Weekend Reports: The Psychology of Nerves

Much less nervous, particularly at the show on Saturday [Report]. Oh, I still have butterflies. However, I have gone back to a sustainable population of the native species: gray bodies with long silver antennae and wings of Inner Princess pink. On one wing is written “Nerves”; on the other, “Excitement.” I let the invasive species takeover for way too long.

I’m not the average saddle seat rider …
Most Academy riders are not as intense about riding as I am. Last year, I showed more than most of our suit riders.

I am new to saddle seat but not new to riding. I am an adult in an introductory division, but am not a beginner nor a rerider. I did not take a break from riding to have a career/raise kids/join the Peace Corps. I’ve been here all along, plugging away. I don’t fit into the standard narratives.

I am an AOT (amateur-owner trainer), this in not common in my corner of the saddle seat world (although, I hear it is more common elsewhere). While I don’t have Saddlebreds, I am familiar with the struggles of attempting progress outside of professional supervision: riding on my own, preparing my horses, arranging lessons, picking shows. It gives me a different outlook. And throws me off when this is all done for me.

… trying to make myself one …
It takes a great deal of self-belief when everyone else is over there & you are over here. More self-belief than I often have. There was not any particular activity, lesson, or show that I should have done or not done. It was more a matter of trying to make myself feel a certain way, or to have a certain outlook.

The desire to fit in is not necessarily bad. It is how we learn the unspoken mores of group. Plus social acceptance = a share of the mammoth and a place by the fire.

The desire to fit in can be bad – or at least not helpful – when it masks a desire to be loved. Rodney is not the only one in the barn with a bottomless need for approval & attention.

Nota Bene: All of this Sturm und Drang has been internally imposed. Folks have been happy to accept me as I am. Take helmets as an example. I said: I’m wearing one. Universal saddle seat response: Okay [Postscript].

… was making me nuts.
Self evident. This was the theory that came out of my last sports psych appointment [And So We Leave Behind the Sports Psychology Adventure].

Bottom Line
Be myself. I suck at being anyone else.
Tomorrow, the other half of the mind/body equation.

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