Today I rode between the raindrops. For me, the rain drumming on the roof of the barn created a cozy peaceful feeling as I groomed my horse. Riding in the covered arena with the gray sheets of rain creating false walls, I was filled with peace as I retreated into my own world with me and my horse cocooned in the sight and sound of the rain.
After my ride, I spent a few minutes chatting with a fellow boarder who was debating whether or not she was going to ride, expressing her unease with the sound of the rain on the arena roof. She mentioned feeling fear. Her revelation highlighted to me the very different experiences that we have as students and illustrated to me that the same scenario can have very different effects on a rider.
Rain drumming on the roof of the covered arena is soothing to me and a source of fear for my fellow boarder. It can also have different effects on our horses, which often contributes to our rider feelings; my horse is nonreactive to the sound of rain, perhaps her horse is nervous and reactive. My horse allows me to focus on my ride, whereas a nervous horse can cause nervousness in the rider, in which case the rider has to first conquer their own nervousness and fears before helping their horse become calm.
My hope is that someday, the rain does not conjure up fear for my fellow boarder, but at the least is just a nuisance as she navigates the short distance from the barn to the covered – riding between the raindrops.