Over the years I’ve always had this nagging sense of intimidation and not just in the horse world, in the real world too. I think this goes back to childhood - having matriarchal women in my life who I have to admit, I was scared of and intimidated by. Yet, I was also in awe of them. I was also surrounded by men and I was never intimidated by them. How strange is that? But looking back now, I was being brought up by two strong independent women - who the men were also intimidated by!
As I’ve got older, I now feel intimidated by both women and men. There's an assumption on my part that they are better than me and it has had quite an effect on me in the equestrian world. How I see it, with horses it’s a dog eat dog world but I've tried to strive by just being me.
But being around other liveries would always give me that feeling of intimidation.
Watching them compete to be the best on the yard, would always make me feel I was mediocre and I would started to feel intimidated by them and how they approached their day to day lives with their horses.
When I was asked to write about my journey as a woman in the equine world, intimidation & fear set in again.
I felt that the other writers and the extent of their backgrounds, were far greater than mine as I was just a typical woman who loved horses. However, what I brought to this group was my personal perspective, knowledge and wisdom and sometimes, honesty.
Did the fear of intimidation cease? No, it's still there. I find myself stepping back, closing myself off and not getting involved in group discussions simply because I feel that my input is not as good as these other remarkable women's. This is not a slight against them, I think I feel intimidated because I’m in awe of what they have achieved!
But am I as much of a horsewoman as they are? Yes! I am because I have experience when it comes to horses and can help others with something they may not know, so that’s my hidden super power!
What I have figured out is…don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know.
This can be your biggest strength and you know things differently to others and you should never doubt that. A different set of skills or knowledge base is a strength not weakness. It wasn’t until recently having a chat with one of these amazing women, that I realised I should never feel intimidated by anyone as what I can bring to a group is my knowledge and my wisdom of what I have achieved with horses and this is enough.
“No amount of intimidation can change an independent mind”