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ohmyitschelle 04-07-2012 01:15 AM

Conquered another fear - the feeling of cloud nine :)
To many this might sound like something you do everyday, and it's something I've wanted to do for so long, but my fear has prevented me from doing so. I shattered my leg in 2009 and whilst I've been doing very well back up in the saddle since Jan last year, I've been riding in spaces inside my fenced off paddocks. I'm glad I've gotten to the point where I don't need a "riding area" and can happily walk, trot and canter within that space, I know I couldn't remain in a confined area forever. Especially if I want to show - which is the direction my horse Honey and I are plodding towards.

On Thursday I took Honey in hand down the road further than usual and she handled her own issues with the road and eventually settled. I felt inspired by her to try something I had wanted to face myself. So I had my friend lead me out into the front part of the property I board her at. There is no fences there, its just a big open space until the boundary fence and it was a place years ago I'd happily canter over with no fear. It has a motorway above so trucks, buses, cars, motorcycles etc are a regular occurrence.

I asked to be let off the lead and walked around my friend, my circles growing bigger. Honey was incredibly well behaved, and I just kind of clicked. I asked her up into the trot and she could have gone anywhere (our freak accident started with a trot so my fear was a little justified haha!) but she just consistently listened to me, not even caring about the dog barking incessantly on the back of a ute that went by. I was thrilled and soon grinning from ear to ear over the experience. Something that I've been holding out on doing, turned out so well and I was able to enjoy myself.

I just had to share my good news, and love to hear about other members' "breakthrough moments" where you've kind of just go "I can actually do this!"

ButterfliEterna 04-07-2012 01:37 AM

When my sister and I were younger, we took riding lessons... One day, a new schooling gelding joined the group and my sister was told to mount (even though she had this really bad feeling about him). The instructor pushed her onto him and he bucked her off with the first 10 minutes. It was 11 years before she got on another horse... and I ponied her on Cerra. It was one of my girl's first rides and she acted like a prime schooling horse. (Or a drugged one. LOL.) My sister got off glowing.

Otherwise, that incident and paranoid adults raised me to fear horses indefinitely. They will kick/bite/strike at any and every given opportunity... always be on guard. But Cerra has been nothing but perfect. I sat in the saddle without stirrups recently and it was so liberating. Fear left my mind when it hit me: When, in the last two years has she ever given me a reason to be afraid? I love this horse. She has ponied myself, my young daughters, and my sister. (And now the farrier wants to give her a go... LOL) The right horse and rider combo is worth their weight in gold... :)


tinyliny 04-07-2012 01:42 AM

oh, man, you are making me really smile to the point of tears in my eyes. That is so wonderful!! cheers for you and Honey!

Paintlover1965 04-07-2012 01:44 AM

I have had many small successes with my paint horse Hawk. There was a time when I once thought I had made the wrong decision by purchasing such a green horse. He didn't like working in the ring- he would rush to the gate whenever possible and would spin and rear when frightened when out on trail rides. I kissed the ground on more occasions than I would like to remember. I somehow found the strength to press on despite our trials and tribulations. He was a very nervous horse and it took a longer time than I thought it should to gain confidence in himself and in me. He continues to show me how far he has come when many horses were super spooky due to the high winds he just carried on like nothing when asked. He now works happily in the ring and I am taking lessons with him to better ourselves. He has even gained a higher place in the herd as well. I am really proud of our progress. He is a wonderful horse!

Skyseternalangel 04-07-2012 01:49 AM

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I love love love loooove reading and hearing stories like this.. where things click and fear melts. It's like your horse just absorbs it like a sponge and both of you just feel so good.

