I Conquered My Fear of Horses!

Hey guys, so this week I am going to be writing about something that I am very proud of. Before I start typing, I just want to wish everyone good luck with collecting their GCSE results, or if you have already collected them then I hope you got what you wanted, if you didn’t, there is no need to worry. It’s just a piece of paper, the grades that you get don’t define who you are, it’s not the end of the world!

Last week I became very proud of myself, I managed to achieve something that I have been trying to do for years! Over the past few years I have been trying to get over my fear of horses, I have been spending every other summer on courses that my dad has supported me to go on, to help get over the fear.

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This was taken a few months ago. This horse is called CJ, he was one of my favourites.

However, over the past 7 months I have been seeing horses a lot more. I got put on a course, its called stable life, it was so much fun and I met so many new people. I don’t quite know how to explain what the course is, I went on it not knowing what to expect, my dad said it would be good for me. It turned out he was right. I was nervous the first time, I got picked up from school and was introduced to loads of new people.

This is quite a big deal for me, and I can’t believe that I achieved what I did. As most of my friends know, I am terrified of horses…

Oh, I mean, I WAS terrified of horses!

So what? Last week, I achieved something incredible! So many people doubted me about it, I even doubted myself, I never thought I would get over my fear but I did…

Here goes… I’m going to explain… (Keep in mind I wrote most of this blog post 20 minutes after getting off a horse!)

So, for years, I have had this fear of horses, I don’t really know why, all I remember was that the fear comes from when I was younger (It wasn’t anything to drastic but it was enough to scare me for years!). I mean, if you think about it, horses are quite scary, their MAHOOOOSSSIIIIVVVEEEE and you never really know what their going to do.

Over the past few months I have been getting to know a group of horses along with a new set of people. If you know me well, you know that I’m no good with meeting new people but after a few weeks it became normal and we all started to support each other. We have been meeting the horses once a week and learning how to look after them, we also learnt the basics in health and safety involving the horses.

After a while we started to create different obstacle courses that we had to lead the horses round, I’m not going to lie, at first it was really difficult but after a while it was fun to do. The tactics that some of us used were really funny too! It got us to work as a team and support each other, honestly it was so much fun!

I suppose it was kind of like horse therapy, it got us closer as a team and more confident with the horses. It wasn’t just me, a lot of the people in the group had never been on a horse before, let alone carry out the activities that we did, they were also nervous. At the time we didn’t know we were going to end up riding a horse, I didn’t even know what was going to happen week after week.

In the last half term before the summer holidays, we carried out a workshop to youngeryou people. We had been preparing for this for weeks on end. If you know me well, you know that I struggle to talk in front of groups of people, especially new people – Its terrifying! So there we were, in our group, explaining our activity to a group of children. I think everyone in the group knew how nervous I was, I know it was only a group of children but I have trouble talking to any group of people..! But it ended up going well, the rest of the group helped me out and made me feel a lot more confident than I was feeling.

Our activity ran smoothly, there were a few bumps along the way but nothing major and after a while I really enjoyed it! It was so much fun once we all found our confidence! It really was a great day – minus the rain!

After half term, we carried on meeting up with the horses and doing more activities with them. I honestly have enjoyed working with a lovely group of people and getting to know them all! I felt on top of the world, in a short space of time I was able to become more confident with horses and I’m literally so proud of myself.

Then came our last week together… We discussed what we wanted to do as our treat for taking part in the workshop. We all got told that we would be able to ride a horse, everyone in that room a minute later knew I was terrified! Then that was it for a couple of weeks…

Days before knowing that I was going to get on a horse I was terrified. I text my best friend hoping for reassurance.

Then on the 16th August, we all met up again. I was so nervous! I knew that I had to do this, I had to get on a horse, it would be my one and only chance. I would most likely never get this opportunity again, plus I wanted to prove the people wrong that said I would never get over my fear. There was no two ways about it, I was SO SCARED!

The night before, I got sent this quote by a friend and it kind of made me think that even though I’m terrified, if I do this, I wont regret it, I will be okay.

“It’s OKAY to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.” – Unknown

We got to the stables and I was literally shaking, I didn’t want to think about it but its kind of difficult when you’re at a stables. Time moved on and it was time to get on a horse. We all got “Suited and booted” and found out which horse we were going to have. This was kind of important to me… Not because I know anything about horses but because it would make me feel better if the horse looked friendly. (Most horses look friendly but you probably get what I mean).

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Keep in mind that this was my first time on a horse so I look terrified!

I went to go and meet my horse. He was so pretty! The girl who was by the horse was so lovely and friendly too, so that defiantly helped! But the horse was called Ombré, he was beautiful, he had light brown fur and a white mane and tail. The girl who was going to be leading me round said that the horse reminded her of Barbie, and it’s true, he did!

