I was having a first ride on a client’s horse the other day that I was starting under saddle. The owner watched quietly and after I dismounted said “I wish I was more like you”.
I immediately thought she was referring to my cat-walk/model-like/armpit-ending legs when it occurred to me that she could mean my flawless olive skin.....Umm, not asking for clarification may leave me oblivious to yet another enviable attribute – best to find out now (for recent Phuket Beach holiday snaps, click here).
Removing my helmet in readiness for the inevitable increase in head circumference, I asked “What do you mean more like me?”
“Brave” she answered. It would seem we are both a little delusional.
The truth is I haven’t done anything brave on a horse since I was about 14 years old and that wasn’t bravery it was stupidity, I just didn’t realise it, or perhaps define it at such, at the time.
Fear is common sense telling you that the situation is out of your control. Don’t ignore it – listen to it. If you think carefully about what is frightening you will have taken the first step towards building your confidence. The truth is that fear is simply not knowing what might happen next.
It is tempting to look for ways to become more ‘confident’ but no amount of confidence in yourself is going to educate your horse.
CONFIDENCE = KNOWLEDGE + SKILL
If you feel that you need to be ‘brave’ to ride your horse then it is a good indication that either you are not ready to ride the horse or the horse is not yet ready to be ridden. Don’t worry; this is the best place to start!
Next time - “Where do I go from here?”