Regretting the coward in me

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Yesterday, a friend invited me to ride what they had planned to be a fairly long ride (15-20 miles). Perfect as both our horses can really walk out and we can cover about 4 miles in an hour; well that works if you continue forward movement.

We hauled about an hour up the road to a trailhead that sat at an elevation of 3900' and we started climbing to a high elevation of 6800'. Much of the climb was wooded and if you've ever ridden on steep slopes, you'll understand when I say how releaved you are when there are trees (at that elevation, tiny little trees) that might stop a tumbling fall?

So climbing along and trying to remain calm as the trail narrows, as the soil turns soft, as I hear stones tumbling down the slope, as my horse spins on the trail because he thought he saw a carrot in my hand - WHO AM I KIDDING, I have dismounted and am now walking down the trail in front of my horse. Now the horse has actually done just fine. And he even jumped (after I dismounted) a chest high tree that blocked the trail. He only looked for carrots because he was hungry and I have a bad habit of feeding him while I'm riding (usually on a level trail). So I cannot blame him.

It was my own fears and doubts. I ask this horse to trust me, but I was not trusting him. And now I regret it. I regret not fully enjoying the amazing views of the surrounding mountains (including Mt Rainier & Mt Adams), of the ski lodge & runs far below, of the dainty little wildflowers, of the birds. I regret whining and allowing my friend to see my weakness. I regret talking my friend into shortening the ride for my convenience instead of helping them fulfill a goal.

Yes, I regret not really enjoying the adventure of life that this ride was offering me. Instead I coward in fear of death or injuy. Is that not regret of living?

Of course I am now sitting safely in my home and my horse is safely grazing in the field. Am I a coward or do I just value living? Maybe my only real regret was forgetting my camera and not getting some photos to share.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My mom said(who used to do rodeos and horse shows) try riding a horse that came off the race track down a steep mountain of sage brush and loose soil = feels like you are riding a bowl of no, I understand where u are coming from. I've done 4 wheeling in the mountains with my dads side of the family, almost fell off a mountain once and got crushed once too,how I'm not dead I don't know. Lol, my mom just said for you to trust that ur horse didn't want to fall down any more than you. :)
    3928 days ago
    I used to ride and I put myself in positions with my horse that scared me a great deal. I think there are times where you are better to play it safe for both you and your horse. You did what you were comfortable with and there is no shame in that. When I was in Costa Rica I went riding to a waterfall and we had to ride a really steep hill down into the river. The horse almost threw me and I was terrified. It was not one of my better decisions and I regret not saying I was uncomfortable with the situation in the first place. Good for you for drawing boundries!
    3940 days ago
    Maybe it was just good sense?? I dont like to let fear get the best of me but I also dont like pushing myself past a certain limit. I would not do half the crap I do were it not for my hubby who is very adeventurous. When we survive things, it's great. If someone gets hurt, then I guess it would have been best to listen to that voice. Either way, dont regret it! It was one day, one ride, and you can try it again if you want at a later date. I think the unknown is scarier that the doing. Now you know what the trail is like, next time you will be more comfortable. (give your horsey a kiss on that fuzzy nose for me!)
    3940 days ago
    What are you talking about Debie? I think you were really brave to do what you did! You make me feel like such a sissy on my ol' Paint, er I mean, Pick. I would not go on a narrow mountain trail with her for ANYTHING short of a million dollars. Or 6 hours with hot measuring tape guy.

    And it's always better to be safe than sorry. If you'd slipped or Big had hurt himself, you'd never forgive yourself, you know you wouldn't.

    You did good.

    3940 days ago
    personally I think you are being too hard on yourself - you got scared and acted on that fear. it isn't something to be ashamed of or worried about. you are home safe and sound with your horse. and that is ok. there will be another time and this ride can be something you build towards - when you have a bit more confidence in the day and the ride itself. I honestly believe that things happen for a reason - you dismounted for a reason and turned back - things could have ended differently, instead you are safe. so no fears my friend. you are an amazing person and there will always be another time to ride. take care of you.
    3941 days ago
    Debie... Debie... Debie... I refer you back to my last blog where you told me to look at the things that I love about myself... to stop focusing on the negatives. Same goes for you, girl. I know you know this.

    You did great on your ride. You did it... with caution, yes.. but you did it. And you DID enjoy it... even through your fears. We know this because you described the scenery, the steps, your feelings, even your horse's feelings. Awesome! Even professional athletes admit to tensions... and they embrace the adventures, lessons, experiences, accomplishments and memories. There you go! You got all of that, too. Good for you, my friend! What a great life you're LIVING!
    3941 days ago
    I haven't ridden since high school but I had a horse then (early70's) and I loved to ride. I would still love to ride again if I got the chance. But anyway there was the game preserve the equivalant of about 3 blocks from my house and I spent hours and hours and hours out there, sometimes with others, sometimes by myself. Most of it did not have real steep terrain but did have a lot of hills. However there were a few places and I remember the feeling of fear I would feel riding down a steep hill and the fear the my horse (her name was Gypsy) would stumble and fall and my or her or both of us would get badly hurt. Don't be so hard on yourself. You're both safe and that's the bottom line of this. Who is to know whether it was unreasonable fear or a feeling of fear that was really a warning and if you had been on him he might have stumbled. Sometimes our fears need to be broken through but sometimes they are also warnings. You'll never know but you are both safe. So don't beat yourself up.
    3941 days ago
    Oh, Debie, you are being so hard on yourself! How could you enjoy another ride if you broke a limb? Weren't you also protecting your horse from injury? It's always easier to look back and wish we'd done something differently after it's happened, but many times, we do what we do and the time for perfectly good reasons. I'm not sure whether what you did was right or wrong, but I do know that you both ARE safe, and there will be other times to make that trip again.

    I think you're great! emoticon

    By the way! THANK you for the goodie and note! I will write more to you later; I just have been away from the computer a lot today! emoticon
    3941 days ago
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