PostHeaderIcon Trust Replaces Fear

It was quite a long time ago.  This might have been five or six years ago.  There was this horse, a fruit loop horse.  She is a sensitive horse and the wrong people bought her.  After six months, she was scared of anything human.  If anything human moved, she was scared of it. She is what Pat Parelli calls a “Hey Bob! Horse.  You are riding this horse.  You wave your arm to say hi to Bob and the horse bolts. Human arms to this horse are things that beat you.  Arms beat you.

I bought this horse after she was ruined.

The Hey Bob horse teaches you not to pick your nose, point at anything or wave at anyone.  Your horse bolts when people near you pick up their arm.  You learn to yell at your friends.  ”Do not pick up your arm when you are near me! Do not flick your reins at your horse! Do not wave at flies on your horse!  Good God, do you want me to die?”  The horse was also claustrophobic around other horses.  We can not get too near other horses.  Soon she taught me to be scared of other horses.  They might kick me.

I rode the Claustrophobic-Hey-Bob-Horse for quite a while until the fear of arms finally got to me.  The bolting was not bad.  The horse bolted and was easily stopped with the reins.  Only once did she bolt out on a gravel road with me.  Hey, it was just once.  When you ride with loose reins and the horse bolts, it takes about a year to pick up the reins and pull back.

Finally when I was good and trained to be afraid of arms, I paid Nichole Hack for her to be trained to not be afraid of arms.  i got her back and the world was good, except any movement on her part caused me to tighten up as a reflective action.  It was OK when I thought about it.  Self, you are not going to haul back on the reins when the horse flinches.  Just let her flinch.  Self, you can now raise your arm.  The horse will not bolt.  Self, if your horse does take a couple forward steps, just know that the stop is just milliseconds away, don’t grab the reins.The horse will stop on her own.  You do not have to haul back on the reins to stop.

Looking at the stories of this horse, her journey back to being a relaxed horse took about three years.  She was totally ruined in six months.  I couldn’t 100% fix her.  I fixed a lot of things, but not the bolting and in the end, I was just as scared of people’s arms as she was!

So when you have this bolting fear, the human body does something that is called cradle reflex.  Your upper body tries to fold into a ball.  Your body leans forward and your legs go back.  In the horse world, this is called “the fall off position”.  One sideways step from the horse and you are in the falling off position..on the way to the nasty ground.

The next horse to come into my life was the Horse of No, Lucky Star.  The Horse of No did not have very many bolting episodes.  But there were some short episodes and I went into my cradle position.  I got to ride a lot without the cradle position happening to me and that was a good thing.

Next in my life is Cisco.  I don’t remember that he did any bolting actions that caused me to go into the cradle position.  But for the first couple of years I had him, I was ready to fold into the cradle position when i saw something that I thought he might spook at.  And he never spooked.

I am quite upset with myself about tensing up and preparing to go into the cradle position.  Stop it!  Why can’t I get over being afraid?  Cisco is not going to spook.  I can trust him.

I came up with the idea that I am not trusting Cisco.  I am not trusting Cisco to take care of me.  Cisco is taking care of me quite wonderfully.  I believe it is time to let this fear go.  I am going to trust Cisco.  I’m not going to gather up my reins when I see something scary. I’m not going to tense my body.  I’m going to keep the reins slack and keep relaxed.  I am going to trust Cisco.

And that was the answer!  You need to realize that you can trust your horse.  You need to ride a horse that you can trust.  I believe that I am over the cradle-fear now.  Thank God.  It took a long long time and two horses to get me over it.

Here is an amazing article talking about the human instinct and the cradle position.  It is a great article and should help you further understand why your body betrays you when riding a horse.  From balanced rider.net

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