I have been working very hard on managing my stress and trying to become less freakishly worried about everything horse related. My confidence was severely shaken a few years back and it has been a lot of hard work getting it back. At my worst, I was looking out the back window of my house at the view of the horses in their corrals with heart racing and palms sweating, praying they wouldn't be running. If they were, my gosh, certainly they could get hurt. If it were muddy they could slide into the fence (yes, that has happened, and more than once).
If I were planning to ride, I would be shaking already before I even got out of the house. It took a decision, a commitment to get over this, that began a long struggle back to enjoying horses again.
I have come a long way and no longer panic when I see the horses playing around. I don't even look out the back window much anymore, and I certainly don't feel the panic I used to.
|View from my window :)|
Tonight was one of those fine evenings that gave me a glimpse of how far I am coming along. After putting the kids to bed, I headed out to do the evening feeding. My 1 and 1/2-year-old filly, Shiraz and the pony, Silver had been in the arena for the day to do some "mowing" for me. As I entered the barn yard, I could see the metal arena gate on the ground, bent in a U shape, and the fence post it was hinged to was broken in half. Hm. Interesting. Now, this is where in the past I would have filled with fear, wondering how bad the injury would be to the horse that did this, running, shaking to find her.
Proudly I can say I did not. Instead I paused and considered the situation. As I was going over it in my mind, gaping wounds or not, I knew I would be able to handle it. And moving forward with fingers crossed, I saw Shiraz. After examining every inch of her, there was just one little mark on her knee. No swelling, no bleeding, and nothing else. What a lucky little horse.
My anxiety is still there. Like when I am approaching the first jump of a ride, or thinking of taking my mare on a trail ride, but I can feel myself improving all the time, in small ways. With a commitment to baby steps and "doing what I can do, until I can do more", I know I'll get where I want to be.