Riding Bareback Through Fear

The horse sent pangs of fear through her, but she rode through the terror and found self-confidence. 

by Leslie Miller • More.com Member { View Profile }
Leslie Miller is a freelance writer and editior in Denver, Colo.

But I did go back to the stable, shaking all the while. The fact that I was so afraid of horses has turned out to be a great gift. If I had no fear of riding, I would not have received this gift.

If I had given up, I would have become a tiny bit smaller; that much more entrenched in my comfort zone, with less confidence and less zest for life. Although I have just had my 55th birthday, it would have been giving up that actually made me older, not the passing of days. Instead, with each lesson, I have less fear. I am both physically and emotionally stronger. I feel engaged, proud, and adventurous.

I am hoof picking and bridling the horse by myself now, after five lessons. (Frankly, hoof picking will never be one of my favorite things.) I’m enjoying getting to know horses like I dreamed of when I was a little girl. I’m developing killer leg and butt muscles! I’m even considering learning to jump.

I’m learning how to ride a horse, but more importantly, I am learning how to face, feel and move through my own fear, and not let it debilitate or stop me like it has in the past. In the process I am developing internal strength, moving out of my comfort zones into a new level of confidence, and increasing something that is priceless to me—my self-respect. Tally Ho!

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