Simple definition of fear according to Webster’s:
1. to be afraid of (something or someone)
2. to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant)
3. to be afraid and worried
Acronyms for fear from internet (some are recovery slang):
1. False Expectations Appearing Real
2. Face Everything And Rise
3. Finding Everything A Roadblock
My definition of fear (also recovery slang): Fuck Everything And Run.
This was my first thought last evening, about 5 minutes after I got on Chi in the arena. Let me explain.
While I watched her ride him and sat on her mare, the voice that's always in the back of my mind started talking. "You know you're not gonna be able to handle him", "You may know a lot about horses but you can't ride worth shit", "You might as take him back to the folks you got him from because your going to fail". That voice has been there for as long as I can remember. It's the voice from my childhood that told me I wasn't good enough. Sometimes the voice tells me things that sound smart, like "Keep your mouth shut and no one will know that you are upset" or "Don't trust anyone". Sometimes the voice is just plain mean, telling me I'm dumb or that I don't deserve to be happy. The thing is, I usually listen to the voice and don't argue or try to explain anything. It's always been safer, easier and that's just who I am.
But that's not who I want to be anymore. I'm going to be 53 years old in a couple of weeks. My children have grown up and moved out. There's a whole 'nother story there that I'll tell you later. But for now, I want to be successful in things I like to do, things I've tried before, enjoyed but let slip through my fingers because of responsibilities, fear of failure, etc. So I told the voice to be quiet for a bit and let me handle things. I got back on and I could feel that he was more relaxed. I was able to let my nerves settle and enjoy just riding around the arena in circles. After a bit longer, my legs started reminding me I hadn't ridden in a while and that if I wanted to be able to walk the next day, it was time to get out of the saddle.
I turned Chi loose in the arena to to roll and of course, he wouldn't roll. He did hang out with the other horses. I found out he is definitely not the "guy in charge". He was content to follow the mares and let one of them pick on him pretty hard. Poor guy. Hmmmm, maybe we are meant to be together, we've got similar personalities.
So Chi and I will continue down this road together. I'll keep telling the voice to be quiet for a bit. I'll do some studying on equines, watch some youtube videos on working with rescue horses and I'll learn along the way. And fear, while it has it's place in life and is important for safety, can take a back seat. Caution is better at this point.
I'll keep you posted...