:) The right horse can do a world of good for the right person. And vice versa.. I'm with paintlover. My first horse is green and I had no idea what I was getting myself into.. only that I was the only one that horse would trust. And I've never looked back :)

ohmyitschelle 04-07-2012 01:49 AM

ButterfliEterna; Thank you for sharing your story. My mare, whilst green still, is nothing but a brave sweetheart. Even when confused she'll try her heart out. When we argue, we argue but she's not nasty - kicks out or throws herself up a little. Things she knows I can handful but enough to say "hey, quit it!" We get along so well, we truly are the perfect pair. I have never been one to ride bareback - I've done it on her. I'm a stickler for wearing a helmet and normally do - but I feel comfortable on her to plod around without one on the incredibly rare occassion (I don't promote this, even in myself haha!) ... I trust her 110% I just don't trust myself sometimes! Which I need to get better at doing, as I'm more capable than I think I am!

Caroline; THANK YOU!!! Been meaning to send you a message about how we're getting on. Started asking for a bit more work from Honey and she's REALLY trying. She's not correctly carrying herself in the complete working frame, but we're half there and have some beautiful moments. I'm over the moon with my little chestnut friend. She's also just started teaching my best friend the basics of riding and happily doing so - and my best friend is now so excited about horses, its making me just as motivated!! I'm so so happy, that I cannot settle from the joy I'm experiencing!

ohmyitschelle 04-07-2012 01:57 AM

Paintlover & Sky - my first horse was green and I had NO clue what I was getting into - but she taught me loads (mainly how not to haha!) and I owned her for seven years. I got lucky with my second horse, she taught me so much. My gelding also taught me how to improve towards my dream of dressage... but Honey - who I backed and started myself - is the one horse who I know loves me so much that we are always going to be on the same wave length, even in the deep end of things. She knew on Thursday that I was there to help her past the scary driveways, the random lady checking her letter box and the builders all staring at the sight of a girl leading a horse down the road haha... and so I knew she would be there for me out in the big paddock. I can only imagine it was an amazing feeling for her also - she certainly returned back to my shed with a good stride haha!

I love reading everyone's stories! They make me warm and fuzzy haha!

sandy2u1 04-07-2012 03:05 AM

I don't think it is a small accomplishment at all. You should be so proud of yourself. My favorite quote of all time is "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway." John Wayne. I think that speaks volumes.

As for my own story, well I do have one. My horse was given to me. I was thrilled. I soon learned that he was a nervous kind of horse and that pretty much every thing I did scared him. I had no idea what I was doing. We soon learned to be terrified of each other. If I was in the saddle and made to much noise getting off, he would take off running and bucking. It got to the point that if I even looked like I was thinking of mounting he would bolt.

I ended up hiring a trainer. She worked with us both. She let me go at my own pace. The first day that I was expected to get on, I got on and right back off. The next time I just rode him around at a walk in the round-pen. Eventually we got to trail riding.

So yeah, I know plenty about fear. The first time I got back on my horse, all I could do was get on and get back off. To many, that would seem silly. To me it was a big deal. You know what, it really was a big deal. It started a path to me conquering my fears. That is the hardest thing to do.

Your are conquering your fears. Keep up the great work!

ellygraceee 04-07-2012 03:20 AM

Congratulations on conquering that fear Ohmyitschelle! :)

When I was still riding my pony (Majesty), I was terrified of going any faster than a working trot. I did nothing but walk and trot for 6 or so years. I eventually outgrew Maj, and moved onto a bigger horse, my current forever-horse, Barcoo. When I got on Barcoo, I'd burst into tears everytime he'd go faster than a slow walk. I got on Maj for the first time about a month after I got Barcoo, and was immediately able to go into a full gallop. My fear of Barcoo was so much greater than my fear of going fast on my pony that I was able to just go for it. Being able to go fast on Maj made me more confident on Barcoo and soon I was able to trot on him.

My friend Libby made me snap out of my fear of cantering Barcoo (or any large horse) when she came over to ride one day and she was cantering him around. I was determined to not let anyone ride my horse better than me, so I jumped on and everything clicked. I didn't just do the usual semi-out of control huge canter circle that most people around here do when they first canter, I was able to canter controlled straight lines, and 15m circles. A few years later and I can happily go any speed on any horse I'm put on (except jumping - I had that fear conquered, but a throw headfirst into a solid jump from Barcoo ruined that for me).

mildot 04-07-2012 08:38 AM

Well done. Conquering your fears is the very definition of courage.

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