It was all crap, but I did it!

Yesterday stood out as one of those days where disaster tinged everything I tried to do.

Wednesdays are horseback riding lesson days. I usually have a 40°F cutoff for riding. Anything below that and my horse skitters around with winter glee while my fingers freeze off. I broke that rule because this is my magical No Zero year. The result was pretty crappy. The McDonalds I grabbed on the way home from dropping off the kids was determined to consume my mind with the urgent need to go to the bathroom. It could have also been that I was just a scaredy-cat. Maximas was a complete sweetheart, winter skittering aside, but I couldn’t relax. My teacher kept assuring me that my horse was going slow enough to drive his fuzzy mind crazy, but the thought of him going into a working trot just terrified me.

My last fall would blare at full blast on a replay loop in my head. I would fall forward, so Max hurried up to catch me, which prompted my legs to flail out. Max would decide, “welp, crazy lady up here is having a meltdown, so I’ll just figure out where to go on my own.” The voice in my head would say, “SEE!? He’s going off in a random direction! Stop him before you end up galloping across the arena and end up on the dirt!!!” All of this in the space of 5-10 strides. My arms bodily yanked the reins to make us stop. I could hear the inner groan in my teacher’s head.

I’m also working against four years off from riding. My muscle tone and balance have evaporated. I have moments where I start to feel the rhythm that Maximas and I used to take for granted, but it is impossible to maintain. I’ll fall forward, over post, or keel over sideways. It’s hard to accept my best effort when I know I have done so much better in the past. I know my horse is doing what my body is telling him to, and it sucks, and I’m getting tired of forgiving myself every second for repeating my mistakes.

The only thing that will fix it is more practice. I have to keep messing up until I get it right. My horse forgives me. I should forgive myself, too. Hopefully, today will be a little better.

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