I didn’t learn to ride until I was 34, I hadn’t even sat on a horse but had always wanted to.
I was initially quite a confident rider and told that I had a natural ability, but sadly my confidence was destroyed after several incidents.
I have had my fair share of scary incidents and have been made to carry on riding a horse when my gut instinct would have been to get off it, not because I was afraid, but because I genuinely felt the horse was trying to tell me something. However my instructors at the time would make me carry on.
During the course of 2012 and 2013 I had a few incidents of coming off horses which gradually knocked my confidence. In August 2013 I was riding my horse, who was fairly green, and I knew in my gut that I shouldn’t have got on him, but I did. As a result he bolted and I ended up face first in a post and rail fence, spending three days in hospital, and the worst nose job, apparently my surgeon had ever seen!
I was told not to ride for six months.
Basically I had completely and utterly lost my confidence. I decided that this was to be an opportunity for me to establish a really good relationship with both my horses, but especially my boy, off whom I had fallen. So I started to do groundwork in straightness training. In 2014 I thought maybe I was ready to get back on, but something held me back and I kept holding back until finally I contacted Rosie.
During our first couple of sessions we didn’t work with the horses at all. Just on me and trying to get into my ‘authentic’ self. I have to be honest, although I understood what Rosie was getting at, initially I couldn’t let myself go enough to embrace the changes I needed to make, which actually I think were fairly small. I am a very independent and strong person and one of my ‘faults’ is that I like to do things myself. I am not great at asking for help, but I do like to try and help others.
For me I think the biggest thing was the re-affirming of my belief to always trust in my gut instinct. If I had listened to my body on that day, I wouldn’t be writing this now. But in a weird way, I am glad I am because this whole process has taught me so much. Rosie also helped me to see the difference between what I thought I should think and what I really think. The first big thing to happen was in June this year I had the confidence to go on a riding course on a borrowed horse; the first time I had been back in the saddle.
I now live much more in my body and much less in my head! Because of the liberty work I had already done with my horses to get a better bond, it didn’t take long once Rosie had helped me, for the whole puzzle to fit into place. Recently after three years of not riding my horse I sat on him for the first time since the accident and we walked around my school. He has only just started ridden work and it was only the fourth time he had been ridden in the last three years. I used Rosie’s ‘body scan’ before I got on to see how I was feeling about the whole process and made the decision to go with it, as it felt completely right.