Thursday, April 2, 2009

King Fear by The Babylon Whores

Yesterday found me living up to every ones expectations...I WAS "the fool"
Nothing new there, so let's move on.

Working with horses and being a riding instructor I have to manage varying degrees of fear every day.
It's a dangerous thing, being around 1000+lb animals.
You have to be "on your game" all the time because horses are really smart and know, with 100% accuracy, when your not paying attention.
That's when they test you!
I've been doing this "horse" thing for a LONG time now and pretty much have my butterflies in formation.
This is not the case for many of my students.
I spent much of the weekend pondering how best to help them, it's my job.
I reached some conclusions.

1. I have to respect that the fear a student feels is VERY real, for them.
2. There is no point in my saying "Oh dinnae be an Eejit, it'll be fine"
That's MY reality not theirs.
3. We only learn "out of our comfort zone"
That said, if we go too far then we are in a frightened place and no longer learning.
4. As humans we would be daft NOT to experience fear.
It's our brain kicking into self preservation mode.
5. Fear causes Brain Freeze.
6. Overcoming fear leaves us with three scenarios:

i. Oh Shit moments become Oh WOW moments. eg someone who's been afraid to Lope
becomes confident and before you know it all they want to do is go FASTER!
ii. You become indifferent. eg Picking hoofs can be scary for some people and rightly so but as
confidence builds it becomes just a job. Not, Oh WOW, just, get it done.
iii. The fear remains but at a manageable level. As I said, butterflies in formation NOT
flapping around bouncing off the walls.

I have strategies.
I have a responsibility to my students to use these strategies!
As my mentor Mr P says "Take the time it takes, to take less time"
Move closer stay longer.
True story-
My BFF horse, the one I put 6 year olds on, the love of my life.
Four years ago that horse and I looked at each other, through pipe panels for 6 weeks.
I was terrified of her!
She was terrified of me! ( I was THAT predator)
It took a full year for us to get on track.
It was a journey, a wonderful journey and one which changed me as a person, a trainer and an Instructor, all for the better!
When it comes down to it, most of the time, our fear is of the unknown.
The Bard says it much better than I ever could :
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!

(translation ;-) )

And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!


Mike said...

A bit of reflection today. Lay back down on the couch and keep talking.

Wv: disesses - Ill fitting womens garmets.

fiona said...

Mike - You mean you want MORE? lol

AbbotOfUnreason said...

What I'm afraid of is looking like an idiot weakling trying to climb up onto the back of a horse and getting stuck where I can't get my leg up and over.

LiLu said...

When I eventually come to visit, I demand a lesson. And I ain't skerred at all.

lacochran said...

I can understand why an animal would fear Narm. That's just good horse sense. Especially with the lube in his hand.

But you? I dinnae see it.

fiona said...

Abbot - I have exercises I can teach you to help you get your leg over...
Lilu - When you come to visit, you,B, SB and me can all get a nice wee bottle of wine and go out for a trail ride!
LA - LMAO @ Narm ref
You've got your Scottish accent down pat darlin!

AbbotOfUnreason said...


fiona said...

Abbot - Ach, dinnae play "shy boy" wi me laddie! Ye'll be throwin that leg ower onything afore ye ken it!
Trust me, I'm a professional! LMFAO

Amanda said...

I really enjoyed your post today. Your days sound so different from anything I know. I don't know anything about horses and they only time I've seen them is .... in the zoo?

fiona said...

Amanda - Thank you for your kind comment!
Ehmmm the horses in the zoo?
Did they happen to have black and white stripes? LOL

fiona said...


Narm said...

I've been kicked by a horse twice already - I have written them off as a species. They hate Narms.

And thanks for catching my spelling error - I fixed it and am not embarrassed.

Bilbo said...

Good post! From where I sit here in Washington, we tend to see only one end of the horse, and it's good occasionally to be reminded that there are two.

vw: arbabl - a rambling conversation between two pirates.

fiona said...

Narm - LA's comment explains EVERYTHING!
Your Welcome...Embarrassed ? You? NEVER!

Bilbo - *curtsy*