I recently started leasing an Icelandic Horse, after a 15 year hiatus away from horses (other than a few guided trails). I only see my lease horse Draumsyn, once a week because I'm legally blind and I'm husband has to drive me and it's 45 minutes away. So I've ridden her (including the "test"ride) about 7 times now. My balance is getting better, my confidence has been improving in the saddle, my seat is excellent--so two the owner and one other riding instructor have told me. And yet, I had an epic fail on Thursday! I got her out, tacked her up and took her into the arena and got on the mounting block and my heart started pounding and I froze. Draumsyn is 13.1 hands! So I'm looking Down on her! I felt so ridiculous. After dithering for a couple minutes I finally made her nervous and she walked off. I repositioned her several times and every time couldn't swing my leg over--from fear. Finally had to get my husband out of the warm car and get him to hold her and stand there with me. I finally got on. Then I was a nervous Nellie for the first 15 minutes or so--I made her nervous and she jumped at hone point and sidestepped and I tensed up so hard I almost lost my seat. I finally said ENOUGH to myself and forced myself to relax and after a few minutes we found our rhythm and I had a much better ride--although not perfect. I am still afraid to canter (even though I used to do it bareback!). But I wanted to end on a good note--so screwed up my courage and took first one foot out of the stirrups for halfway around, put it back, took out the other foot and finally dropped both stirrups for a couple turns around the arena. So relieved to at least have overcome that hurdle--and on a day when I was just full of generic "fear". Sheesh! Anyone else experience this? I think menopause is wreaking havoc with my anxiety levels. I'm 48 and I think I'm almost through the change already. Here are me and Draumsyn celebrating after our ride!
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