I was second to last getting on my horse. We had to step onto this massive step where we then had to climb onto the horse. I think that and actually being on the horse was the bit I was most scared of. I guess, if something is new to you then it is terrifying either way. I managed to get on the horse second time round, it was so high! I guess people could see that I was as scared as I felt because I kept getting told to breathe.

I guess my problem is, that when I’m scared about something I forget to breathe, the most basic life skill and I forget to do it unless I’m reminded, whoops!

The girl who was going to be leading the horse around walked me into the arena. It was terrifying not being able to control the walking, I’m so used to being on a bike or walking that it was so scary! It felt different, really odd.

She started to walk me around the arena while everyone else was being led round to kindAli2 of get used to it. I thought I was going to fall forwards and come off, or fall off sideways or just fall off altogether. But as my friend kept reminding me the night before, I am okay, I will be okay. I was just hoping that I would keep it together.

I had to keep being reminded to breathe, it was so scary!

We got led around the arena in different ways, it was actually quite fun, once I got it in my head that maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. We carried on going around the arena going from different check points to others. It got to a point where we were asked to hold the lead and as much as I would have wanted to, my hands were firmly on the saddle and the lead, holding on for dear life! It wasn’t that the horse was even going that fast, it was that I was scared!

Ali3In the end I didn’t manage to just hold onto the lead, I ended up holding onto the saddle all the way round, for the entire hour! Just managing to get onto the horse was a big step for me so even though I didn’t hold the lead or lead the horse round, I am still incredibly proud of myself.

The girl who was leading me round made it a lot easier, we were having a good old chit-chat while going around the arena. She even experienced me having a bit of a panic and managed to calm me down, so although my best friend wasn’t there with me, I still did okay, and having the support from the team that has been helping me over the past few months, defiantly helped!

There were times when I wanted the horse to stop and I wanted to get off but I stayed on because I know I wouldn’t get back on if I got off. I didn’t want the fear to take over, so I stayed on and made myself proud.

The hour soon ended, it didn’t feel like an hour at all. I learnt how to get off the horse.Ali4 Turns out that people who ride horses all the time make it look really easy and it’s actually quite difficult to do. I couldn’t figure it out at first, even with the help. Although, I eventually got off the horse. I nearly dropped to the floor but got held up and managed to hold myself up. It was a quick drop. It wasn’t like anything I expected. I don’t really know what I expected but it wasn’t that.

I got asked if I wanted a hug but really I just felt light-headed, I needed to have a drink of water and sit down. My legs kind of ached. I took off the body vest and undone the helmet and went to go and get a cup of water with someone who has been supporting me since I can remember. I finally got the water and sat down… I DONE IT!!!

I was shaking still, I couldn’t believe that I had done it, I suppose I was still nervous. I sat down staring at the cup of water, I just didn’t believe that I managed it. I got told by a few people who have been supporting me while on this course, that I did good and I should be proud of myself, I defiantly am!

I guess I was just amazed! I was in shock. The first thing I did, while waiting for everyone else in my group to come and sit down, was text my best friend and my dad to say that I did it. That I actually rode a horse. I’m still amazed, it was an incredible experience, one which I can say that I have enjoyed and will never forget.

IMG_2272After getting off the horses, we all noticed that we were covered in fur but all talked about what we just experienced, it was amazing! I was still shaking but I was so happy!

We made our way to the next part of our treat, we ate at Pizza HutIMG_2273 and went to go and watch the BFG. I can honestly say that it was one of the best days I have ever had! I’m not likely to forget about it anytime soon!

I feel like the past few months have defiantly had a positive impact on me. It has had a positive impact on my confidence and me overall, and I am so happy that I have had the chance to experience things like this. I know to most people that this isn’t that big of a deal because its something that they are used to or have done before but this was my first time and I am glad that I experienced it with who I did. I made a solid bunch of new friends and had the experience of my lifetime.

Just over a week later, I am feeling so happy and proud of myself! I just can’t believe that I managed to get over my fear. I can’t believe its all over, I had such a good time and can’t thank the people I worked with enough. All the support that I have been given means ever so much to me.

I don’t particularly know how to end this post, I feel as if I have written loads, but I am so happy and proud of myself, so I’m going to end with a piece of advice. If you are scared of something or have a fear that you think is possible to be conquered than just go for it! Sitting and hoping that the fear will go away isn’t going to work, trust me I know! You will feel so much better after you have done it. Whether it’s a big fear or a small fear, if you put your mind to it and get enough support then anything is possible!

Okay, so that’s it from me this week, I’m really proud of myself and this blog post! I guess it’s another thing on the list that I have achieved this year! Thank you to those that have supported me through this, you know who you are! It is greatly appreciated! My next blog post will be up on Monday! Have hope and stay strong! Conquer your fears and have no regrets! Much love – Alison xx