Is this why they call it a journey?

So the journey continues.

One the biggest roadblocks in my and Charm’s progression together is my fear. So, I’ve been focusing on my fear lately and trying to unravel it’s mysteries. Once you have fear, it’s hard to ignore. A recent Savvy Club DVD was all about fear, I watched that and felt some encouragement.

I’ve come to the realization that over the past 3 years I’ve babied her.. I didn’t have the confident “Mom Says” mentality.. I use to and we’d ride all over the place alone with out a problem. After my accident, I was scared she’d react and pull something and I’d get hurt, as a result I let her intimidate me and make the decisions too many times when she was dominant (now turned to unconfidence) and now she’s decided to take over on our trail rides. She’s ALWAYS scanning the horizon for something.. like she’s looking for something to spook at or a threshold. She wasn’t like that before, she would just go.. and not be bothered by anything. When she’s doing the scanning thing, she isn’t watching where she’s going and starts to trip and fumble around. It’s VERY irritating and not at all fun.

Plain and simple, I am confused. I don’t know where the fine line of leadership is. I just want her to focus and where she is going and trust that I will not lead her in to danger.

Here are some bullet points I’ve come up with… a road map to success I hope:

• She probably isn’t “rideable” when in this frame of mind so why am I riding her?
The solution: Play the games and get her confident. She use to be ready to ride in 3 minutes or less..  I just need to spend some more time getting her rideable if we plan to trail ride, common sense isn’t it? Need to get her thinking of me and come down off of adrenaline in the new place and situation, even if that means getting off of her during our ride and figuring it out. We’re doing great around the property.. for example after our interesting trail ride on the Ahnapee Trail last night, I rode Charmer bare back with the halter and thru the woods.. she did great and had a lot of forward momentum. I felt safe and she wasn’t tripping. BUT, I’ve been going out there as much as I possibly could this spring.. leading and now riding again. That has built her confidence.

• Manage my fear and emotions.
The truth is that I have a temper. It showed up on our ride on the Ahnapee last night.. I am not pleased or happy about it, but this is just so very frustrating, I just want my old Charmer back. I need to learn how to work thru the thresholds without my fear or anger coming into play. Emotional fitness!

• Trust Her.
Horses must be able to sense when you don’t trust them.. I need to trust her so we can start having a partnership on the trail again.

• Take advantage of every situation to go out and just do it!
I’m going to have to get out as much as possible and make this just a normal thing we do, not a big harry deal. If she’s properly prepared via the games or simulations or just riding around the property, this should all fall in to place.

I hope to figure all of this out and we’ll be singing Happy Trails …. until we meet again!

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