One thing that people are often unaware of, is that riding and working with your horse will bring up a lot of emotional upheaval that doesn’t necessarily pertain to the riding.
When I left Molly’s the other day I was emotionally drained. Physically, I felt like I had been run over by a Mack truck and that was only due to some basic walking! Most of the *crap* I felt was actually due to what has happened to me over the last two years. There has been some serious stuff which I have not, and won’t, be blogging about here as it has nothing to do with horses except that when you have been living with some of the burdens I have on my shoulders – riding reveals it.
It’s why Klaus Hempfling tries to get people to understand that the horse will mirror your internal life. It’s more then “being confident around horses” or “showing them you mean business.” Whatever has been going on in your life – with your human relationships, your job, your education, your spiritual journey, your health etc… the horse will make you face.
This can come back as a surprising slap in the face. It can also abruptly turn people away from taking the horse path – as I’ve seen teaching some horseback riding lessons to folks who weren’t ready to deal with the emotional pain they had secreted away.
The process of horses stripping the emotional defenses also came up years back during the Centered Riding clinic I had attended for a week. The Facilitator had talked to me privately about how, during CR clinics, people can become seemingly more emotional then the situation warrants. And this clinic was full of some spectacular bull – with an out of a control horse being ridden by a severally handicapped young woman who refused to admit that the horse was too much for her to handle – even when he broke lose from being tied to the trailer and ran across the dressage arena or when he dumped her on the ground (a first for our CR instructor during a CR clinic).
I saw the same thing happening to me and others during the week long TEAM (Linda Tellington-Jones) clinic I had attended. Of course, I knew my own emotional limits: certain types of people piss me off so I stayed away from one person, and the emotional turmoil I have during hormonal fluxes. OTOH, the person who owned the three, supposedly out of control horses (they weren’t), who cried at the drop of a hat really needed a therapist and not two TEAM instructors holding her hand for the week.
It’s easy for people to say, “oh you are upset because you are afraid of falling- the horse going to fast – the canter – losing your balance etc…” because those can be legit concerns depending on the horse and the rider. However, what people (who are surface thinkers) don’t understand is that riding and interaction with your horse digs deep into your psyche.
While I didn’t go home crying my eyes out, I also knew that the exhaustion I felt over the next 48 hours was due to letting down my guard and forcing myself through. Sometimes you have to cry – feel exhausted – feel drop dead tired as if you’ve run a marathon, because your body has just released a lot of held tension: emotionally and spiritually. Afterwards the body can feel even refreshed and today I was more positive and uplifted about riding Z then ever.
Today, was a short but great ride on Z. I felt more comfortable with her and willing to relax and trust her more. Some of the physical tightness in my body has to be reminded to release but I am more ready to let that happen now.
I’m eager to keep going and will ride Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, with her moving to her new home on Friday.