Mistakes happen and out of it confidence emerges!

So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about mistakes lately.  Maybe it’s because the year is almost over so in thinking about dreams and goals for the future we also have to think about our mistakes, especially if you want to grow as a rider and push your comfort zone and boundaries.  Also I was thinking about it because my little filly has been doing something the same thing my big guy always does and I know that behaviours that you’re working through travel horse to horse until you deal with them, like spooking or bucking.  This one is an interesting one.  Mister gets mad and bucks after he slips on the lunge line (thankfully if he slips while riding he doesn’t buck!!) . But he does buck under saddle when he gets upset.  I used to get upset when I would make mistakes too.  My rides had to be perfect.  Not sure where this came from, but I would put a lot of pressure on myself.  I have passed this onto my horses it seems as well and I have really noticed my geldings attitude lately hasn’t been his most happiest.  He’s happy when he’s working and doing something he enjoys and knows how to but when I push him out of his comfort zone or when we do something that bores him I get attitude, usually a buck!!  I am also happy when I’m in my comfort zone and understand but if I don’t understand or feel overwhelmed I get upset.   My filly also did that the other day and she hasn’t been around him when he does that so she couldn’t have picked it up from seeing him do it. In the exact same way-she slipped and then gave a big buck right after.  So somehow I’ve already made her feel angry about making mistakes.  I never want them to feel like they can’t make mistakes or they can’t try!   It really upset me the other day when I saw her get upset because she felt she made a mistake.  I love those 2 horses and I want them to be happy!!  It’s crazy how  horses seem to bring out the best and worst in you in order to be a better you!!

So starting now I’m going to let go of the feeling that mistakes = failure and start embracing the try and let’s play and push some boundaries!  Take a little risk and have some fun!  I now understand when my riding instructor told me during the show season to give my test some pizzazz and take some risks.

My last ride really showed this.  I’ve been talking to my riding instructor about wanting to build my confidence which means putting myself in situations that may not turn out well and then showing me that I can actually handle them.  I handled other horses and riders (often I ride with just my riding instructor since I work in the afternoon/evening) being cut off, and people doing their own thing and having to pay attention and guide Mister.  Mister handled it all beautifully and was so content!  Then one of the girls left with her horse and he exploded in a fit of bucks a quarter of the way around the arena!  I saw the ground but thought nope not hitting the dirt today!!  I had the reins pretty draped since he had been so calm earlier and so it really caught me by surprise!  Other horses leaving through the aisle on the side have always made him react (not always a huge bucking fit sometimes it’s just a bit of a sideways spook and other times it’s what it was the other day!)  Usually we stop while the horse goes up the aisle  and wait but it had been awhile since he had that reaction so I hadn’t even thought about it!  At any rate I did not hit the dirt, he stopped, and then we went back to work and had a beautiful ride when I was filled up with a bit of adrenaline!  So another confidence boost!  I can think about the fact that he bucked or that I handled it and we had a really good ride after that!!  I choose to think about that the fact that we handled it and that we have some work for the new year! Oh Mister Magoo you always keep my life interesting and fun!!

Can’t wait for the first ride of the New Year!!