I headed out to the barn to ride like any other day. I had a list of little things to work on in my head, dressage, dressage, dressage. Then I took a moment to pause and soak up the sunshine that finally arrived after two weeks of rainy deluge. I did not want to work hard today. I just wanted to enjoy my horse. I resolved that it would mostly be a trail ride day. We still did a twenty minute warm up in the outdoor arena and Rose couldn't have been more perfect. After that we walked around the pastures, the pond, and the little trail area along the property's back fence line. That fence line brings us to the bridge. Usually I just walk past the bridge, loop around the hay barn, and then call it a day. It's an enjoyable but short trail ride, as trail rides go.
Instead of passing by the bridge I thought about taking Rose over it, and I felt my anxiety come flooding back. Rose, I knew would have no issue with the bridge, unless of course I gave her a reason to have an issue with it. I was bound and determined to keep my blood pressure low and not let that happen. After all, I WANT to go over the bridge right? I walked her over to the very loud and high creek and stood contemplating the bridge while Rose got used to the loud noise. I still felt myself chickening out over it. I have never even tried taking her over a bridge, so really I have no reason to be concerned about it, other than the fear of the unknown. It seems to me as one gets older, the fear of the unknown become a much larger aspect of one's life. That or I've just become really lame.
"Suck it up and get some balls" I told myself.
|The potentially scary concrete bridge.|
I decided on a quick plan of action. As some of you previously suggested in your comments, I decided to take your advise and walk Rose over it in hand first. This would give me some confidence once I saw how she approached it. Confidence boosting it was! After looking at the creek a bit I had her full attention and she dutifully tried to figure out what I was thinking. I could tell she was observing every single twitch of my arm and fly buzzing about my head. I took a deep breath and headed for the bridge. Rose of course had absolutely no issue with it. Not even with the echoing sound the shallow concrete bridge made as she clip clopped across it. After I had walked her back and forth over it twice, I mounted back up, took a breath and walked her over it.
|Looking back at our barn from the other side of the bridge!|
|The grass definitely seems pretty green on the other side!|
She was of course perfect about it and won lots of praise, scratches, a nice bath, and hand grazing from me.
Happy trails and swooshing tails!