I have a friend, let’s call her Mindy, and I say friend in the loosest sense of the word. Mindy is not a very nice person. Mindy hasn’t ridden for a while, she has had some confidence issues but wants to come and ride on Saturday and potentially a few times a week after that. I really don’t want that to happen. I would really love for her to have a rubbish time and potentially put her off for good so I don’t have to deal with her every weekend. She definitely needs to find a different hobby!
So, how do we go about terrifying Mindy? My plan:
1. Put her on a horse that is way beyond her capability. Something a little novicey that needs lots of guidance potentially. We could subtly add in a few horror stories about when the horse was fresh or difficult recently, lets put her on edge before we start.
2. Pick a day when the horse is super fresh. If the horse isn’t ridden from now until Saturday, that could work.
3. Fuel the horse so he is game for an adventure. Plenty of high sugar ingredients and lots of carrots.
4. Pick a windy day. Well, I can’t plan the weather but with the weather behaving as it currently is, we are in for a good shot.
5. Advice Mindy to wear inappropriate clothes. Slippy shoes so her feet slip in the irons, a flappy coat could be good, maybe one thats a bit too long too so it keeps touching behind the saddle.
6. Change the tack – horses hate change so lets put a new bit in on Saturday morning.
7. I will get Mindy to come at about 3pm. All the horses come in from the field at 3pm so there will be lots of horses moving around the school to unsettle things. Also, added bonus is 3.30pm lots of people turn up to ride, an audience will definitely help!
8. If its going well, we will just keep powering on until the horse gets a bit tired and grouchy, something is bound to happen.
9. If in the school isn’t working, maybe suggesting a quick hack around the block with that crazy girl from the stables that just likes to gallop along the verges with her wild pony.
10. I bet if I keep saying “You’re doing fine. Don’t worry about falling off.” Sounds nice and supportive but will fill her head with thoughts of falling off. Should finish things off nicely.
Flawless plan I think!
In truth, I don’t have a friend or even a non-friend called Mindy. Plus, even if I did, putting people off isn’t my style, in fact, it’s quite the opposite….. Sometimes, when you look at things backwards you get a much clearer picture!
My confidence is in a very vulnerable place at the moment, and I know this is the case for a lot of us, so when we ride, we need to give ourselves every chance of it going well. (We don’t want to set ourselves up like Mindy!) So, how come it happens? Because sometimes we don’t always think it through enough to set ourselves up to succeed.
Make sensible decisions of what horses you ride, make sensible decisions of the scenario that you are putting yourself in, take baby steps and always finish on a good note. We can rebuild and find our confidence and smile again.
Do you have any other ideas to terrify Mindy? Or anything you have accidentally done to terrify yourself?