Confidence does not Equal Fearless
When you hear the word confidence, what or who do you think of?
The definition of confidence is
"the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something: firm trust"
"the state of feeling certain about the truth of something"
"a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities"
Let's look at the last definition. Are we confident? "a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities"
With horses, things can change quickly. Our confidence can quickly change to fear. People don't like to hear the words fearful, scared, uneasy, tense. Why? Because those words tend to paint someone who is weak. Fear is a natural emotion that we all encounter in our lives. Fear keeps us safe.
Recently I was in the arena with my mare, the snow came off the roof. We all know that sounds like the end of the world. She was between me and the wall. As soon as the snow started to fall, she panicked and didn't know which way to go. She thought about jumping straight into my lap. I'll admit, she got my heart beating a bit. I said "easy, you're ok!". Then I paused and thought "easy, I'm okay"
During this episode of the snow falling off the roof, my horse was having a flight or fight reaction. Her nervous system was responding to a potential threat. Her response to the threat created a threat to my safety and my nervous system responded. This is just how God made us.
I simple directed her out and around me. Then she stood with her head up still unsure if the danger was gone. After a moment, we both took a big breath and continued on. What if my nervous system hadn't kicked in. What if I stood there completely unaware that I was in danger when she tried to jump into my lap and I ended up with a 1000 pound lap dog.
Fear keeps us safe!!
People often feel guilty, ashamed, or embarrassed by fear. Fear is a normal part of being human. If we constantly live in fear, that is a different story. This article is strictly focusing on fear in the moment. Fear that keeps us safe. Don't feel ashamed or embarrassed by an emotion that is 100% normal.
If you are having fear with your horse, contact me and we can work through it.