Pre Riding Camp Nerves

It’s the 19th July and it is the 10 day countdown to my riding bootcamp weekend away. 

I am so nervous right now it is ridiculous! There are so many reasons why I am so apprehensive right now, just to list the main ones:

– I haven’t had the confidence to get on and actually ride my own horse since October 2016 – 9 months ago!! 

– I have a massive fear of getting hurt – in 2013 I broke my back when a horse at work reared and came down on top of me onto concrete. 

– Frankie is a handful on the ground and quite often rears vertical and strikes out with her front legs – cue my brain having a complete meltdown because I know I have zero chance of sitting to that if she was to do it under saddle and that then brings back bad memories! 

– I’ve only recently found the confidence to travel her in the trailer on my own to a local schooling venue that is less than 5 miles from my yard – camp is 45 minutes away and i’m doing it solo! 

– I have never taken any of my own horses away to stay at an overnight camp/ show before so i’m not 100% sure on protocol and Frankie hasn’t stayed anywhere other than home in the 2 years of owning her.

– When Frankie was injured several people made comments about me not being good enough for her, how she would be wasted if she stayed with me, that I would never be able to produce her into anything much, I won’t be able to cope with her big personality and hot mature. – at the time these comments were made I laughed them off, I knew what we were capable of, I knew what her personality and nature was like and wasn’t fazed. However, since I’ve started doubting my own ability and my confidence has well and truly hit an all time low their words have plagued my head daily, chipping away at what hope I did have. 

– I have also set myself goals that are quite high – so I guess the fear of failing is looming.

However, I won’t get anywhere if I let negative Nancy talk her way in. So I am turning my nervousness into that of exçitement.

Tomorrow (Thursday 20th July 2017) I am taking Frankie out first thing in the morning to the Equestrian Centre down the road. I am meeting my friend (who lives there) she has kindly offered to jump on Frankie first just to reassure me that she is settled and then I am getting on for a ‘lesson’!

– Frankie and I have overcome her ground issues and we trust each other completely on that level and we have formed quite the partnership. I need to keep repeating to myself that she isn’t out to hurt me, she doesn’t have a malice bone in body, she has never attempted to or ever done anything that is likely to make anybody fall off. – I have realised I am using her as an excuse for my own issues – not cool!! 

– As an ex racehorse Frankie is well traveled. She loads perfectly first time, every time. She travels absolutely beautifully, so quietly you forget she’s in the trailer. She stands quietly on the trailer in traffic and when at a venue – even with things going on around her. – I know faultless right?!

– Again as an ex racehorse she is also very experienced at going somewhere new, coming off the lorry/ trailer, going into a new stable, standing to be plaited and tack up, being lead around a parade ring with a roudy crowd and other hyped up horses knowing she was there to do a job. Going to stay away for the weekend at a very quiet private dressage yard is going to be a walk in the park for her. 

– Okay, I haven’t stayed away with a horse before but what a great first event and a great first experience this is going to be. I will embrace it because I am very very lucky to have been selected for this camp in the first place. 

 I do know what my own abilities are and I have a good record of riding and producing horses to a high standard, as soon as I get on and ride away these doubts in my head won’t have a leg to stand on. This weekend camp is also with my dressage coach, Olivia Towers, a international dressage rider who has competed to Grand Prix level. Olivia is also passionate about one to one coaching with riders mindset, confidence, fears and frustrstions and goal setting etc. All of these one to one coaching sessions are included along with 2 x 1 hour riding lessons with Olivia. – Olivia is the best of the best at what she does, I will be in exactly the right place with the right support and help to overcome my fears.

– I have set some high – off the scale at the moment goals! But hey we all have to dream! Although as well as setting these high goals I have also set smaller, stepping stone goals, achievement markers and daily/ weekly goals. They are definitely well within my reach if I work hard plugging away at the stepping stone goals I will reach my milestone goals. 

I have also learnt to embrace failure. Making mistakes makes me look at what I am doing wrong, think about how I can do it better and make me work harder to achieve it. So now I welcome failure and use it as a reason to lesrn. 

So yeah, to round off this evening I have a mixed bag of emotions but I generally do feel more excited of this fantastic opportunity than anxiousness.

Anyway it’s now mid-night, I have an early start in the morning so I need to get some rest.  Albeit, I definitely feel alot better for writing this down. 

Will check in to update soon.


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