The One Where I Try to be Positive

Aaaaarrghhh. That is all. No sorry, I will write a little more but if I start to whinge please let me know!

Yesterday on the beach I cantered in a group for the first time since….oh January. I had fun, my horse was itching for a good canter and I ended up leading the canter although then we had a lovely swerve to the left, so I got the activity but no direction. Next time 🙂 I was really happy with myself for this one, it has been in my head that I would be out of control in a group canter, that my horse would only respond to the other horses and not me. That wasn’t the case at all. I had been unsure about doing the group canter and starting to think these negative ‘I will be out of control’ thoughts but I stopped myself and thought of three positives ‘I can canter in control’, ‘I love cantering’ and ‘Ned has been listening very well so far, there is no reason to think he won’t now’ – and it really worked. This was one of the techniques I have been reading about in the first of my Become a Confident Rider wee workbook, called Self Awareness.

I had also written down some information on the pleasures and pain I associate with horse riding something that I will share with you guys soon. I noticed that it was much easier for me to write about the pleasures, my fondest memories and my favourite horses than it ever was to write the pain aspects. I need to keep this information safe somewhere to remind me of why I ride when things go a bit awry.

And so to today, when I ended up in tears of frustration again after the lesson as I watched another rider ride Td beautifully after I had such problems keeping him under control. We had lots of rushing, lots of tension, constant feelings of my nerves rising – I tried to think of three positives and at that point in time I simply couldn’t. I also feel that the instructor and some members of the class grow a bit tired of me being upset, I get that it might seem insignificant to them – I truly understand that as nothing went wrong for me then why am I upset but if I could control my nerves I would. I am working on it but with the last two lessons there leaving me feeling deflated and down about my riding I have difficulty focusing on positives. So here we go, three positives from today’s lesson:

  • I had Td under control for moments
  • We had a nice active walk
  • By shifting my weight I got a lovely leg yield with him

I do feel like the positive feelings from yesterday have been swept away by the lesson today and as I watch other people in the class the fact that this time last year I was riding with them, on different horses and having fun reminds me of how far backwards I have gone. I need to find some way of removing the pressure I put on myself when I walk into that school but I am unsure how to do that. I’m not riding in that lesson for three weeks, not planned just the way things have worked out – that seems like a decent length of time to start trying to keep working on the positive/negative ideas and in trying to release the pressure gauge a bit there.

Others in the class have been giving me some good tips and I will be riding during those three weeks so I can simply focus on other things, hopefully all these things help when I march back into that school in three weeks time with a big smile on my face.

Don’t you hate it when something you thought was going to be fun ends up in tears? Man I hate this process of relearning my confidence – does anyone have a genie that grants wishes?

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