Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fear, the rider's worst enemy

I've been working more with getting Gwen ready for that first mounting.  Yesterday I saddled her up (she was perfectly calm once again for this) and practiced stepping into the stirrup.  This time I remembered to put the safety stirrup on the saddle before I started, since getting dragged around through snowy poo piles is not my idea of a good time.  I put just the tip of my boot in the stirrup and then stood up,  I hovered at the top for a second before stepping back down.  She had all of my weight hanging off that one stirrup and she didn't even fidget.  The worst thing she did was take a few steps back while I was on the ground to get closer to the treats in my pocket.

She was SO good!  So why was my heart pounding so hard when I slid the saddle off her back?  In the back of my mind I can't help thinking about that future moment in time when I'll need to do this without her brother standing right there and I'm imagining the taste of dirt in my mouth and the feeling of cracked ribs.  I seriously need to stop doing that.  I just makes me nervous and she's shown me over and over how she reacts to negative energy.

Live in the moment- work with the horse standing right in front of you now, not the one that was there two months ago.  That's good advice, if only it wasn't so hard to heed.


  1. Deep breaths, deep breaths!!! Clear your head. :-) Gwen has proven that she trusts you. You are right - she is not the same horse she was two months ago. Just imagine the horse she will be with your help. Would it help if she got used to having someone else around her (barn owner?) while you are practicing with the saddle? Then when you actually sit on her, the BO would be with you for moral support.....

  2. Hi Wolfie, thanks for the pep talk! I probably will need to get her help to lead Gwen around in a few days for me. But she's a little nervous around Gwen since she pinned her against the wall a few months back...