Someone said to me "I admire your fearlessness"
Someone else said, "It is so cool to see older women out there competing" (in regards to riding)
There are a lot of us actually, I think. We are the ones who have always loved horses, but had to get out of them for one reason or another, and now are back and trail riding isn't enough for us. We want more. We want to compete. We want to race, we want to work cows, we want to rope, we want to be better horsewomen. It isn't that there is anything wrong with trail riding. We still do that too, and I darn sure am not making fun on people who are content with that. So please don't think that I am
Maybe it is a midlife crisis sort of thing. Perhaps we are trying to buy back years of our youth by pushing ourselves in events that are generally dominated by younger women.
The funny thing is that while I think, like anyone, we want to be competitive and win, for most of us it is more about the DOING. It is about not going to our grave regretting the things we did not try.
Are we scared? Hell yeah we are!!!! But damn, most of us have been through some pretty hairy stuff in our lives and lived through it. So why in the world would we let fear take us out of the game now?
Every single time I compete in any event, whether it is barrels, sorting, or Versatility Ranch Horse, on my way to the event I am literally sick to my stomach with nerves. Once I get there and get into the saddle, I am much better. But that 3 or 4 minutes right before I take my turn, I generally am shaking from nervousness
It isn't fear of getting hurt, it isn't that I am afraid of my horse, and I really don't care about making a fool of myself. I don't know why I am so nervous. I just am. For the most part, once I clear the gate, I'm ok. (maybe not so much in barrels- but in everything else)
So when the person said to me, "I admire your fearlessness" I laughed so hard. My fear of dying with a ton of regrets, just happens to be stronger than my fear of failure
About a year ago, I got bucked off that buckskin horse Smokey. He got me good and face planted me on a patch of dirt that was hard like concrete. I ended up at the hospital, nothing broken, but my shoulder will never be the same again. I have bones sticking up and limited movement. There are times when the entire right side of my body goes numb.
When it happened, TC asked me, "So are you done with horses now?"
I got hurt but I am no where near done yet! As soon as I was able to get myself back in a saddle I was there. Of course I had to have someone else saddle my horse because it was 2 months before I could lift a saddle up the high.
I still think about that day when I am riding from time to time. Not in the "Oh I might get hurt again" frame of mind, but in the "What could I have done to shut that horse down before he dumped me" frame of mind
Since that day instead of slowing down, I have sped up. I go faster, I ride harder, I ride more aggressively than I ever did before. Maybe because I got bucked off and I didn't die? I don't know.
All I know for sure is that I refuse to be held captive by my age, by my trepidations, or by someone saying to me "You aren't good enough."
I don't care. If I am not good enough, I will keep trying until I get better. Or maybe I won't get better. Maybe I'll keep looking like the worst rider out there, but the smile on my face will be huge because I am........OUT THERE!