I got the pleasure of watching “What About Bob” again this weekend and while watching it, it hit me, how similar this movie is to horses, riders, and FEAR.  It also hit me that it has some of the answers to how to overcome.

First of all, horse fear.   There are so many horses out there that are “BOB”.  They are afraid, and they don’t know how to process their fear.  That is where we can step in and be “Dr. Marvin”.  Baby Steps!

We can practice taking only one step with the horse, introducing something new, one thing at a time.   If you have never worked with a tarp, introduce the tarp.  Don’t add on an umbrella, a trailer ride to another place, and 10 other things.  For a horse that is afraid, add one thing at a time.   This is just like Bob going sailing.   He did one thing at a time and overcame his fear!  Our horses will build confidence as each they overcome each new thing.  You can review all the previous things but only introduce one new thing.

Secondly, rider fear.   There are so many “BOB” riders out there.  Raise your hand if you are one of them!  ME!!!!   There are a bunch of lessons for riders and here are the three that I put at the top:

  1. Just do it.   Bob takes a vacation from his fear.   Leave the fear at your house and just go do it.  You have all the tools, you have the experience, so just go do it.  (If it is something new for you, see the horse one above).
  2. Baby Steps.   Get on and ride, plan how many steps you are going to take, then stop and re-evaluate.  My first few times, I did 4 steps.  I stopped and then decided to do 4 more or get off but I rode my first few rides with a plan of 4 steps.  Baby steps.
  3. IGNORE what others are saying….lalalalalalalal……their opinions don’t matter.  Stay in your heart and stay in your gut feelings.   Ignore the nay sayers (you can pay attention if they are giving you good advice you align with, but if there is any tension from what they said, just ignore it, it won't serve you).

Thirdly, When the Horses are Dr. Marvin, and We are BOB. – This is the most powerful for me.

You can see the frustration and anger in Dr. Marvin.  It just builds and builds.  Why won’t this “bob” person listen.  Why are they not understanding?  Why are they in my face, in my business, making me adjust to your insecurities?  

Really think about the horse’s perspective like Dr. Marvin with a crazy patient (rider) like BOB.  This way eye opening for me.  No wonder my horses don’t want me to ride them, interact with them.  It is my garbage and not theirs!  I need to become BOB on his vacation from his fears!!!!   

What can I do?

  1. I can make sure I am looking forward to the interaction with my horses.  If I am feeling fear, I need to take care of that first or take a vacation from it, but it doesn't belong around the horses.

  2. I can take baby steps tailored for me.

  3. I can reassure my horses and let them set the pace for me.  If they don't want me to ride them, I need to play with them until they are confident enough, I am ready to ride them.  I taught mine to pick me up at the mounting block, if they don't want to, I don't get on.  They will let me know when we are both ready.

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