Learning to ride horses was a dream from when I was young. I had put it aside as I got older and had responsibilities and a lack of time. My desire to learn had never disappeared it just sat dormant. After a hospitalization from depression I decided that I would start doing the things that I had been putting off.
The first thing I arranged was riding lessons. Going to the stables and being around the horses never failed to improve my mood. Learning how to ride involved learning how to manage emotions. Horses are incredibly sensitive and will pick up every thought of doubt or uncertainty. Having to portray a sense of confidence for control of the house brought about an actual sense of confidence.
The better and more confident I became at riding the more that sense of inner strength spilled out into other areas of my life. This confidence also brought excitement. I felt good about riding and so whenever I had a plan to ride I was happy about the future. Not an emotion I had been familiar with for a while.
Beginning this new hobby gave me a connection with a whole new group of people. It gave me a way to build a new community that was separate from the pain of my past. I was able to have conversations and make plans without feeling weighed down by my history. Having a new space and new friends where I could escape from my mind was particularly helpful. The shared enjoyment of riding and horses also provided a ready topic so that I never needed to feel awkward trying to think of something to discuss.
Learning new things and following up on old dreams gave me a purpose and community in which to grow. Working with horses brought about a confidence in myself to be able to keep control of my issues. As well as a confidence in my abilities to learn new things and change.
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