Ok, seriously. Anyone else struggle with major over-thinking!?! Cause this girl does, right here!! My lack of confidence in myself and big time over thinking is starting to really get to me. I just want a “normal” way of thinking. Wait – does normal even exist?
I was just having a simple flat ride the other night; my weekly lease ride. Started out okay, and then negative Nancy made an appearance.
Good ol’ negative Nancy.
She’s trying to weasel her way in… and damn, it’s working. As I was riding around I kept thinking “why am I riding, why am I even trying to prep for show season when I probably will just screw it up anyways”. It’s those thoughts that I have in my head that need to stop. I’m always preaching “positive thoughts, positive mind” and I do firmly believe it is true. And despite my negative thinking when it comes to my riding, I do always try to make positive thoughts before I mount and after. I believe if you can change your thought process you can change your life. But it seems like I am constantly met with the downfalls so it’s hard for me to think positive.
The longer I rode, the more negative Nancy was hanging around. I just felt like I was wasting my time, I was just ruining my horse. As George Morris says “You are always schooling or unschooling your horse”. And I felt as if I was definitely unschooling us both. It also didn’t help that my horse was super trippy that night. He tripped coming around the corner, hind end went down and then he tripped when we went over trot poles… trot poles. TROT POLES…WHY HUNTEC? JUST PICK UP YOUR FEET, PLEASE!
We almost ate shit. I swear.
We started out strong… And then it just went downhill. WELLLL, that was it for me. I basically quit. I was like, how am I going to make it over a low mods and mods courses if we can’t make it over TROT POLES!!
And then my friends started talking about show season and all the upcoming shows, my stomach met my throat and once again I was like “I won’t be ready, I don’t think I can do it, how am I supposed to get my shit together when show season is only months away and I am still relearning how to jump”. I was basically giving up (for like the 100th time) before I even gave myself a chance to try.
I talked a little bit about it after wards with my friend and I could have just cried. 30 years old (stupid 30s) and I’m still letting my anxiety and fear win. I want nothing more than to continue to keep getting stronger, to keep my confidence improving. I just want to show, to have fun, to keep my inner childhood dreams coming true.
I am more confident than ever on the flat. My stability is so much better. The little tricks I learned to keep my horse off his forehand are coming back to me. Us, working on our corners and riding the quarter lines is really helping with our other issues. I know my horse, I trust him completely. I know that he is not going to do anything bad on purpose, he is an absolute saint. It’s just my mental block that is holding us both back.
The jumping, oh the jumping… I love it (honestly, I really do), but I can’t get past my fall(s). It’s such a mental block. I also haven’t jumped in 2.5 weeks so I think that’s part of the problem on why I am feeling so unprepared. It is only January, so I’m hoping that once I have a solid month in of jumping every week I will start feeling so much better and be able to move back up.
Our first winter show is next month, and I’m doing it. Not letting negative Nancy hold me down. And then our first off property show of the season is in April and I’ll be damned if I let myself down and not go and not jump the height I know I can do.
BYE NEGATIVE NANCY, NOT TODAY GIRL, NOT TODAY!
The way I look at it, I show up every time for my lesson and lease ride. As scared as I am, I still show up. I still tack up my horse, I still get on him, and I do the damn thing. I don’t say no, I don’t back down, and I push through it week, after week, after week. And every week I am that much further ahead than I am behind. I have to keep telling myself, if I didn’t love the sport, I would give up. I would just stop. I wouldn’t have came back from my injury – like at all, but I did. …TWICE. That seriously has to mean something. But every week I am back out to the barn, doing my thing, so that has to stand for something – right!?!? I am either extremely stupid, or I do truly love and enjoy this sport.
As nervous as I am. I honestly can’t wait for show season, it’s not even the overall thought of showing, and hopefully winning some pretty ribbons that I am excited for. I am just excited to ride, to go off property, to just say I DID IT.
❤ The Nervous Equestrian
Photo: M. Atkinson Photography