Little girls and horses. There’s some kind of magic in that combination. Whether the little girl ever gets to ride real horses, or makes do with her My Little Ponies and reading (and re-reading) every horse book she can find in her library, it’s a passion that often doesn’t subside as the years go by.
Fast forward fifteen, or twenty years, or more. Here is the little girl, all grown up. Still loving horses, but maybe life hasn’t offered her the chance to own one. The obligations of family and work and being a grown up have extracted their toll, but no longer will that voice inside be denied. The dream becomes reality, the little girl finally has her horse, and they live happily ever after.
It would be wonderful if life could replicate some of our favorite fairy tales. OK, maybe not the wicked witches and hateful step sisters, but happily ever after would be nice. Sadly, what happens to a lot of women when they finally get their dream horse is that the reality doesn’t quite live up to the dream.
Whether it’s a hectic schedule, training challenges, or guilt over spending time away from family and responsibilities – there are many factors that can derail our journey to happily ever after.
Whatever the cause, when spending time with her horse becomes something that produces stress, guilt or fear; our heroine often doesn’t know where to turn. Her instructor may help with her riding, but what about all the other facets of her life? Many instructors aren’t prepared to take on the challenges their students face outside the lesson. Her horsey friends may be willing to help, but many of them could be facing the same issues; and, while misery may love company, simply complaining to each other over a glass of wine isn’t going to lead to any lasting improvements.
Help is at Hand
Our heroine is the woman I had in mind when I started this blog. As an internationally certified riding instructor, I’ve worked with a lot of women like her for over 30 years. Women who remembered how much they always wanted to ride when their kids started taking lessons, or who had some free time when the kids grew up and finally decided to start riding. Some of the women just took lessons, others had finally made the leap and found their dream horse.
I’ve always loved working with these women, (who are all heroines in my eyes). The come to the barn with a passion to achieve their dream. While they may struggle with fear, a negative body image, or a lack of confidence in their ability to learn a new skill, that passion supported them and carried them forward.
I loved developing and sharing exercises to help my students overcome challenges, both physical and mental. I loved providing a supportive atmosphere so these women could start to live that dream. Allowing themselves to finally live a dream they’d had for so long. Challenging themselves in new ways – and succeeding. Conquering fear. Developing a partnership with an animal that outweighed them by half a ton.
But whatever their challenges and victories, one thing all of these women had in common, was that it wasn’t just about the riding. Their successes followed these women when they left my barn. I began to realize that my lessons were empowering women in the barn, and beyond.
I hope that this blog will become a place where you can come to find support, answers to questions, lessons about your relationship with your horse (and ultimately, yourself), and a sense of community.
Here are a few of the things I’ll be covering in upcoming posts:
- Why awareness is important and how you can develop yours
- How your level of self-confidence influences the level of trust between you and your horse (and how to improve it)
- The Three C’s of Communication (Clarity, Congruence and Consistency)
Please join me each Monday to read more about how you can Find Yourself on a Horse. Have comments or questions? Please feel free to leave them in the comments below and I’ll be happy to chat with you about them.