Almost two months ago I took a much needed lesson with one of my old coaches from high school and before I even mounted my designated horse, I issued a warning to her and all of those nearby. “I’m rusty. I haven’t had a lesson since before graduation and haven’t been over fences since the summer,” slipped out before I could think to keep my mouth shut. Knowing my instructor (and not to my surprise) she quickly told me that she didn’t want to hear it.
On we went with the lesson and while it was far from perfect, it wasn’t awful. I chipped a fence, got left behind twice, and could barely go stirrupless to save my life, but I was more than a sack of potatoes. Before leaving, I got a little pep talk about things to work on, both personally and riding-wise, but the last thing she said was, “give yourself more credit.” At the time I simply laughed and nodded my head, but in the weeks since that Saturday, it has been resonating in my brain.
I would normally call myself a confident person to the point of being a bit full of myself at times. As time has gone on, the arrogance has dissolved and in its place is what I can only think to call fear or uncertainty—fear of large fences, uncertain of my riding ability, fear of failing, and uncertain what someone might think. While I think a healthy amount of fear is necessary, I hadn’t realized just how doubtful I had become—to the point that I thought my riding needed to come with a warning signal.
Since then, I’ve been trying to do just as I was advised. Here we are, less than three weeks away from our first show of the season, and in between the butterflies of excitement I find myself shooing away some doubtful wasps for one reason—we all need to give ourselves more credit.