Ahh, the inevitable ebb and flow of life which is not always in our control...that has been the summary of my last week. Lots of rest, more sleep than I think I have EVER had, and the unescapable period of recovery that has to be suffered in order to be back to a hundred percent.
I did, indeed, suffer my first concussion. After suffering through work with a splitting headache last Thursday, I finally went to the doctor, where I quickly failed part of the neuro evaluation. So I took Friday off to recuperate, and found myself sleeping for extensive periods of time for the next several days. It was a long weekend, espcially considering there is little you can do while resting your BRAIN - it is pretty much involved in just about anything you might do to pass the time. It left me with a lot of time to think - too much, I'm sure. I found myself evaluating a lot of things, and really thinking about my relationship with my horse.
It's funny, because so much of my battle with fear started out with actual fear - that I would get hurt, that something would go wrong - it seemed endless at times. Now, a year later, I have made so much progress in that arena. I know I would have never gotten back on and finished a jump session after a concussion a year ago. So I know that my confidence in that aspect has grown immensely.
Now, it seems, my biggest battle is with my own self-doubt. That has always been another underlying issue in my riding, and I think it is a common battle for a lot of riders. There is an abundance of criticism and critique in the horse world, and much of it is not hidden. Everyone has their own opinion of how things should be done, and that really isn't a problem. The problem is the critical nature behind it. I don't understand why, as horse people, with more or less a common goal, we can't be more supportive of each other in our journey to improve as riders and as horsemen. Regardless, I have spun off the original topic. I have come to grips, with all this time to think things through, that I need to really work on my own self-confidence. At the end of the day, the only person required to cheer me or April on, is me. It is my job to do the very best I can to understand what she needs, and to advocate for it. I am not perfect, and I'm still learning SO many things, so yes - I might make mistakes. On the flip side, however, I can't just swallow everyone else's advice or wishes, and pretend it is the best thing for me. I spent plenty of time doing that in former situations, and every time I have conceded to someone else's agenda, I have ended up miserable and stuck in a rut.
So where does that leave me? I guess, step one, is to quit beating myself up for not being perfect. That's going to be massive challenge number one - stop comparing myself to everyone around me, stop feeling like less-than-enough for not being the favorite, and maybe just start telling myself that I am going to ride like no one's watching, and attempt to live more in the moment. Step two is to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks, because it really isn't doing much other than stressing me out. Step three is to be continually grateful for a horse that has brought me so far in the last year. A horse that I was able to step on after being knocked quite silly, and jump two more fences, without a moment's hesitation.
And now, since I have passed the alotted time period in which I am supposed to be staring at a computer, I am going to sign off. Hopefully tonight I will get back on the horse - both literally and figuratively - and see if we can't start turning off the cycle of self-doubt. Cheers!!!