Over the weekend, I had a chance to sit on a nice horse to try a jumping saddle. Hated it. Not the horse. Not the saddle. I hated how nervous I was about the entire brief experience.
When the owner offered to let me sit in the saddle, I had my usual pre-mount panic. This time, it never went away. The horse did nothing other than walk. The owner assured me that the horse would do nothing other than walk. Didn’t matter. I kept imagining, ‘I don’t know what happened.’ and ‘She’s never done that before.’
Falling is not what occupies my mind at these times. Of course, I don’t want to hit the dirt. I have no more desire to fall off than I do to have a car accident or run up library late fees. What I worry about is being on a horse that loses his/her cool. The feeling of being on a horse who is not connected to reality is hideous, even if nothing dire occurs. (Ask me how I know.) It would be as if I was in a car that suddenly lost brakes & steering. Even if I pulled safely to the side of the road, the experience would rattle me.
Afterward, I wallowed in despair. If I can’t take a perfectly reasonable horse for a simple walk, how will I ever be able to gallop and jump? All I could think of was how this complete failure of nerve on my part indicated the impossibility of the only thing I’ve ever really wanted, which is to ride well. It still distresses me. I can’t see a viable way forward.
Intellectually, I am aware that my brain overreacts. It excels at putting up futures that are technically possible, but wildly exaggerated. Knowing this does nothing to lessen the emotion impact of these futures.
Sigh. One of the joys of being me.
Thank you for reading,