What a great day. Not only was the weather beautiful for early November – sunny and warm around 73, but Alfie and I had a fantastic lesson. We worked on our shoulder exercises and he did well with them. As I was riding him today, my brain pulled up memories of how we were when we first met. And then fast forward to now, and man, I love who we’ve become as a team.
Those first few years, actually the first 3 were filled with lots of ups and downs. I was learning how to ride, how to become a horse owner, how to become his protector and how to become his leader. He was learning how to trust me.
Despite all the amazing things we’ve done together, I never realized how much of those wonderful adventures were all on him. I was a passenger for most of them. He took charge so to speak, and he did it well. He took care of me, we had fun, but I was definitely not in control – it honestly was a lack of confidence and – it was an incredible amount of trust I had for him without even knowing it. Sure, I remember being anxious and nervous for most of our rides, and on a conscious level questioning his every move and worrying about if he was gonna buck, or gallop or rear – which he never did. But now looking back, I have a better understanding and I honestly trusted him with my life. Somewhere in the last year or so, I stopped being a passenger. I became a strong leader for him while still completely trusting him – and the result of that is who we are today as a pair.
Without this realization – which happened while I was working on leg yielding exercises today – our relationship became so much more clear.
After our lesson, one of the newest boarders came to ride her horse. Her horse is about the size of Alfie, but he’s very muscular. He spent the majority of his life jumping so when I tell you the horse is muscular he’s muscular – he actually has like a 6 pack ab thing going on. Super strong, super nice, super quiet and a bit stubborn to get moving. He’s been at the barn just over a month.
After chatting with my trainer and his owner today, I was given permission to take Maestro for a spin. Instantly my tummy got butterflies – but not scared butterflies, actual excitement. As I’m getting my helmet on I have yet another memory flashback to my early riding days. Actually, to the person I was a year and a half ago. I would’ve been scared to ride a different horse. I was scared to ride different horses. I only trusted Alfie. I only trusted him, but now, I trust myself and my abilities and my tools of communication. Again, I’m not a passenger, I’m a leader.
Our ride was lovely, he’s comfy and smooth but strong. He will challenge me, just like Alfie and Martini do.
His owner said I can ride him for one of my weekly lessons and I just couldn’t help but smile. Smiling because the old me, the one who put all her trust into the horse without trusting herself, the old me would never have gotten on. I love this version of myself. I love who I have become and I really look forward to seeing all that I am capable of.💔🐴