so, for the last three weeks it has pissed with rain pretty much constantly. On the three nice day's we've had, i've either been at work, at tech or sick in bed. So no riding.
I also seem to have discovered quite a bit of fear. Apparently in deciding I want to work with horses for a living I've put enough pressure on myself that now I am.. afraid. Of doing something I've always loved.
As you can imagine, being afraid of getting on my horse is kinda freaking me out. I don't recall ever having been afraid to get on a horse. Mildly nervous of a new one I didn't know well, but no actual fear. Combine this with learning to ride without a saddle for the first time ever and you have a fairly terrified me. I have no idea if my horse has ever been ridden bareback.
So I took my partner out with me. and made him stand, holding poor BBB (who only wanted to eat, his paddocks pretty well grazed out and the grass around the mounting block is beautiful...) while I tried to convince myself to get on. I think I put my leg over about four or five times before committing to getting on.
BBB was wonderful. We walked quietly around the paddock and stopped to graze a few times (just while I got used to the sensation...) I will get a bareback pad though, as he has saddle damage over his withers and it makes him a little uncomfortable to sit on. I hate to think what my bony bum does to his poor back!
I am amazed at the amount of feeling there is... every time he moves his head, bends his neck, takes a step... you can feel all of it, his ribs bulging on either side, the curve of his back changing as he drops his head and lifts a hind leg forward...
I believe learning to ride bareback will make me a much better rider, and I believe I will overcome the fear I have now. But for a while, I will continue to keep company with me, especially while riding round the block, which is my usual hack. God only knows how long it will take to feel comfortable at the walk, or the trot, or the canter, but I will do it.
I dream of myself riding, like Alec and the Black, down the beach, without fear... That is my picture of absolute freedom.