How the fear of falling off was stopping me from learning to let things go.
Updated: Sep 6, 2019
I have been riding now for nearly 13 years, and although my balance isn't great in everyday life (yes, I truly suck at yoga) I can keep fairly center on a horse, especially Molls, who I know off by heart, knowing every next movement, and her every trick in the book, I trust her completely, and I'd like to think she trusts me by now too. However I could never fully grasp why I wasn't keeping balanced when riding bareback. I was fine in the saddle, but take that saddle off and I was all over the place.
The fact of the matter however was staring me straight in the face. I had never admitted that I didn't have full trust that I would be okay, even if I fell. I was so scared of what could happen that I wouldn't allow in putting trust in myself, and her that I would stay on, and not over balance and fall to one side.
S o W h a t C h a n g e d ?
What changed is that I got to the point when I didn't care if I fell. If I fell I would just get back on, it was simple as that. She's only 13.2hh and so I'm not that far from the ground. If I hurt myself, well I'll shake myself off and try again. When I adapted that mentality I didn't lean forward and panic, instead, when she wasn't slowing down straight away I kept tall, allowing her to stop in time, and allowing me to keep my eyes forward and not firmly placed on the ground, which is where I would normally be going if I kept my eyes there. All I was doing when I was panicking was leaning forward and egging her on, she wasn't grasping what I wanted her to do, because I was shouting one thing, and telling her another. No wonder she didn't stop, she was confused on what I wanted.
When I kept tall however, she knew that I was in control, and I was keeping calm. I finally understood that if I was tilting to one side she would try her best to try and aid me, and if I fell off, well, it wouldn't be that much of a big deal. I'd just take it.
But that's when I got thinking. How many times in life does something panic us and our instant thought is to lean forward, to go into that spiral of oh my god well that's it, I'm curling up in a ball and letting life engulf me, I accept my fate. But you don't have too. If you stand tall and allow whatever life throws at you, staying upright and tough, telling yourself if I keep calm I can negotiate looking forward, instead of leaning forward and focusing on the ground. Then you can slow to a pace of which you can be in control again.
Losing control is hard, we all go through it, and when it happens, we try and do everything we can to get that power back, but sometimes, trust me when I say, it isn't worth it. The problem with panicking is that we do illogical things of which we normally wouldn't do or say, which sometimes can get us in trouble. Like the saying;
Don't promise when you are happy, don't reply when you are angry, and don't decide when you are sad.
we should do exactly that. The next time you panic about something, try not freak out straight away, process it, instead of doing something of which secretly you know you'll regret. Take a breather, look forward and calmly ask yourself what the logical thing is to do, is it to lean forward, go in with guns blazing, or is it to sit back and ride it out? I can promise you that 98% of the time it's the latter. Never do you have to respond to a situation right away...well unless it's life or death, but I feel like a lot of us are treating so many things like life or death situations, when in fact, they're just life.