You are always your own worst enemy
Even when everyone else is telling you one thing it can be very hard not to think something entirely different yourself. There have been two incidents that have happened to me since my last post which have really made me realised how much I can damage my own confidence.
My horse for the musical ride ended up lame. First off I had a brief moment of panic that I would end up not riding after all as there was quite a lot of indecision about what horse would replace him. I thought “Oh well, they’ll end up putting in a horse that I can’t ride so someone else will have to do it which means I’ll be out. Great.”
This is because one of the girls originally doing it had already been transferred on to something else as her horse had gone severely lame. The horse replacing him was one she hadn’t ridden before which meant another student was put into the ride and Emma was unceremoniously evicted.
I felt that this was very unfair, as there were alternative solutions that were not taken up. Emma, however, was very mature about the whole thing and accepted it without arguing or causing a fuss. I was proud of her for that.
The solution that was presented was for a girl who had brought in her own horse to ride him in the musical ride for the day, in the hope that my horse would be sound in time for the Open Day. To which the owner of this horse said “But I don’t know the routine, how am I meant to ride it?” So they suggested that someone else ride her horse. “Oh well, I’ll just sit it out today I guess” went my brain. I started to wander off seeing as there was no point in me sticking around.
“Megan could ride him”
Everyone turned and looked at me. I’m not quite sure what look was on my face, but I reckon it was something akin to incredulity. The yard staff and Becky had a little chat about it, and decided that yes, I could ride him. To which I asked “Really? Can I really though?!” Turns out, everyone decided I could. So I did. And, it was fine.
I’m not sure why I was so doubting of my own ability to ride a horse. I think my confidence just dropped under the panic of “but it’s someone else’s horse and I’ve never ridden him before and I’m probably not good enough anyway.” Even though Becky and everyone else was perfectly fine about it, told me I’d be fine and wasn’t bothered about me doing it at all, something in my brain told me there was no way it was going to work out.
Aren’t I silly.
My riding lesson today consisted of a free-schooling session and riding assessment. It didn’t bother me to start with. I was actually quite enjoying it to be honest, as I was able to totally focus on the horse I was riding and really make the most of riding him. So, we were riding around quite happily, working rather hard to boot. I started feeling quite confident with what I was doing, and like I was actually starting to achieve something with the horse.
Then the tutors called me over.
Immediately, I started to panic and managed to successfully get all my words mixed up, garble some random rubbish at them and gape blankly at several questions. I felt like a prize idiot. I knew the right stuff was in there somewhere, I just couldn’t find it. For some reason, all the confidence I’d previously felt just totally disappeared and I reverted to my state of nervous novice.
In both of those situations I basically convinced myself that I wasn’t good enough to do what was being asked of me. And in the end, I didn’t fail at either. Stupidly, however, I’m still not entirely convinced. I’ll be doing the assessment again next week so that I have a chance to get myself in order beforehand. The tutors were understanding of my anxiety when it came to being questioned on what I was doing and recalling the correct terminology to explain it. They reminded me that being able to do that kind of thing only comes with experience, and as it was my first assessment they were impressed that I managed to get as far as I did with it.
And Becky doesn’t have a problem with me riding her lovely pony at all, and was encouraging the whole time I was riding him. “Squeeze him on Meg, leg leg leg!” was all I could hear throughout the session. I can only hope that I do him justice on Open Day and don’t let the rest of the musical ride team down.
So, what I should be learning from this I suppose, is to have more faith in my own ability. I’m the only one throwing any doubt on myself.
So I should stop that, I guess.