I am tired and feeling like a crap rider. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 05-05-2012, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Australia
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I am tired and feeling like a crap rider.

I've had an insane last few days. Have not stopped for 5 seconds. But after a meh ride today and talking to a friend on FB I really feel like I should be a better rider than I am and that I don't know crap.

I'm 17 going on 18. I have pretty much been riding for 10 years, but only ever on lesson ponies (which we all know are hard to get the best out of), or really green horses, before I got my gelding.

I'm jumping up to 3'4" at home and planning to enter the 3' class at an upcoming showjumping day.

Someone I know is doing the 3'8" class at the same showjumping day, she is the same age as me with roughly the same "riding years" experience and she says it's small for her. She also keeps telling me that it's not big, which feels like she's belittling what I do. I'm tired, so of course I'm reading more into it than normally I would.

I'm just feeling really crappy about myself at the moment because riding is the only thing that I'm really actually GOOD at and it turns out I'm not even that great at it.

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post #2 of 24 Old 05-05-2012, 11:03 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Chula Vista, CA
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Oh my gosh, you are so young and have so much life ahead of you! Don't worry what other people say. Do things that make you happy. Everyone and every horse develop at their own rates and have their own talents. When I was young I LOVED ballet and danced all the time.....was I built for it or talented at it....not really....but still did it because I loved it! I got into horses in my late thirties due to my daughters taking lessons....am I a professional rider or as talented as so many others......no way! But I love it, even if I look rediculous doing it! Keep your head up girl....this is only the beginning of your life....and life is challenging. You do what you can do and that is all and that is just fine. There is always someone behind you that isn't as talented as you are that is looking up to YOU!
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post #3 of 24 Old 05-05-2012, 11:10 AM
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First of all, stop listening to the faux friend/co-competitor. Immediately.

The fact that she is subtly belittling you should tell you that only that she's insecure herself and has to put down others to feel good about her own riding.

The height of the fences you're currently competing over has nothing to do with your skill and horsemanship.

I'm sorry you're feeling crappy. But try to remember that everyone has days like this, everyone falls short of the horseperson that they want to be. Most days the fact that you never stop learning and improving is what we like about our chosen sport; but sometimes it's daunting that we never get to say "There. I'm at level I want to be, I'm satisfied."

So ride the heck out of your horse over the 3' fences and lay down the best trips you can and be proud of you and your horse. Screw anybody else and what they think.

And if you would ever like an honest appraisal of your riding ability, you can send me some photos and/or videos and a "riding resume" by Private Message, and I will be happy to give you an unbiased opinion. Still just another horseperson's opinion, but a lot more valid than your faux friend's.
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post #4 of 24 Old 05-05-2012, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Australia
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I don't usually read belittling into her comments though, it's just because I'm already tired and feeling like I'm a crap rider so pretty much anything anyone says that suggests they're better feels like an attack even if it's not meant that way. My horse is not an easy ride for me, I have to half-halt him every other stride on a forward day and pile drive him with my spurs every other stride on a sluggish day. Typical bipolar Arab, he is. Today was a sluggish day and I couldn't find my spurs :/ his attitude was horrible. NO I DON'T WANT TO YOU CAN'T MAKE ME. But I fought the battle and won it, so I should be proud of myself (I usually give up and go for a trail ride when I'm spurs-less, easier than arguing with him).... why do I feel like I can't ride for crap? Ughh.

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post #5 of 24 Old 05-05-2012, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Maryland
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One thing you need to do is understand your own abilities. What I mean by this is that you can put in an excellent jumping round at 3 feet but is the other girl putting in a good jumping round at 3'8 or is she just hanging on to the horse, so to speak, and letting the horse do the work? There is a difference between having the ability to jump high and the skill to make it look smooth and easy by working in partnership with the horse.

There is also a difference between someone riding a horse that is well trained for consistent high fences, her comment that 3'8 is "low" for her tells me she is on a near push button jumper, and 3' on a horse that needs to be "ridden" rather than just sat on.

