I'm a lifelong rider. Horses are my passion. I live and breathe them. I've ridden since I was three years old, and I forsee myself riding until just physically can't any more.
Three years ago, my old faithful partner, a gorgeous red dun mare named Fawn, was hurt terribly in a freak accident. I was told to put her down, to let her go. But I'm stubborn, and I found a vet who saved my pet.
But this tale isn't about Fawn.
It's about Cinnamon, her "replacement". I say that lightly, because Fawn cannot be replaced.
Like Fawn, Cin is gorgeous. Also a red dun, but a little lighter than the old mare.
It was time to ride Cinny this summer.
I've never sent my horses to a trainer, I start my colts myself.
Cin was no exception.
I did all the ground work, she was gentle, she was ready to ride.
The day came.
I was nervous, but not scared. I had done this many times before.
My dad, a horseman among horseman, helped me. He held Cin while I mounted.
Dad held her, he never waivered. His own horse, Gary, started spinning, dragging the plunging filly with him. But Dad's hands held tight. He has arthritis, and it hurt him, but he held that filly until both horses came to a stop.
I rode her the whole time. I didn't fall, I didn't even lose my seat.
But I lost my confidence.
I've not been the same since. I, for the first time in 44 years, am afraid of riding. Oh, I cowboyed up, I make myself ride all the time. But my fear is there, just under the surface. It makes me not want to ride Cin any more. It makes me not want to join my sister and her friends on our weekly Sunday rides.
I can't shake it.
My writing is much the same.
I've been a writer for more years than I can count. I am self-taught, and I've worked hard. I've never been afraind to submit, it's always been a thrill.
Recently, I've gotten a couple of really great awards-- I won the Heart of the Rockies RS category, and I placed third in both The Daphne and the Lone Star RS categories.
Yeah, I hang tuff, I write, but lately it feels like every time I sub it is going to end with me being thrown to the hard ground with broken bones.
When I didn't get a request from either of the last two contests, it felt exactly like hitting the ground after a rough buck off.
The rejections I've gotten lately have landed me on the ground. Hard.
I'm afraid to get on, to sub.
Every time I go to the keyboard, the fear overtakes me, and I sit, I don't take the reins and get on the story.
How do I get back my old confidence?