Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fear Management, part two

I'd intended to get to this next post a little quicker, but my computer decided that breaking was its next order of business. Luckily Steve is willing to share his computer so I can write about Exercise number two: What are my goals?

Exercise two asks, "If fear weren't an issue, what would you want to do with your horse? What are some specific things you would do?

Well, fear is less of an issue than work for me right now--I can't get out of the office early enough to even get to the fear part--BUT.. I digress.

If fear weren't an issue, I'd gallop Calabar as fast as he could go--which is actually pretty fast. I'd lean forward and feel the energy and power of my horse as he did what he was born to do. I'd go out to the beach and we'd race Steve and Lena and see who really is faster in the long run. My eyes would water, his mane would whip me in the face, and I'd know what a jockey felt like for real. I'd know what it felt like to fly.

Exercise two also tells me to visualize fulfilling my goal 15-20 minutes a day. Not just picture it, but incorporate detail. The sound of the sea gulls at the coast, the constant wind and sound of the surf, the thud of his hooves as they hit the sand, the waves and spray sending salty mist into our faces, the sound of his breath huffing out of his big Thoroughbred nostrils, the stretch and surge of his muscles (and mine) as he pours himself into the run, the sweet smell of his sweat and warmth of his neck between my hands, watching it all from between his brown ears, moving with him, being relaxed, laughing as the beach races by below us.

I'm supposed to rank my goals in order of importance, but I really only have one. It dovetails into many other things, but there is really only one.

Every step we take together, every time I push him past the grumpy stage and get him to go along with whatever odd thing I'm asking, I know I get a little closer.

The very first step is not tensing up when I ask him for a canter. Actually, scratch that. The first step is not tensing up. Period.

If there are other specifics, say a little low jumping, it all falls into the same category--trusting myself to handle what he throws at me, if he decides to throw anything at all. Which he hasn't done. In a really long time. 

I think he's trying to tell me something.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

This is a really fascinating series you're doing, and I'm going to follow it really closely. I've come a long way with Miles, but I know I could go back just like *that*. Visualization has done wonders for me (us), as well as deep breathing and babbling to myself in the saddle. Now, when he's super relaxed, I don't have to do anything in particular. Days like today, when it's cold and rainy and windy? He's looky and likes to "scoot" when he thinks something or some sound is scary. So I sigh loudly and I babble about how "cool" the fonz is and how he's just like him. I've also found bending his neck side to side while walking forward helps. Ah, these boys of ours...dull moments never last:)