Overcoming Fear in the Saddle: Gabrielly's Story

Josey

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Fear of failure. Fear of falling. Fearing of injuring our horses. Sometimes it can feel like fear is lurking everywhere we look. This emotion plagues many equestrians at one point or another, but it shouldn't stop us from doing what we love. Featured Rider Gabrielly pursued her lifelong goal of riding as an adult, then experienced a fall that shattered her confidence. Read on to hear how she found her strength in the saddle!

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I had always loved horses as a child, but riding was not financially possible at the time. In 2017, as an adult, showjumping caught my attention and I purchased a Groupon planning to only take 2-3 classes. During my second lesson the horse I was riding spooked, causing me to fall and land on one of my shoulders. The fear took over and was too much, and on the drive home I had made my decision never to ride again.

However, that same night I pondered on whether the fear I felt was worth me giving up this lifelong passion that had finally become a reality. I kicked fear to the side and went for my third lesson. The fear came back, but I pushed on and kept riding. However, this fear that had come over me and for the first few months, I made no progress because I let my fear take the reins.

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It wasn't until one of my trainers said to me, "Gaby, you do not want to be a pony princess. Do you know what a pony princess is? A person that looks good on a horse, but can't ride". Some may call it harsh, but I am grateful to her to this day because that statement triggered my determination to overcome and catapulted me to conquer my fear.

If other riders could ride, why couldn't I? So I rode and conquered a few strides at a time. Then I started riding another horse, Duke. I don't ride him anymore, but he will forever have a place in my heart because he challenged me on another level. I fell off him 7+ times, but with faith, I got back on after every fall and I counted all of those as victories. Shockingly, the more I fell the more determined I became in pursuing my riding.

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Presently, I tackle riding, jumping, and all horse related matters head-on. Fear tried to take my passion for riding and dealing with horses, but instead, I have my faith, my trainers, and Duke to thank for making me the equestrian I am today. I would've never imagined myself jumping the way I do today and it goes without saying that I never thought the Groupon would turn into a lifelong pursuit of happiness.

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If you are interested in being a Featured Rider, please send your story to feedback@ridingwarehouse.com. Not only can you inspire fellow equestrians, but one rider each month is also chosen to receive a $100 e-gift. Happy riding!
 
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