At last the Menopause, is something that we're beginning to discuss openly and having listened to an enlightening programme on all the symptoms that women can suffer from we started to wonder how many older female riders have experienced a dramatic drop in their confidence because of it.
The Menopause affects all of us differently but many women find that it can make them feel incredibly tired, which coupled with another symptom, insomnia, can make trying to work, look after kids and run the household (yes unfortunately usually this still comes down to a woman!) AND keep a horse, seem an increasingly daunting task. This alone isn't good for our confidence.
But another symptom of these hormonal changes that can be particularly debilitating to riders and isn't as well known is an increase in ANXIETY, making many women become more worried and fearful. So, if you've noticed that in your late forties and into your fifties you've suddenly become hyper-aware of potential dangers when riding and handling horses then it could be a symptom of the menopause. It's not just you! And maybe this knowledge will stop you being so hard on yourself and other women who seem to have lost their nerve!
It's actually quite a relief isn't it, knowing that it's your hormones that have caused this dramatic drop in confidence rather than the other excuses that you keep putting it down to. We riders are a pretty tough bunch and find it hard to cope with what we often see as 'weakness'. Women often become terribly depressed because of it and claim that they 'feel like they have turned into another person,' one that they don't like very much!
So, don't suffer in silence. For more on the Menopause take a look at My Menopause Doctor.