Since joining 8 Women Dream, it has become apparent to me that reaching my dream of becoming an accomplished rider is going to require some dedication.Â Up to this point, I have allowed my riding to take a backseat to the rest of my life.Â It was something to be done “if I got to it”; which, of course, I never did.Â If I am going to make progress, I am going to have to look at my schedule each week and plan definite days and times to ride, just like I plan the rest of my schedule.Â Gee – what a simple thought.Â Can’t believe it took me this long to figure that out!
Last week, I had three “facts” that I was going to force myself to face:
1) Nikki is a fairly safe horse;
2) I am a fairly good rider who has the skills to deal with Nikki;
3)Â If I fall off, I’m OK and will get back on.
I’m very proud to report that I did pretty well in not allowing myself to wimp out this week.Â But it wasn’t easy!Â When I was going to spend yet another day lunging Nikki, I made the decision to go ahead and actually ride.Â When I put it off all day, busying myself with thinking up excuses, I confronted each of those excuses:
1.Â Excuse:Â Its too windy to ride (weather – too cold, too windy, too hot – is one of my most frequent excuses to not ride).Â Fact:Â It was not blowing a gale.Â “Accomplished” ridersÂ do not wait for “perfect” riding weather. Â What would I do if we were scheduled to go to a competition and it was a little windy out?Â Not go?
2.Â Excuse:Â We’re going to be out of town next Wednesday through Sunday so there’s no point in riding today and maybe tomorrow; I’ll start when we’re back.Â Fact:Â No, I’ll start now.Â If I ride today, that’s one more day of progress I’ve made.
3.Â Excuse:Â I don’t want to bother my husband to come sit by the side of the arena for a few minutes until I feel comfortable.Â And, that’s stupid that I need him to do that anyway.Â Fact:Â First, if that’s what I needÂ for my first ride of the spring,Â then that’s fine.Â Second, he’s not doing anything super important today and he doesn’t hesitate to ask me for my help.Â He’ll be happy to do it.
Know what?Â I was right about each one.Â Nikki was fine in the slight breeze.Â I did have a good ride so that’s a day of progress towards going to a show.Â My husband was more than happy to sit by the arena for a bit.
I got Nikki out againÂ the next day and went through the same process:
1.Â Excuse:Â IÂ don’t want to ask my husband to watch the kids for an hour so I can go ride.Â Fact:Â Â He’s happy toÂ watch them.
2.Â Excuse:Â Â Its too cool in the morning; Nikki will be silly.Â Fact:Â He was fineÂ yesterday in the wind.Â Â He’ll be fine.Â I have the skills toÂ ride him.Â And again, am I not going toÂ ride in morning classes at a show because its “too cool”?
3.Â Excuse (when I did get Nikki out):Â He’s looking a little silly this morning andÂ isn’t standing very quietly for grooming.Â He needs to be lunged.Â Fact:Â See #2 above – I have theÂ skills, he’ll be fine, etc.
Know what?Â It was all fine again!Â And, my sweet husband even came out to check on us and to make sure I was feeling comfortable.
OK I think I’m getting this!
(Danelle left 8 Women Dream in March of 2010 and is still workingÂ on her dream is to become an accomplished equestrian)