There are fundamental changes happening within me. Still. As my confidence slowly builds my horses change. There is virtually no spook left in Shazaam, no mischief left in Phantom (unless he sits without work too long) and Maximus still tests me every time I handle him and ride him but his tantrums under saddle are humorous: kicking out when asked to go forward. He gives up soon enough. I have him walking out and trotting out nicely and with life in his body.
I owe this to 2 people. A wonderful woman who rides 4th level dressage and has been kind enough to put me on her schoolmaster bareback and help me with some centered riding techniques. It's helped me understand the balance point of my older and very different body as well as how my body relates to the horse and how my individual muscles affect each other. This has been huge for me and I think that with this I can go on to tackle the next hurdle-whatever that may be. All I had was 4 rides with her. I pray that someday there can be more.
Then there is Jessica my regular riding instructor. She has been riding Maximus for me so that he gets the experience he needs. Of my 3 horses, he has the least amount of experience working under saddle so this time with Jessica is crucial for him. He has never been as coordinated or athletic as the mustangs are so I'm grateful that she is putting time on him. He will be SUCH a nice horse by the time he is 8 years old.
So they know. The horses know if there is one drop of fear or insecurity in you and this has no place in human/horse interactions. Of course not that we should not seek to preserve ourselves but that we should accept that there is risk but much less risk if we practice safety and feel confident.
How easy is that, right? One thing is to know it in your mind and another to know it and live it in your body. I'm getting there. Slowly but surely.