So you got a horse or your thinking about getting one and you are new to the game or maybe your not. You imagine in your head that you are going to somehow be the “lucky one” who gets all of the rewards of being a good rider without having to pay your dues. Getting bucked off, reared up on, getting kicked, getting bit somehow are not going to happen to you because your special. Wrong. That’s the little thing in your head that you need to get rid of right now. If your going to play the game your going to get hurt at some point. No one gets outta paying their dues on the road to being a good equestrian. And its going to keep you tip-toeing around with your horse trying to prevent this from happening that’s going to rob you of having the “brass tacks” to be a good rider.
You in a way are “desensitizing” yourself just like you are your horse. You know what you are afraid of inside…you have to “cowgirl or cowboy up” and face them…head on…and then get over it to pay your dues and gain confidence. Proper handling of a horse may lessen your spills BUT you will never escape them. I face them proudly. I accept them gladly. For every bad thing that happens something good comes of it.
You WILL have your toes stepped on. Right now I am growing back my big toenail because it got crushed. You WILL get bitten a time or two from disrespectful animals. You will get knocked down, drug around. You WILL get bucked off a time or two. You WILL fall out of the saddle on a horse that jumps to the left while your body is going to the right. You WILL have horses that rear up on you before you even know it’s going to happen. You WILL have a horse run off on you who doesn’t listen to any attempts at stopping it. Why? Because it is all just part of the dues. Sure you can hope it never happens. Sure you can live in fantasy land and think it’s somehow going to miss you because you are so skilled, your horse is so passive…ect. But if you wanna be a good rider you got to accept the lessons and some of those are harder lessons to learn.
There is a lot of joy to being an equestrian but there is some lessons that are painful but necessary. So if you want to be a good horseman, buck up, and accept your dues. Get ready and be prepared to be scared outta your skin a time or two…but when it happens take a deep breath and relax…you will live and be “desensitized” on a new level. Each wrung on the ladder you “earn” it is never given to you. A horse sniffs out your fear like a carrot in your pocket. The more relaxed you are to the idea of getting your butt thrown in the dirt the less it will happen. But make no mistake it will happen. I am not trying to scare you but I am a realist…if you wanna play this game…get prepared to get thrown. Stop tiptoeing around the fear…face it like a warrior…and know you are going to be a hell of a better rider in the end.