I thought I would share a little story with you, because I’ve had a couple of 1:1 sessions with people lately who needed to hear this, and chances are there might be someone else out there who could use it too.
If you are new to following me, this here is my glorious pony Dee. I say pony but he’s actually around 17hh, and appears by all assessments not to have finished growing yet.
Dee is the first horse I have started under saddle myself, and the decision to do so was a big deal for me. For the first…hmm, I would say 18 months, our rides were satisfying but not what I would describe as enjoyable. Most of every ride I had to continuously train myself to keep my focus in the moment; to only go as far as the next good step and to ask for help early, frequently, and often (the key to not staying stuck).
Under saddle he was (is) forward, sensitive, and at times, unbalanced. All to be expected.
I also had to decouple the associations that I had with energy in my body to realise that feeling some activation in my belly and chest was not always a warning signal and a cause for concern; it was simply my body preparing me to do hard things and to make sure I was on my game.
Every time I could, I showed up. I prioritised riding Dee first so if anything else came up, we had our ride in.
For many, many days and months this is what we did. And then, the shift came. For the last little while, I have noticed my body feels peaceful when we ride. The jangling has gone.
Any moments of upset on his behalf cause me to laugh and croon to him, to tell him he’s ok. And we are. We really are ok.
Today, I caught myself singing as we trained. Not deliberately. Not as a means to calm myself down. I just felt so happy riding it was spilling out of me.
We are still training the basics. We are still early in our journey. There is still so much adventuring to do. I know we’ll have our moments.
But it’s nice to connect the dots looking backwards. And to think of the days where I forced myself outside, forced myself to get on. When I took a moment and wondered if this whole process really was for me.
It was just all necessary moments for the song to find us. And I’m really glad it has.