I wonder sometimes what has caused this change. I've had a few (okay more than a few) pretty nasty wrecks - some requiring hospitalization. But in the past that wouldn't slow me down. I was the girl riding and competing with pulled muscles and broken bones. Happily.
Yesterday I was placed in a tight spot. I was not expecting it to happen, but it did. A girl came out and wanted to see Whiskey. Let's say I wasn't expecting this. Whiskey has been sitting in a field doing nothing for in the vicinity of three years. Now, before all this time passed I would have confidently hopped on her. Yesterday I was more than a little nervous. I was scared.
I had played the mental game so well I was convinced she would buck me off. I was convinced she would bolt and plant me in the dirt. That she'd dish out all kinds of things I can't handle. Having no choice - I'd have to be the first one on. I saddled her up and put her on the lunge line. And nothing. No buck. No snort. No blow. So I lunged her some more. And nothing. Pulling her halter off I put her bridle on, placed my helmet on my head and prepared to mount up.
My legs were shaking so hard I could hardly get my leg in the stirrup. I stood in the stirrup and got down, repeated the process. Finally I swung myself into the saddle. Trying to still the muscle quivers I chanted my mantra mentally, "Calm assertive energy". After all the last thing I wanted to do was set the horse off at this point.
Walking off I waited for the explosion. Only nothing happened. We walked a few laps, did a few patterns and moved up into a trot. Still nothing. And she was starting to feel good. Real good. Putting my leg into her I tested the water a little, but she moved off my leg smooth as butter on a hot summer day. I was impressed. Feeling bolder I asked for the lope. Perfection.
Now I know this horse. I trained this horse, and yet here I was playing negative mental games with myself. I had gotten myself so worked up that I forgot riding was supposed to be fun. And did I have FUN yesterday! Whiskey is definitely a Corvette of the horse world. Soft, responsive and powerful!
I had so much fun riding her I'm heading out to do it again today!