I’M NOT COMPLETE RUBBISH You know, I have to say, in all honesty, that I wasn’t looking forward to riding the range last night.

I’d been nervous about it on Saturday, too, and barely admitted it to myself. I love this so much, what if I started to hate it?

Going back to my scale of one to ten, I was at zero. Was this is as good as I was gonna get? If I didn’t the think the ‘tough love’ from the instructors was going to be measurable in advancement of ability, then what was the point? I actually don’t like getting yelled at. It’s easier to absorb, to take what you like and leave the rest if you feel like you’re getting somewhere.

As the traffic limped down the Dundrum Road, found myself sinking down in my seat. No rush, I thought, and sighed. There’s giving up when the going gets tough, and then there’s simply losing your nerve.

I have to talked to few, if no, riders who haven’t experienced this feeling, a feeling of dread when confronted with the thought of getting up there. That toss I took from Ruby — well, it may be out of my body, but it seems like it’s monkeying with my mind.

That’s reasonable. What’s also reasonable is the notion — the actuality, actually — that I should feel like the horses I’m riding are as safe as they can be, for someone like me. Two years and a bit is a drop in the bucket of riding experience.

So I decided to give myself a break, and to get some information before I decided who I was going to work with that night.

I asked if Rebel had been ridden at all that day, and found out that he had. When I went to see him, and clean his hooves, he was his usually sparky self, as opposed to the slightly manic self he’d been on Saturday. I was glad I’d asked — it made feel like I was participating in this, making adult decisions, and generally taking care of myself.

We had an excellent lesson. I knew the minute we started working open order that his head was in the game. In fact, I’ve never had him transition so well, ever. I know how this works, and know that I was more confident than I had been in a while. We worked hard, and I felt strong in the saddle again, and we had a couple of really excellent canters, perfect [pretty much] in the depart, and it’s coming naturally to keep it going with my seat. Sharon said it was ‘awesome’ and that if I’d had €500 in fifties between my bum and the leather, I’d have come up with €450. Awesome, indeed!

Hmmm, think I’ll make a new category called… To Read After a Bad Lesson, and file the posts I’ve got that are all about said ‘bad’ hours, just so I can remember this. It happens. And it happens to all of us. It’s process to go through, and od knows whether or not I’ll listen to myself, but it’s worth a try.

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