Friday, February 6, 2015

This Makes Me Sad


A few days ago, this article, posted on Horsecollaborative.com, was floating around on my facebook feed. It is a topic that has been touched upon on a few blogs, but I wanted to add my 2 Cents, based on my own experiences.

I was afraid of this horse. This was not fun.

People, you should not be afraid to ride your horse. If you are, then something is wrong.

We all have moments of doubt, anxiety and frustration in riding. That is part of challenging ourselves and learning new skills. Sometimes it is necessary to push yourself out of your comfort zone to get to the next level of experience.

BUT

Fear, Anxiety, Doubt and Frustration should not be the dominant characteristics of your day-to-day experiences with your horse. If they are, you do not have the right horse or the right program. Period.


 

I'm not at all saying you should give up on having goals and aspirations as a rider. But be realistic. Have goals that are within the framework of your reality. Be honest with yourself. Set aside your ego. Take a hard look at what your skill level really is. What your life looks like outside of riding. Are you a wife? A mother? Do you have pets? What is your financial picture like? Do you work a 9-5 desk job?
 
We all wish we were the fearless balls of rubber that we were as kids. The days when we would get on anything, and if we fell off, we would bounce back up with a laugh and do it again. For many of us, those days are gone. And they are not coming back. Ever.
 
There is no shame in riding a horse appropriate to your reality. Sure, he or she might not be a 10+ mover, a 17h stunner with the ability to go Prelim or above. But above all, riding should be fun. It is too expensive, time consuming and dangerous not to be.
 

Pick something that is appropriate to your skill level, your physical abilities, the time you have available to ride and the money you have to spend on training and facilities. If it is not a match, move on. Life is too short.

7 comments:

  1. That article is sad and weird. Success stories like you and Boca make me smile. :-)

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  2. great post - and thanks for sharing (tho that article kinda left me with more questions than it answered...).

    there are also times when the fear/anxiety has nothing to do with the horse (most of my issues are mind games, really) - but when it is a specific horse causing the issues, that's when a rider really has to think about it potentially souring the whole sport for them - not a nice situation!

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  3. I guess most people don't know their skill level. Some people overestimate and others underestimate their abilities. People tend to not seek out knowledge and this bugs me so much. Many people.don't use their common sense!
    I think what you suggest and describe is common sense. Wish it was more wide spread. You're right that was sad...

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  4. Interesting article and a bit sad too. I have been giving this topic lots of thought as I am planning to buy a horse in the next couple of year. While I do have low level dressage and jumping aspirations, I am also a bit of a fraidy cat and I need a horse that is calm and I can do fun things with, like ride in drill team. I need a Boca. :-)

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  5. It makes me sad that people are afraid to ride too..

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  6. Interesting article. I can sort of relate, I've struggled with confidence issues but they really had nothing to do with my horse. I agree with your thoughts on it!

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  7. Yes, yes, yes! I agree 110%. We can all struggle with confidence at times, but TERROR shouldn't be part of your day to day equestrian life.

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