Never put your daughter on a 5 year old

‘Never put your daughter on a five year old!’ It’s a phrase my instructor has shared with me semi-jokingly when I’ve talked about the year year ahead with Rupert…..who’ll be five this year.

Being a natural worrier, I’m preparing myself for the worst. It got me wondering whether I should send him to a professional until he’s at least seven, just to make sure he’s over the teenage phase!

I have certainly noticed the difference in Rupert as he has grown in strength and confidence over the last year. From an angelic just-backed three year old to a cheeky, spooky lad with a lot to say for himself, I have had to dig deep at times to ride through my nerves.

In order to keep the self-doubt at bay and continue to progress, I’ve decided the best strategy is to invest in as much training as I can afford. I have regular lessons with the amazing Tahley Reeve-Smith and have started to venture out to clinics with a number of fantastic trainers at local venues, to build our confidence in new environments.

Each new adventure is a major hurdle, as I start to worry about the ‘what ifs’ as soon as I’ve said the words, “book me in”. However, with a handful of positive experiences under our belts so far, I am slowly building the courage to do more. I know I respond best by  taking little steps at a time, whether that’s in the school at home, hacking out, going somewhere new or competing. If I come away feeling like it’s something I could tackle again, then I feel more positive about the next opportunity.

So bit by bit, with the right support, we are heading in the right direction. I just hope the terrible fives is just a myth and we’ll sail through the teenage phase without mishap! Watch this space.