This is a common question submitted to me often from people who have had an accident with a horse which resulted in injury.
Question for Missy: I was in a very bad accident on a young horse that fractured my spine and has left me with chronic pain and muscle damage. I have recovered, but worse than the physical issues are the mental blocks and fear that have set in since the accident. I’ve started riding some horses for a local rescue where I volunteer but I have found that riding has unearthed some significant fears for me. Riding is no longer as fun as it once was because of how apprehensive I am about getting hurt again. I want to let go of these fears, but don’t know how. I was wondering if you had any advice regarding personal growth, especially getting over things that happened in the past. I know you have had your fair share of life experiences and was hoping you could pass some of that experience on to me. Thanks!
My Answer: I am so sorry to hear about your accident and am amazed you are not paralyzed!! Do you know how lucky you are? Your body’s response is normal since it has cellular memories imprinted from an animal that you keep subjecting your body to. The more your fear crops up the more likely you could have another accident. I know this is not what you want to hear, but the message your mind and body are sending to the horse is “I expect you to behave in a way that is going to injure me therefore I’m bracing for it” and what else can the horse do but fulfill your thought, your feelings, since horses are empaths and respond to feeling? Some people say “face your fear, get back on that horse” but that is a recipe for disaster, not only for you but for the horse too because the horse doesn’t want to hurt you (no horse is born an outlaw). However, if that’s the message the horse is getting they tend to respond to fulfill the feeling and images in your mind they are receiving from you.
My best advice is take time off from riding other horses and only ride a horse that you trust just spending time “being” not doing. Stop training and working with other horses and just spend time nurturing yourself which includes your body. Talk to your body and apologize for putting it in the position of getting hurt. Talk to your now healed broken bones and tell them how much you love them and that you are not going to endanger them again, but want them to feel safe and you will do everything in your power to keep them safe. Every cell in your body is a little brain with feelings and emotions so treat your body as you would a dear friend. Once your body can trust your motives the fear will dissipate and you can start asking your body if it’s ready to ride a different horse or if it’s ready for a new challenge. It will tell you when it’s ready, but don’t force it. It’s not like you are giving into your fear, but recognizing it, acknowledging it and embracing it, then loving it for loving you and only wanting to protect you and soon your fear will be transmuted into courage. I hope this makes sense.
Lots of love and big warm hugs – Missy