Everyone writes about riding confidence at some point, right?
One of my goals is to get back in the saddle, and to rebuild my confidence.
I use the word rebuild lightly. It's not like I was ever the most confident rider.
But since having a baby, I'm probably less confident. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I created and birthed a new little human and the most important thing to me is to love and protect him. That mothering instinct is strong. And it does not involve getting myself maimed or killed by a 1200 pound animal.
When I found out I was pregnant (actually, even just suspected) I stopped riding completely.
I think some people thought I was being worrisome and over-protective. I didn't even want to ride the most gentle horse on the ranch. We call her "the couch." She's short, wide, comfy, steady as they go. Probably as close to bomb-proof as you get. This 4 year can ride her on a trail ride without a lead line.
I knew she wouldn't kill me, but what if I fell off and broke my leg or my neck? How fun would it be to be pregnant and have a broken bone?
After baby came, I wanted to ride. I wanted to even just groom or scoop poop. But as a breastfeeding mama, I hardly had two minutes to rub together to use the restroom, let alone get out and see my horses. One time I took the baby monitor to the pasture (which is like 50 feet from our house) during Ranch Boy Jr.'s nap and I swear I just got Luna haltered and he woke up. So I just gave up.
Over time, it has all become easier and now I can get 4-5 hour stretches away from Jr. and I can get in some horsey time. I had Luna in training but didn't get to ride, but felt motivated by watching her training sessions and I learned a lot.
This photo is from 2009, when for fun I slapped a friend's english saddle on My Boy and rode one day. I couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear at how different it felt. I think I was afraid to canter him, we just trotted. It had been years since I'd ridden English.
I know, my stirrups are way too short!
That is the reason I want to take some kind of riding lessons, even though I consider myself an intermediate to experienced rider. I want to challenge myself, and my confidence. It's harder to just chicken out when you are being held accountable by someone else, who is encouraging and guiding and pushing you. I am hoping to just have fun and enjoy horses again, knowing I can balance being a mommy and having a hobby that I am passionate about.
Have any of you ever encountered this post-baby confidence stuff?