*Since I got so many e-mail’s asking me the same question yesterday the answer is yes, the video is from my lesson this week. It was taken a few minutes after my melt down*
So over dinner my two horsey friends were working hard to try and cheer me up. They were coming up with all sorts of plans and ideas to try and get me out of my riding funk. They were trying to convince me to just take a break from the SchoolMaster. I heard very little of what they were saying because I was so distracted by my own thoughts. I was discouraged, frustrated, and just completely upset. Walking from dinner to the movie my friend with the Pinto turned to me and said, “Why don’t you ride my horse for a bit, just for a little while to get your head back on straight”.
The internal conflict I was obsessing about was the fact that to me, I am giving up if I stop riding the SchoolMaster. I wanted to conquer my fears, not give in to them. I have worked so hard and dreamed for so long for a chance to ride a nice horse, and here I have one and yet I am falling apart. I want to be able to ride any horse out there. To stop riding him would mean that I was saying that I can’t ride big and strong warmbloods. I was already starting to admit to myself that showing would not happen this year, but to stop riding the SchoolMaster all together, that would put the nail in my show coffin before the season even began. It would also mean that I couldn’t ride with my trainer anymore because she didn’t have another horse for me to ride. That is a lot to give up.
I thanked my friend for her offer, but told her that I would need to think about. I can’t believe I am even writing this down, but one of the things that I was secretly scared about was the very real (and frighting thought) that maybe this had nothing to do with the SchoolMaster at all. What if I didn’t want to ride anymore? Thinking it is one thing, but knowing it is true? That is terrifying to me since so much of my life is built around horses.
So with all that in mind I headed out to ride the SchoolMaster on my own on Sunday. Lucky for me one of my barn friends was there for a ride also. It is always fun to ride with a friend. When she could see me hesitating about riding, she asked what was going on. I told her the truth about how I was felling, and she was shocked. She has watched some of my lessons and she had no idea that I was feeling worried about riding. She became my biggest cheerleader on Sunday and she really helped me out mentally.
My ride was…well…it was what it was. I had hopes that I would be okay, but I wasn’t. Add to that the fact that the horses were running around outside causing a ruckus and well, it was a tough ride. The SchoolMaster would spook and run sideways several steps each time I got near open doors at the back of the indoor. I kept trying to fix the problem, until I finally gave myself a pass and let myself work on the other side of the ring away from the playful horses. Even being worried, I know that I still did okay. I make corrections and kept riding instead of giving up. The other woman could see the SchoolMaster spooking, but she said that I looked in control and fine. I told her the truth, that I can handle the SchoolMaster and his issues, but doing so is giving me my own set of issues.
I felt so defeated again when I got off. This wasn’t getting any better. I spent the rest of the day Sunday thinking about it. Why couldn’t I just admit that it wasn’t working and try something else? Why was I so damn stubborn. It just has become so important to me to not give up. I literally want a saddle pad with the word perseverance on it, because that is the story of my riding. After much thought I came up with a solution that I am okay with. I am trying to think of this whole thing as just a half halt. All I am doing right now is preparing to execute my next move.
I am going to take my friend up on her offer to ride the Pinto. No lessons, no SchoolMaster, just a few weekends of play with an adorable and safe horse. If in three weeks I am still not having fun, I think I need to be honest with myself and just take a break from riding. I hate admitting it after I have worked so hard at it after all of these years, but loosing my confidence is not helping me at all. If after three weeks I am having fun, I am going to try the SchoolMaster again, but differently this time. I am going to take lunge lessons, just lunge lessons until I can feel his gaits. Once I feel like I not am getting tossed out of the tack every step I am giving myself permission to stop riding him if I want to. If, of course, my confidence is back after the lunge lessons, I will keep up with the SchoolMaster. If not that is okay. I will find another horse to ride. I don’t know how I will be able to afford it, but where there is a will there is a way right?
At least I feel better having a plan now. That is something…right? What I really need is to go back in time and stop Gen from hurting himself since he was my perfect noble steed. Anyone know a good way to do time travel?