Instead of giving up and getting entangled in a rigid, complacent, shrinking comfort zone, I create a reality for myself that is flexible. I want to think and act in a self-empowered manner. It is never too late to change and grow and make a difference in my life.
I am learning how events of my past, like Zum bucking me off, have led to limiting programs and patterns in my subconscious. I can solve a problem only if I am aware that there is one and how it became one. I can proactively take steps to overcome my fear and this comforts me. My fear no longer appears like an ominous beast that jumps out at me.
In the last year, I have told lots of friends about how I am using positive reinforcement to train and ride Zum. Most of them are outright skeptics. When I told the horse trainer that I met in August that some friends criticize me when we ride together, the horse trainer told me to get new friends. A bad friend takes my energy away from me and makes me feel a decrease in my sense of wisdom and self-direction. A good friend will make me feel his or her loving and supportive energy and emanates warmth. I only want good friends in my life from now on!
Anxiety transforms healthy comfort zones into rigid protection zones that become boundaries that shield away situations that are fearful. When Zum is anxious, he perceives that an increasing number of things are unsafe and need to be avoided. My job is to change his wall of anxiety into an open gate of new opportunities and possibilities.
In August, I met a horse trainer outside of Santa Fe. I asked him what his style of training is but he was evasive. I asked him if he hit horses and he said “if they hit me.” I told him “I don’t want to do anything fancy with my colt….I just want to trail ride.” He told me that trail riding is the most difficult thing a person can do with a horse because there are lots of variables and nothing secure out on a trail. I was not aware of this. I always think of trail riding as easy, relaxed and fun!
Zum feels anxiety and is always looking for potential danger. When he feels a threat, he switches to fight-flight-or-freeze mode. My job is to be vigilant to Zum’s mind-set and to be prepared to address Zum’s feelings as they arise. When he freezes, I wait patiently. When he panics, now I get off and walk him around. And I never give him a reason to fight me.
I want to heal and grow so I know that I must address and understand the deep root causes and meanings of fear. True healing is not about fixing or getting rid of a problem. Selling Zum is not true healing for me. Healing for me is about remembering and reinstating my wholeness. I am remembering how I love to ride Zum on the trails. This is my sense of communion.