I had a bad lesson about 3-4 weeks ago. It wasn’t traumatic or anything, but I got scared and once I get scared, that’s it. The fear invades my limbs by running in my veins and along every nerve ending until it’s all I can do to avoid the fetal position. What happened, I guess, is that Stalker (that’s the horse I’ve been riding) started and hopped to the side as another rider when past on the inside, saying something loudly to the other horse. Or maybe my horse or maybe me. I have no idea other than it spooked Stalker and it spooked me.
Now. I’ve sat through the same many, many times. Horses stumble, trip, flick at flies, nip at each other, and all you have to do is sit deep n’ stuff and it’s fine. But this time it wasn’t. I was discombobulated because I only recently started doing group lessons again and group lessons are a discombobulating experience. There’s horses going every whichway, the instructor is keeping multiple plates the air can calling out specialized instructions to the other students, some people are indeed working a pattern for their dressage test but danged if I can make any sense out of it . . . you get the picture.
So that was that. I kept insisting I was OK to my instructor even though I was quite clearly Not OK. And I got lots of support from another student also who told me that everyone has a bad day and that it’s OK, really, honest.
But the past few weeks have been a little trying and I’ve been wondering what the heck I’ve been doing — until last night when I rode Mopey.
This isn’t a dramatic conversion tale and there’s no choir of angels singing as my confidence comes racing back, but by Godfrey, I sure enjoyed riding little Mopey, a nice sturdy Morgan with equine scoliosis. I liked being on the little guy’s back and feeling like I was lots closer to the ground, like I had more of me in touch with more of him. Lofty fellows are wonderful but so are non-lofties.