***Coming in 2018! ***
Confessions of a Timid Rider
As I plunge toward the ground, I see the face of my horse above me blocking the sun. For that split second before I hit the rain-packed ground I close my eyes I think to myself, “Avoid the hooves”.
This moment was one I dreaded since I became a mother. The thought of falling off and hurting myself in front of my children was something that plagued my nightmares and caused anxiety.
A few months ago, I had a near miss. Delight and I were in our weekly lesson at the barn. We came in a little too slow to the cross rail. Delight lost his balance, tripping over the rail, and we both started to fall.
In slow motion, I can still see Delight’s nose touch the ground. I slipped slowly down his neck, clinging for dear life. All I thought in that moment was if I topple over his head, he might become more unbalanced and land on me. So I slowly picked myself up and scooted back, lifting Delight’s large thoroughbred head up to help him regain his balance.
We were okay. That time. But I was shaken. I did not fall. Delight did not fall. We regained our balance, no one was hurt, and nothing bad happened. But I kept replaying the scene in my mind. The WHAT IF factor. The image became stuck in my head for the rest of our lesson and I could not let it go.
“Get over it”.
I hear it frequently during lessons. My trainer sees that I am no longer connected to my horse. I am absent. Now too much in my own head.
It’s a chronic problem. My entire life I have been very cerebral, balancing ideas and considering outcomes. Horse riding has been a way for me to escape my own brain, or try to at least. Warring between self-doubt and my passion for horses.
I’ve been called many things, but “timid” never in my memory. Perhaps in a way this will show you just how important horses are to me in my life. Because this matters. Horses matter. And as a result, I want to be the best I can be. Sadly, this results in self doubt and delayed progress. I am my own worst enemy.
These are the confessions of a timid rider.
Handbook of Excuses Series
Equestrian Handbook of Excuses
As equestrians we are united by our love of horses. But whether you own, lease, or borrow some days you just want to call your trainer and cancel. For those days I’ve compiled a handy list of excuses to tell our trainers, our horses, or ourselves for why today just isn’t a good day to ride. Suitable for every level of rider, from lead line to Grand Prix.
Reviews for Equestrian Handbook of Excuses
“Charming, Witty, Exactly What We Need on Those Days We Just Don’t Feel It. Heather Wallace sums up all of these sentiments and simultaneously provides solidarity, humor, and encouragement to all the riders who feel this way from time to time.” Lindsey Rains, Alta Mira Horsemanship.
“This handbook is adorable! I think I’ve used most of these excuses and found a few that I’ll keep in mind the next time my barn mates try and get me on a trail ride when I’m just not feeling it. Wink wink. It would make a cute, inexpensive gift for someone who is discouraged in their riding or for someone who just needs a pick me up.” Mary Katherine Morris, Equine Photographer.
“A great concise handbook of every excuse you can think of to NOT ride – from it being too cold to thinking that your four legged friend is a bit too sleepy when you arrive at the yard… The Equestrian Handbook of Excuses has them all!!!” Sophie Tunnah, Team Tunnah Eventing.
“We equestrians are no different than anyone else for making excuses not to do what we need to be doing; this includes riding. This little book is funny and will undoubtedly make you smile. Just sit back and count how many of these excuses you’ve used in the past!” Tina Collins, With the Stroke of the Pen.