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The Comeback

Essie has finally gone off to the trainer and it is time for me to start the process of getting myself ready to ride again.

I have a tendency to worry about things, and in the past worry significantly affected my riding. Before pregnancy I had made great strides in overcoming the anxiety that had been holding me back. After having such a big break I have been worrying (how ironic) that I’ll be set back again.

However, now I have the tools to prevent this, and part of that is engaging in The Comeback Pathway – a new pathway created by Jane Pike for her membership group, JoyRide. The Comeback Pathway directs you through a journey to bring you back from “trauma” to be able to ride again with confidence. This trauma could be physical – a fall or injury, or emotional – like having a new human-being relying on you, you definitely can’t get hurt now!

As part of the process she asks us to journal the process, and that is what I’ll be doing here. Welcome to my comeback.

Journal 1: Transformation

Thoughts that have plagued me – will I be the same again after my baby is born? Will my riding be at the same place, will I be able to tackle the same things?

But I won’t be the same again. An enormous, momentous thing has happened to me. I have become a mother. I have been entrusted with the precious life of a little boy that was formed inside of me. I went through pregnancy and labor. My eyes were opened to just how strong I can be, and how much physical pain I am able to endure. My body has changed forever. No, I will not be the same again.

What do I do with that dividing line of before and after? How do I deal with the changes, emotionally and physically?

I am being invited through this experience to embrace the change, to allow it to transform me, and to become better than I was before. This is not a backwards step, it is an opportunity.

The pregnancy and newborn phases allowed me to spend more time than I would have on ground work and theory, improving my relationship with Essie by doing lots of hanging out. We would spend some lovely sleepy time just standing together, Essie with her head hung low at my legs, me gently stroking her forelock and ears. I would not have done that without this experience, and I believe that our relationship is stronger than it was before.

I have started a clicker training course, reading through the information while I sit breastfeeding. When would I have had the time to learn all of this before? I am learning so much about my horse and about the type of horsewoman I want to be. One that is patient, consistent and kind always.

I am thankful for the experience of becoming a mum. I am thankful for the changes in my body and the shift in my priorities. I am thankful for this little person who is my own, despite the interruptions he will make to my plans. I think the interruptions will benefit Essie and give her more time to process what we do and find her way forwards into a confident horse.

I am thankful for the possibilities that are open to me, the opportunities to transform my riding and become better than I was before.

And as I navigate this process I need to be kind to myself. I have never done this before, returned to riding after having a baby or been a parent. The unknown is bound to be uncomfortable, and that’s OK. I need to learn to sit with the uncomfortable and know that a break through is just around the corner. And if it isn’t, that’s OK too, it will take the time it takes.

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