Jenna Brown

Jenna Brown

Horse vs Anxiety – Horse wins.

Good friends are what makes life great 💜

This here is a picture of my most scaredy/uncomfortable face.

On my happy activities list I added “ride a horse” why? No idea. Think I’ve watched far too much Longmire on Netflix.

Anyway, it turned out to be super terrifying and a not-so-happy activity. I had sweaty pits, full-on heart palpitations and crazy anxiety from start to finish. I have been very open in other blogs that I already experience anxiety most days, just generally, but this was something else! I didn’t even sit on the horse long enough for my celebratory pic at the end because I just wanted to get off him and social distance.

Thank goodness I didn’t take this activity on alone and instead I went with a great and patient friend. I was allocated the “grumpy” horse who seemed extra agitated that day and was about 67 times taller than me.

When they were saddling him up and told me how “he bites bums and stomps on feet” I wouldn’t even get within 2m of him. There was no way I was getting on him. I would’ve paid again just to sit in the car and wait. Happily.

Alas, my wonderful friend to the rescue. She opted to take the angry horse. I have no idea why and tried to warn her against it but she insisted and looked pretty comfortable about it so who was I to argue. I thought ok, now I have the slow, old, short horse and that suited me just fine. Perfectly splendid. I can do this, I thought to myself.

Kick the horse? No way.

I warily led my little old horse to the arena and hopped on. Cue problem number 2. I was then told I need to “kick the horse in the side of his body with the heel of my stirrup to make him go”.

I did not want to kick this horse I’m sitting on. Jesus, I haven’t quite shifted all my Xmas weight, I’m literally on his back, we’ve never met before and now I have to kick him? No way! That’s brutal and quite rude. It’s like going to someone’s house, who you’ve never met before, and kicking their front door open as soon as you arrive.

She walked up to us, poked him in the ribs and off we went. The steering was off because I didn’t want to pull the reins and hurt his mouth (with the metal bar they put in there ) … but we were moving and I was cool with our pace.

I think the point was to go around the outside of the arena but we were free-ranging figure 8’s all over the place. My friend now trotting perfectly around the arena and there I was getting in the way. No one seemed to mind.

Just when I felt like we had been doing the arena loop for 3 days and 15 hours and I could FINALLY get off now she suggests a walk on the road! WTF! She wants me to control this guy that I am sitting on, just met, and can’t steer or accelerate ON THE ROAD? Is she crazy?

I guess she read my thoughts and asked me if I’d feel more comfortable doing so on a lead. Kind of like a toddler on a harness but while also mounted on top of a giant beast.

I agree that would be ok, I don’t want to look like a total loser in front of my friend, two horses and a horse trainer.

Naturally, we get to the gate that leads out to the road and a giant truck is coming past and my horse is not into it. I play all the scenarios over in my mind of how I die being flicked off a horse into an electric fence then landing and suffocating in animal poop or something similar. It was ok though, the truck went past with no issues. Didn’t die.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not that into small talk, but man, did I make small talk about anything. I was in full self-distraction mode until we could park this bad boy up and say our goodbyes.

After a lap of a dead-end country road with no other traffic (whew) I was crossing over roads and driveways like a real farm girl. At one point she says “I can take the lead off if you are ok now”.

“ Oh no, that’s ok”, I reply “you can keep holding on to us”. We finally make it back to home base.

She starts telling me how to dismount and I’m already on the ground and on the other side of the fence. Quick carrot and an apple for his services followed by the worlds most uncomfortable photo and we were out of there.

Guess my dreams of being a cowgirl are dashed. Why do they even call it that? Cow boys and girls ride horses, not cows.

I feel like I need to write a letter to someone to say thanks for inventing cars. I couldn’t cope with the stress of learning to parallel park a horse.


Disclaimer: The J Word NZ and its media content are created based on my own experiences and opinions, as well as those individuals who share their stories with me. I do not have any formal medical or mental health qualifications. If you are experiencing any issues with mental health, please consult your doctor or a medical health professional for advice.

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