I grew up an only child. A puppy, a chow we named Sheba, would be the only addition to the family. At eight weeks old, Sheba was extremely furry and feisty. Our playtime was awkward. Running towards me, Sheba looked more like a bear cub out to devour my spirit than a puppy looking for hugs. Our union lasted a week.
I am not weird!
There is a name for this thing I carried into my adulthood. Zoophobia is the abnormal fear of animals. I would climb a pole to get away from anything walking on four legs. That is until I visited the beautiful island of Turks and Caicos for my mother’s birthday weekend of July 21, 2017.
On the beach, with the sky above our heads and sand beneath our feet, I read a pamphlet of things to do while on the island. Horseback riding was popular. Me? Horse? Never.
But, with drink in hand, a question popped into my head. “How can you run a blog, looking to inspire other women, when you haven’t faced your own fears?” And with that, I booked us a ride for July 23.
We were picked up from our hotel by Wendal of Unique Tours. Along the way, I reiterated my concerns of never having held or touched an animal. I was nervous. Wendal assured me I would be fine. The ocean would be at my right hand and he would be at my left.
When we arrived at Blue Hills Beach, the horses and trainers were awaiting us. We were given instruction on how to speed up or slow down. I was then shown how to mount “Muka”. I took a deep breath and relaxed.
Muka was well behaved and gentle. The thought of being atop a 1,000 pound horse didn’t enter my mind at all. I did not run or scream for my life. Before I knew it, an hour had passed.
At the end of the tour, I felt triumphant. I faced a self-imposed fear head on and was able to share it with my mom. Round 1. I won.
Do you have any fears to overcome?