang with the Young Rider and the Pinto’s Owner and see if they could help me get out of my funk.
To Be Continued…