On Sunday we went to an indoor eventing clinic with event rider Phoebe Buckley.
After last week I was feeling pretty disheartened with horses, and if I hadn't booked my place at the clinic so far in advance I doubt I would have gone. Nothing makes you feel more like a loser than completely failing at pretty much everything attempted in that week!
So, I didn't have much faith in my abilities. I was starting to think I would show myself up, that the mare wasn't as talented as I think she is (I can be rather biased!) and that I was wasting everyones time.
My fab friend/super groom came with me for moral support and horse holding. She mostly helps by making me feel like an idiot for being nervous! That does help quite a lot actually!
But I need not have worried. The mare is truly amazing, and was complimented by PB many times. This meant rather a lot to me, having had the mare since she was an unbroken three year old and done everything myself. I really liked how PB ran the clinic, there was very little telling us 'how' to do things, but setting things up so that we had to ride or it wouldn't work. That is how I like to be taught.
Something that struck a chord with me was PB saying "I mean this in the nicest possible way, but you are an amateur, you are not going to be William Fox-Pitt, so enjoy it"
Now, much as I like to think of myself as a bit of a pro, I'm not, and unlikely to ever be. But I do still want things to be perfect. I've worked with horses a lot over the years, and was pretty good at what I did, but that was then, this is now. Then I rode horses for other people, I was paid to sort out difficult ones, or to back youngsters. Now I am just a mum with horses to keep me sane, I should enjoy them and try not to put so much pressure on myself. I should ask for help if I need it, and not be ashamed that I am not the rider I used to.
I should. But I won't. I will carry on being competitive and argumentative and giving myself a hard time over silly mistakes. Just because I'm not going to be an international event rider, doesn't mean I shouldn't strive for the ability to be.
Sometimes being stubborn is a bugger!