Today was the first day back to riding. The forecast: sunny, but 20 mph winds gusting up to 50 mph by 1pm. So, by 9:30 am I was ready to ride, although suffering from some anxiety. "This is good for me to feel and remember." I say to Susan, my support staff for the day, " This is how some of my adult amateur students feel after a difficult winter and very little riding," I think, as I recall several moments over the years when a mature student hesitates with anxiety in the eyes as I ask them to hold the whip, to drop a stirrup, to canter, to drop the reins, to trot a cavaletti, etc. "because this is how they must feel. One must trust one's skills to be confident." But then, the old confidence mantra dances back to me, "Fake it till you make it...". So up I go. Reins in hands, shoulders square.... I think. These days, I can't really feel if my shoulders are square. Eyeing Susan, I see everything is fine. I proceed. Welle takes me obediently into walk leg yeild, trot transitions and circles. What a dear. Once, she questions my whoa. (Maybe I didn't get the seat right?) I feel the pull of her jaws against the reins. I hold my ground. No pain in my shoulder!!! God bless! And she softens. With relaxation, we trot off. I try to remember all the stuff. You know the stuff... lots and lots of stuff... The wind is howling. Not perfect conditions... "Set up for success. " I hear my innervoice coaching. "This is not a set up for success." the devil on my shoulder whines. Windy days and dramatic barameter drops are the two weather conditions that most upset pro-creative horses. Obvious why: Those two weather things can kill babies the best. Anyway...my best friend carried me to confidence as only a best friend could. Perfection be damned. Tomorrow I would love to tackle more. We shall see. The only two humps on this cammel's back were: the sports bra killing the clavical bone and the bridling session lifting too high for the hand. More therapy! Lots of hope!