A few days ago I posted a video of me riding from 8 years ago to my instagram stories. I was on a big black horse doing some jumping with the caption along the line of “the days when I wasn’t such a nervous nelly!” and the response I got from people was quite surprising. So many people got in touch to tell me they were feeling exactly the same since having children or just from having a break from riding. So if you are feeling the same, be assured that you are not alone! A lot of people told me that having children changes the way you ride or feel about riding. I never used to believe them because I always saw other mothers out there still riding and doing the same as they always had after having children. However, it has changed me and sometimes I do feel a bit crappy about it.
I don’t know whether it’s because I don’t have my own horses anymore that I know inside out and trust. Or the fact that I don’t have the chance to ride as often as I did pre children, I used to ride everyday several times a day. Or that it is just that these little people of mine are constantly somewhere on my mind?! Whatever it is, I do sometimes find it really frustrating (especially when certain facebook memories pop up) that I am not like how I used to be with my attitude towards riding. I know (as my husband regularly reminds me) that deep down that I do still have the abilities to sit the tricky horses or jump the hedges and rails. I’m sure I will find my self confidence again one day but for now I am trying to just be happy riding and not putting the pressure on myself.
I always used to tell my mum that if she didn’t enjoy riding a particular horse, don’t do it. If you don’t want to ride a certain hack, don’t go that way. If you don’t want to jump, just don’t. Horses are there to enjoy, for the most of us they are our pleasure/hobby/escape from the real world. If all you want to do with them is look after them and love them who else’s business is it that they aren’t ridden?
So if like me you’re feeling a little down about being a bit apprehensive about doing certain things when it comes to horses, just try and take the pressure off. Not everything has to be done right here, right now. It will happen. Whether it takes a week, a month or a year or 5! As long as you are enjoying riding who cares if you are jumping 5 foot hedges week in week out or plodding along the lanes every now and then, chatting to your mates (or your horse) having an escape from the mum life, we definitely all need and deserve it!
So the bottom line about riding after having kids is just have fun!! Life is stressful enough with children without adding to it.