The past week has been a challenging one. I’ve been running on a little less sleep than what I arguably need, work has been full on and I have a partner who has been sick with a bout of gastro. It’s pretty unsurprising that I’ve felt like I’ve not been riding at my best.
And that would be fine except that despite some good moments, when looking back all I feel is the bad parts. I’ve felt like a failure and a bad rider.
So after a week of feeling like a potato, of feeling like I was letting my horse down (something that seems to be part and parcel of life as an Adult Amateur) I finally said to my partner Steve, ‘I think I’m being a bit hard on myself’.
The look on his face said it all, ‘You don’t say Andrea… ‘ Because this isn’t new for me. Self doubt, harsh self criticism, this is one of the ways in which my anxiety shows up.
After just saying it out loud, I went out and rode far better than I had all week. Of course there was room for improvement. Then this morning I woke up to the most generous and heart warming message on my Facebook page. It was a message that reminded me of something important. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
When I look back in 20 years time on my journey with Nonie, I don’t think the thing that will stand out to me is the competitions where we placed or even won. It won’t matter if we take three years before we are ready to move up to Advanced, or if we never make it to FEI. We’ve already come farther than I could have dreamt. What will stand out to me is the incredible partnership I have built with this mare, how much we have taught each other and how much joy she brought to my life.
That is what will matter In the end.