Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
Ariel, as we get older and have more responsibilities, we get more cautious. It's only when we're young, have little to no responsibilities, and can spring back easily from injuries, that we're more reckless.
I was the 'go to' girl for everyone who had a green horse. I'd ride anything. I've been tossed, kicked, trampled on, etc. When I was in my 20s, I sprang right back.
Now that I'm in my 50s I don't bounce anymore; I splat and break things. Plus, I have a mortgage, job, and the welfare of all my animals on my shoulders. If I get seriously injured, it's not just me who's screwed. Those things make us more cautious as we age. It's not being a coward, it's knowing that we're mortal and we break.
My fear is mounting, not riding. Once I'm actually ON the horse, I'm still pretty much the rider I remember, except that I don't willingly get on the green or spooky ones any longer. I take as many precautions as I can to make sure my ride is as safe as possible, while still remembering that these are flight animals with minds of their own.
I got badly hurt about 3 1/2 years ago, while mounting. I thought I was afraid to ride, when it turned out I was just afraid to mount up. I worked through it, and although I occasionally have a small moment of involuntary fear, it hasn't stopped me.
If you don't feel comfortable going faster than a trot, then don't do it. You're not out to prove anything to anyone except yourself.
If you feel you can't work through your issues alone, then find a good trainer and take some lessons on some quiet schoolies. That's what I had to do before I was willing to start riding my own horses again.
There's no shame in getting older and realizing you're breakable. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.