My previous horse was very similar. He was fantastic at jumping, loved to do it, but, you couldn't just sit and let him go, you had to be able to ride him or he would take you around the course like a proverbial steam engine. It took skill and ability to make his courses look smooth and steady as his habit was to build over the course and get fast and even more excited yet he consistently placed high in hunter classes and was a very good equitation horse for the person who had the skill to ride him properly. I wasn't the one by the way just because my jumping nerves took a serious hit a year or so before I got him, but, he not only kept me riding, I nearly gave it up completely, he taught me that I could trust a horse again over fences.

Ignore the squawkings of the "friend." Let her talk...people like that often just like to hear their own voice..it makes them feel important. Overconfidence is actually dangerous at times...it keeps people from actually thinking.
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post #6 of 24 Old 05-05-2012, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Australia
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I haven't actually ridden a full course at 3' but all my training at home is tricky lines, difficult striding, spreads and oxers etc so I guess in that sense I'm actually training 3'4" courses (and WELL). But only on a good day, when he's being a pest we struggle for 2'6" :/

She trained her horse to jump so it's not some pushbutton already trained horse. She's just had a lot more educated horses, a lot more lessons (I have 3yrs worth of lesson time and 2 of those years were going back over the same things), and a lot more money for horses and equipment.

Monty builds, one jump he is a perfect angel but a course and he's a nightmare to make look good. I ride him in an uxeter kimblewick for jumping and at shows I use the bottom slot so it's actually pretty strong, and he's STILL a challenge. The benefit is he's REALLY quick on the jumpoff, can turn on a dime and if I let him go he can really go. Super competitive showjumper this one. Just a PITA to control!

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post #7 of 24 Old 05-05-2012, 12:08 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Stop keeping score. As long as you count how high, how long, how many lessons, how much experience, how experienced the horses you have ridden are, etc., you will undermine your enjoyment of riding. Instead, focus on the relationship between you and your horse. Take each ride as an opportunity to make a better connection with your horse and a chance to improve the 'dance' you do together. When you make that connection, you will come out a winner no matter how high you have jumped or where you place at a show.

Which is more important; being a better rider than someone else or enjoying your horse?
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post #8 of 24 Old 05-05-2012, 08:30 PM
Green Broke
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There are always going to be people better than you and worse than you in the world, at everything you do. There will be better and worse horses too. If she's had more educated horses and more lessons then chances are she is better at what she does, because she's put in the time and effort. You're acknowledging she has done more yet you still expect to be at her level?

I'm not saying you're bad or you don't put in the time, it's just that each person is different. Koolio is right, you have to stop keeping score. I remember when i was a young teenager I'd always be doing that. You'd ask someone how long they have been riding for, how high they jump etc. But these things have little to do with the quality of rider. None of it matters. Just do your best, work hard and see what happens. Some of the best riders I've known don't jump at all.
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post #9 of 24 Old 05-05-2012, 08:37 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
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Welcome to my world, lol I feel like I'm the worst rider ever especially since I'm just NOW learning to canter after all these years.

But hey, you are a great rider. Just because you aren't at the same level as the other girl jumping "small" jumps (my rear end, she's probably just bragging) doesn't mean you suck!!!

Everyone learns at different rates, and we don't all get the same kinds of horses to ride. But if you can ride a horse with a big smile on your face, you are a FABULOUS rider because your horse is happy and you're happy! If your horse is being a jackass, it happens! And guess what? Still fabulous!

We all have good and bad days, same as the horses. Heck, 10 years is a long time, but time doesn't equal experience. And all experience is not equal.

You can ride a horse, and you can jump a horse! Keep on trucking and you'll just keep getting better and better :)
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Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 05-05-2012 at 08:41 PM.
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post #10 of 24 Old 05-05-2012, 09:07 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Middle of Nowhere, Saskatchewan
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Some days, even the best of us feel like crap riders.

I'm sure this girl has her fair share of those days too, she just has to make you feel worse to get over them. That obviously an unhealthy way to handle it.
I handle my bad days by finishing my ride early and then pampering the crap out of my horse, cause I'm thankful they put up with me :P
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