Between the Ears – A Travelling Trauma
Isn’t it funny how the mind works. You get rid of one fear only to be dragged down by another! Following a bad fall I lost all my confidence in horses and riding, I thank the kids for that, sometimes being a responsible parent sucks.
Determined to not give up on my love of riding my mum bought a confidence giver! A typical Welsh D Mare called Winnie, 14’2 hands, 16 years old and extremely tolerant. It took me 10 days to pluck up the courage to sit on her in the garden. 2.5 weeks into having her she was shod, saddle bought and my mum sneakily arranged for me to go for a ride so I couldn’t back out! Shaking with fear and holding her so tightly I set off. Bless her she did nothing, not a Hoof wrong.Over the next 6 months I slowly built my confidence with her until we were unstoppable. Hunting, hunter trials, XC, bloodhounds. We did it all.
Mum decided she wanted to ride with me so after a while we bought another horse. Everything was going brilliantly, I used my sister in laws trailer to go out and do things without a care in the world! With hunting season coming up and my sister in law wanting her trailer more I took my test, passed it, got a loan and bought myself a 4×4 and trailer so that the world was our oyster.
Then one day last year, I was on my way to a bloodhound exercise and as we were going round a roundabout Winnie lost her balance. The entire trailer rocked, I honestly thought it was going to tip over! Once off the roundabout I pulled over, checked the horses and to my horror there was blood by Winnie’s hind legs. Not only had she cut herself she had stood on her heel and sliced it off! That was it, I was going home! I tentatively drove home, going as steadily and slowly as I possibly could! Winnie was bandaged up and I put my trailer away.
Now, despite being completely sound I didn’t ride her for a couple of weeks. Then someone suggested taking the horses out and the fear and feeling sick completely overcame my body! I couldn’t do it!! I signed up for a sponsored ride and the minute I did I dreaded towing her again, so I booked transport. I took her hunting but only because a friend picked me up with the lorry. My trailer sat there, a very expensive hay storage. I could go and collect hay without any issues, I could tow my daughters pony no problem. But towing my two horses? Well that just reduced me to tears.
I stopped taking my two anywhere until this year when I tried to take my new horse Casper hunting. From the minute I decided to go I was shaking, trying to work out the route with the least turns, smoother roads, less roundabouts or braking required. It’s exhausting. Turns out I didn’t need to worry because he wouldn’t load anyway. After 2 hours of trying I gave up. My stress levels at maximum. I was going to miss the meet anyway so why bother! I put him away, put my trailer away and I sat in my car and cried. Why can’t I do this. Why can I tow any other horse ok but not them? Why am I such a failure. I face one hurdle only to be brought down by another! Could I really live with just being a happy hacker? The answer is NO. No I can’t do that, and I won’t.
This won’t beat me. I will fight it and one day I will win! Sometimes I go out and hitch the trailer up and just spend ages loading and unloading. I’ve towed them a couple of times but it still scares the life out of me! I always leave with hours to spare, just in case. I refuse to travel long distance. If it’s more than 10 miles or the roads are to windy I won’t do it! I don’t know how I’m going to get through this but I do know that one day I will. Either that or I’m just going to persuade someone to buy me a lorry so I can burn that trailer and everything will be ok! At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
We wiill follow Nikki and her two horses over the next 6-12 mths and keep you posted with how she gets on! We wish her the very best of luck.
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