Well, well, well…
Confidence lesson NUMBER 1:
By an actual, proper, non-friend well they are my friends, riding school. They threw me on an 17.2h Horse 😱, he was B-E-Autiful. My mum had a lesson at the same time, in the same manège. I was a bundle of nerves. I got on, I instantly started panicking.
A thousand and one thoughts were parading in my head. ‘you’re going to fall off, you’re going to make an arse of yourself, you can’t do this, you shouldn’t even have horses’
You see, when I had the accident in October, I’ve tried, and tried to jump back on. Every time I had, impatient people, lead ropes, people saying snarky comments like ‘the only horse suitable for them is a 3 legged one’
EXCUSE me…if THAT horse is nappy, IT’S NOT MY DAMN FAULT.
Moving on…I was “led” into the school, when I say led I mean they didn’t bother using a rope. Or holding on to the head collar. Even though fanny in the saddle was shaking lol! I definitely did NOT feel great. My boots were extremely tight on the width side of things. The stirrups were long but I sheepishly said they’re okay. I was nervous alright 😂
Into the school we went, mum on her school horse, and me on mine. His name was Laddie. Cue the genie out of Aladdin ‘here laddie, here laddie’
All copyright to Disney ©
The helper walked around about half way, then buggered off 😱 oh fuck me. Fuck, breathe, I had to talk to myself the whole time. I was so damn nervous. I was alone, on a horse. Yes, there was my mum in front of me, but she trotted off -.-
All the way through my lesson, I was saying ‘Head up, fanny forward (you have to sit forward with your bum in the saddle but I say fanny forward LOL) shoulders back, heels down…heels down, oh my heels hate being down LOL
So the first lesson, went really well. I left feeling proud, feeling like “I done a whole 30 minutes with no, no lead rope woo” towards the end another helper came out, to help me trot. But she held onto the headcollar, oh Laddie didn’t like that! His head was bobbing a lot lol. They even said he was better without it. But my nerves were all over the place!
When I got off, I felt good. I felt proud. It was a proud moment. All I could think about for the next few days was how good it went.
Lesson NUMBER 2:
Oh MY god.
This one. Was. SHAMAAAAAAZING
Seriously, it has been a whole day, it’s late, I’m still hyper lolol
I was alone, mum was at the vets. I was driving to the stables. Alone. Stomach was churning. The nerves were going. I think I was more nervous about being alone at the stables, actually HAVING to make conversations, rather than hide behind my mum. Yes, I know I’m 26 years old I shouldn’t be like this, but I am.
I got there, it was quite busy, half-term in all that. I used mums boots which were much better fitting >.< but I left my hat in the car, so I had to waddle all the way back to get it.
I was feeling good, no nerves, yay I got this. Came back, and Laddie was lined up at the mountain block ready. I didn’t have any time to get nervous. I got to the first step, was too low. I laughed and said okay, got to the top. Lined myself up. Looked down at the stirrup, said ‘you got this, you can do this’ threw myself on. I instantly positioned myself correctly, you know the fanny forward, heels down malark.
The lovely woman said “take a deep breath in and out” I don’t know why. But that ONE breath helped so much. I guess it’s the mediating I done months ago. It helped me come off Anti-D’s, now it’s helped with this ❤
She asked if I’m okay, I said “yup” she raised my stirrups a bit. I forced my heels down. THEN instead of leading me into the school, she made me go on my own.
I was laughing, I said to Laddie “right boi…we’re going INTO the school, not up the drive and on the road okay?!” Obviously we went into the school. I was smiling already.
I made it into the school…on my own. I walked around a few times on my own…my confidence…was rising. My posture was perfect. I was feeling great and it had only been 5 minutes 😀
Then she said “right, are you ready for trotting” I hesitated but said “yes?” I done my first half a school trot. I cut a few corners, but I was confident and tried to steer.
Then she said “excellent, right now do it again but a bit longer”
I just got on with it. Then she realised I was doing brilliantly. I was STEERING while trotting oh my god. So happy. So much adrenaline running through. She made me trot in and out of blocks, over poles, changing reins. I was so, so happy. Then…she left the school to put the dog away because some more customers arrived. That was the ONLY time my nerves appeared. Because Laddie thought ‘OH it’s bed time okay’ (trots quickly towards the gate)
Something else sparked in me though, I think it was the confidence. I said “NO, Halt…” and I pulled back and made him wait until she was out the school. Then I took control (Yay) and carried on cooling down and walking around the school.
I then went back into the yard, got off. Instantly felt incredible. I even cried. The weight was lifted right off my shoulders and fucked off for good. I couldn’t stop smiling, even now when I think about it I cry slightly. The best way I can explain why is below:
The past few months, since the accident. I’ve been saying I’ll probably never be able to ride a horse again, my nerves were so shot.
Even mum said it, and when other people say it to you. It hurts. It makes it more real.
So to do that today…I feel great, I feel like I CAN do it. I DID it. There is NO stopping me. I have a positive outlook now. I have a REASON to keep my giant dogs (horses)
I am so, so excited for the next lesson.