I really have lost so much confidence over the years – it’s not like I ever had a ton to begin with, either. Confidence has been lost, weight has been gained, and I’m not sure I’ll ever reverse the two. LOL. I think they’re linked, too, of course. But more so, my confidence about me being a rider has been pretty much shot to hell.
I still can’t help but feel like maybe I should have bought that Quarter Horse that I looked at a few weeks ago – just to have a horse to ride. But I have no confidence in myself that I could have trained it to canter, or from there, taught it to jump. My husband said I just have gotten the horse, because you can’t train a great demeanor into a horse. To some degree that’s true I think. True you can eventually desensitize horses enough to where they are not spooky or whatever issue you are trying to correct, but a horse that’s just got a truly laid back relaxed mindset is not something you can teach them.
Part of me wishes I did buy that horse and most of me is so unsure if I should have that I cannot imagine buying him. I wonder if my confidence will return? What if I were to buy a horse – any horse – whichever one – and things go GREAT. Maybe I buy a bit of a project, and tune it up and get out to some shows and have fun and just for imagination’s sake say that the horse ends up being like Luke- the dream horse- only this time, for me, not someone else. Well, I would think it would be suffice to say that after battling my doubts and purchasing that horse I would be very confident- not only from how well things went, but I’d have confidence in my abilities once again, having tuned up the rusty horse and done something with him.
On the other hand, what if I buy that rusty horse and things go south – what if it were to turn into another Tate or Spyder – another horse that starts to buck, rear, attack me, and become brutally hateful of me? I can try to avoid that as best I can – not get a mare for starters, and then try to get something that’s a good age, experienced, not green like Spyder, and not so old that’s it lame and broken down and arthritic like Tate. I could try to buy something that won’t bitter up due aches and pains or total lack of work ethic. But still, even if I buy as carefully as I can, given my mediocre price range – I cannot ever know if the horse will just start bucking, rearing, attacking me and not let me ride him until I’m there and then it’s too late. Then what do I do? My confidence would be totally lost and I’d be left with another horse I ruined.
What about my photography? I received some very complimenting words from the people I photographed last week. I even got a gift card in thank you, which was nice. So my confidence is up about that a little bit, but will I ever be a photographer that’s good enough to produce money? Money to buy a house? Money to pay bills? Money to maybe get a horse? Would that money buy me confidence?
I just can’t help but to wonder if I will ever get it back? I had been talking to my dad the other week, about that paint horse- I asked him for money to help me buy it and he refused. I tried to explain to him that I used to ride, I used to show, I used to ride all the time, and I don’t ride at all anymore. His response was “uh huh, I know.” He then proceeded to ask me why I can’t just go somewhere and pay $50 to ride around for a while. I told him I pay that for my riding lessons, and he couldn’t understand that I need to ride more than just here and there. He couldn’t fathom that I was talking about riding 2-4 times a week, not just a couple times a month. He didn’t get what I was trying to tell him about that lost piece of myself, how I miss what I used to have so dearly, and how I need that part of myself back again. It was like talking to a tree trunk. I’m OK with that he won’t give me some money to help with another horse purchase, but I wish he would at least recognize that I’ve lost a huge part of myself and it was something I used to be good at.
I guess part of my confidence- maybe part of everyone’s confidence- doesn’t just come from how they see themselves in their eyes, but how other people see them for the thing they are trying to do. For me, if I go horse show, and I get a ribbon -any color, pick a color, who cares – at least I have that to show for my efforts. When I bought Tate, and took a 22 year old western ranch and cattle horse and competed in Dressage with him, after teaching him new tricks, I was thrilled with my 6th place ribbon – which was incidentally 6 out of 6 – in our first show. I was happy with that, happy just to have the opportunity to compete. The judge’s comments were supportive – well matched pair & lots of potential – I think were the words he wrote on the score card. I also came to see that even though I had gotten 6 out of 6, I was not far off in points from the winners at all. I think I got a score of 66 on the first test I did with Tate, and 5th place got a 67. The winner had a 73. It wasn’t like I got a 40 or something! So I was happy, and confident enough to continue and when I went to another show, our first test resulted in a blue ribbon with a score of 72.
Then Tate became a bucking mean monster and I could no longer ride him and then the same thing happened to Spyder, and my confidence was lost after two years of struggling futilely with those horses.
As far as my photography goes, I was shocked when I won first place at the first contest I entered. Thrilled when I got a 1st and 3rd in the second contest I entered. And I’m looking forward to entering more contests this year. I’m a little unhappy that I didn’t place in the most recent contest, but I’m not put off. I’m nervous about how my pictures are doing at the Midwest Horse Fair, and anxiously await judging tomorrow.
Maybe that’s part of my problem. Maybe I look too much for people to see the good in me and they never do – maybe I cling to that judge’s decision to dictate the quality of person I am, and that’s why I have no confidence. Maybe it’s not anything else other than that I can’t find the confidence in myself without someone else pointing it out.
I’m just not sure. I’m so unconfident I cannot even be confident in why I’m not confident.
I just thought I’d get that out there.