How To Deal With Missing The Old You

How To Deal With Missing The Old You

Finding freedom feels impossible; independence? What’s that! This child needs me 24/7. Flexibility vanishes and is replaced by structure, nap times, play dates, sports, school and more. It’s exhausting to simply not go crazy and manage everything the family needs. You feel endless guilty for wanting a bit of the “old you” back when the decision to ride or not was entirely up to you, and it didn’t require endless planning and rescheduling to make happen.

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From Confident to Cautious - Part Two - Finding My Way Back Into Horses

From Confident to Cautious - Part Two - Finding My Way Back Into Horses

My second daughter was born almost two years to the day apart from her older sister. Talk about another colossal shock getting used to being the mom of two. I again struggled with postpartum depression; I was short-tempered, easily frustrated, and felt like I was getting lost in motherhood. 


(To read part one, you can find that here)

Come springtime, my daughters would occasionally nap simultaneously; this is when I would try and ride. We are very blessed to have an outdoor arena a hundred feet from our home, and wifi monitors gave me the ability to take advantage when the opportunity arose. Yet again, I felt pressured to start riding our youngster, Ace. I started doing some groundwork with him, and it felt like nothing much had changed in the past year; we still didn’t get along. I was getting increasingly frustrated with him, and I hate to admit I lost my temper numerous times. My fear of getting hurt only fuelled the fire. I had two little kids; I couldn’t afford to get hurt! But I was also stubborn and tried my best to push my fear aside. 


It didn’t take long to realize I just didn’t have the skill required to work with Ace. I was a scared ticking time-bomb, and funny enough, so was he. Combining us was a recipe for disaster. My husband and I decided to send him to a friend who also trained horses. He came unglued with her a time or two; hearing her replay his bucking escapade made me even more apprehensive at the thought of riding him when he got home turning my tummy into a ball of painful knots. 


I knew something had to change for Ace and me to find any resemblance of a partnership. While Ace was at the trainer, I started to look all over the internet for some insight on training methods that would work for him. What I ended up finding, however, was the farthest thing I was looking for. 


I started to see hints that I wasn’t listening to my horse. I would become defensive at this way of thinking; how am I supposed to be the leader if I’m not telling my horse what to do? He will walk all over me if I let him tell me what he wants; it didn’t make sense to me, and honestly, at the start, I thought it was ridiculous. I started to learn about stress indicators from Warwick Schiller, and while I thought it seemed a little crazy to let my horse have such an opinion on things, I was very intrigued with the idea of what he was doing. I kept watching his videos, and pretty soon, my skepticism started to dwindle. 


The more videos I watched, the more articles I read, every bit of evidence started to point to one main problem within our partnership. Me. My attitude, outlook on life, and buried trauma were negatively tainting everything I was touching. Talk about a kick to the ego. For so long, I thought the horse was the one with the problem, and I just had to learn how to train him. The reality was, however, I was the one that needed the training and the healing. 


When Ace returned, I was happy with his progress with my friend and trainer Breann Heatherington. I was still nervous, thinking my skills wouldn’t be adequate to prevent a blow-up or perhaps inadvertently cause one to happen. When we got home, I tried to do a lot of listening. I think Ace was a little shocked at how differently I was approaching our time together. Pretty soon, he started to communicate with me his concerns, worries, and even physical pain, as long as I was paying enough attention to see them. We were creating a deep bond doing everything in baby steps. I wasn’t in a rush anymore. 


A quote of unknown origins that completely changed my perspective was how we all, horses and humans alike, want to feel that we are "being seen, being heard, feeling felt, and getting gotten." When I stopped drowning in my own emotions, negative energies and trauma, I could finally open my eyes to see, hear, feel and get what Ace needed. 


Healing myself has been the most significant step to releasing anxiety, fear, worry and doubt. Without healing, moving forward would have been impossible. I encourage you to do the same. 


Like what you've read? Check out this video where I talk more about this. 


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Photo is my first barrel race back after the birth of my daughter.

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From Confident To Cautious...My Journey With Horses Alongside The Difficulties of Becoming A Mom

From Confident To Cautious...My Journey With Horses Alongside The Difficulties of Becoming A Mom

I was that girl who would ride any horse, anywhere. I didn't care if I knew I was likely to get bucked off; I was determined, brave, and thrived on the challenges of a difficult horse. Then, everything started to change...


I can remember it like yesterday. I felt the excitement of pregnancy, all the ideas, visions, and promises I made to myself before I had my first child. I’m not going to stop being me; I’m not going to let my baby needy, so I can’t go anywhere alone. I’m still going to ride a lot, not as much as now, but a few times a week will be easy. Our baby will go everywhere with us so that we don’t have to be isolated, restaurants, play days, coffee dates, travelling to see my parents or for holidays. There’s no way in hell my girl will sleep in our bed, this is my bed, and she will learn to sleep alone right away. We will be a family who still rides and rodeos! I never imagined it would be my last summer to rodeo.


I can’t help but laugh at my naivety. The second my first daughter was born, every preconceived notion I had, every plan, evaporated like the morning mist. Perhaps you can relate? We have this idea in our heads for how life will be like once we become a mother; I can guarantee we were all in for the shock of our lives. 

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SHOULD I BE A LEADER OR A PARTNER WITH MY HORSE?

SHOULD I BE A LEADER OR A PARTNER WITH MY HORSE?
Now that I am aware of my previous training methods' errors, it's becoming a little difficult to balance sometimes knowing what role I should be in. Previously, I was all leader, more so a dictator. What I wanted to happen happened; it didn’t matter much if the horse wanted to or not...Now that I don’t want to be a dictator, I also want to avoid becoming too passive with my horse so he is walking all over me physically, or that I am avoiding every situation that makes him nervous. It is a fine line that seems so complicated at the start. Then I realized... - click to read on. 
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HOW TO BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE AND QUIET THAT NEGATIVE VOICE

HOW TO BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE AND QUIET THAT NEGATIVE VOICE

How often do you hear that little voice inside your head natter on and on about how you have no business training your horse. You aren’t good enough; strong enough; knowledgeable enough; big enough, small enough, skilled enough. Hearing this voice, I like to call her Negative Nelly, sucks you down to the endless pit of disbelief, self-doubt, no confidence, anxiety, and even fear. 


In this blog, I want to address what I believe to be the biggest problem we all face that will sabotage your relationship with your horse. Your mind. 

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