Baby horses are hard. I brought Cinder home June 30th and am just now feeling like we’re approaching where we were when I brought her home. The transition from her being ridden by Trainer A three times a week and me having one lesson a week plus one ride on my own to me riding solo was rough. Not that Cinder’s been naughty or bad, she’s actually been really good. It’s more my mental state and trying not to pass along my anxiety to her.
The day after bringing her home we had a lesson with my regular trainer J and it went really well. Cinder was her normal laid back self and J was happy with how she was going. Our next couple of rides is when the wheels started falling off. Cinder got a little spooky at the far end of the arena, I got even more busy and burnt out at work and my anxiety got the best of me. I was scared to ride her in the spooky end, scared to push her when she was being resistant, and just generally terrified I’d come off her again.
It didn’t help that I got a message from one of Trainer S’s (the first trainer I sent Cin to) students telling me that while she wished me the best, me posting about Cinder being good for me was hard for her to see because she felt like I was being mean to S. She felt like I was lying and proceeded to tell me about how other trainers had done was worse things to her than what S did to me/Cinder. You know what’s not great for an already anxious and stressed out person? Someone they really don’t know that well shitting on their experience and saying how they’ve had it worse so you shouldn’t complain. I was pretty much ready to sell both my horses and live as a recluse at that point.
And of course during this time J and I couldn’t coordinate our schedules for another lesson. We did finally have one a week ago and I spent the first ten minutes dumping all my emotions onto J. We came up with a game plan going forward and actually managed to have two other lessons last week as well. Each lesson and each ride has felt better and better. I’m feeling much more confident with myself and Cinder, and J has told me that I’m not allowed to put Cinder up for sale. She, and Trainer A, fully believe that Cinder will be the horse I want her to be, I just need to believe in myself, my riding, and in her.