Let’s face it, there are tons of opportunities to feel burnt out and grossly negative about your training. Beating yourself up about small mistakes; faking illnesses to avoid going to the barn; snapping at loved ones – they’re all the product of a lie that you’ve been believing. The ‘I’m not good enough’ lie. Oh yes, I face it every time I think about going out to Stormy and I’ve learnt that there are times pushing through it makes things worse (like today for example). The key is to catch it before it prevents you from moving forward. Catch it before you’ve decided to go out and greet a disaster.
- Look back. I mean, WAY back (and trust me, this is the only time I recommend looking back at the past). Look at where you’ve come from and tell yourself of all the things you’ve conquered. “Jeannine, you used to be terrified of your first horse! Look at how confident you are with Storm now!” or “Hey, you used to mount like a mountain ogre and now you’re lithe as Legolas!” And this only scratches the surface. Immediately I begin to feel better about myself. Look back and realize the even if the hill was small, you still climbed it!
- Ask yourself, ‘What does my self-worth depend on?’ If it depends on your friends’ or family’s opinion of you, that’s a problem. Your self-worth depends on you alone. If you look at yourself and see only good things, so will your horse – and that makes for a really fun session! If you look at yourself and see the bad and the ugly, your horse will totally agree with you and leave you to wallow in self pity. Here’s the secret: Your horse actually wants to see the best in you. Give him a little help by starting him off. Once the flame catches, it won’t die.
- Do what you enjoy. Not always possible, I know that (boy, do I know that!) But when it is possible, don’t wait! Now is the only time you have, so make use of it! Instead of sitting and worrying about what’s coming (the job, or a meeting, or school) think about what you would like to do, right here. Right now. Then do it! This is my BIGGEST problem, so you’re not alone. It interferes with everything, including Storm’s relationship with me. I am constantly having to convince myself that he’s what I want; not the stress, not the worry, but him.
- Find a happy place. Read my article on the Learning Palace? Read it here: Building Your Learning Palace This is going to be a huge draw for both you and your horse to go out and get some things done. It’s a safe place where (I hope) you both feel happy. I was reading a book that talked about why indigenous peoples built up homes where they did. It said that there was something about the land that just felt good; a place that made it easy to live. Try to find a place like that.
- Eat well. Play nice. Stay calm. Put away the laptop for an extra hour a day. Go for a walk when you just don’t know what else to do. Eat something healthy for a change. Drink water. (Yes, I know I’m sounding like Mom.) But it all makes a difference. Build your body up and your mental emotional self will follow.