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Sunny 12-10-2011 02:06 PM

Feeling confident but not looking confident?
Hello, guys.

I have been riding for right around ten years now, although I've never had lessons.

Today I was at the barn riding. Afterward when I was grooming Sunny and about to turn her out, the BO's husband said, "We're going to take you on a trail ride at -place that has intense trails-." I asked why, and he said it would make me a more confident rider.

So now I'm feeling pretty low about myself. I feel like I'm confident rider, but I guess I don't look like I am.

The only part of my riding that I feel not confident about is my lower leg. It feels unstable a lot, and it sometimes make me brace and stiffen up.

Mentally, though, I feel confident.

I just don't know. I know the BO's husband meant absolutely no harm and had no mean intentions, but for some reason this just has me feeling a little low. I guess I'm too sensitive.

I don't really know what I'm asking here. Has anyone else been told they didn't look confident, but felt it?

Any idea what could be making me look not confident? Could it be how I stiffen up or how my lower leg is unstable?

I don't know. I know this probably doesn't make any sense. I guess I just needed to vent my confusion. Thanks for reading.
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DuffyDuck 12-10-2011 04:15 PM

Honestly, I would say confidence and experience go hand in hand.

Probably was not said to make you feel the way you did, and I think you're over thinking it ;D

I know a LOT of people who have issue with riding out, and maybe they assumed that as you're such a confident rider you had a weakness somewhere ;D

I am a competent rider, I ride, I enjoy, but I ALWAYS look like I'm about to burst in to tears, and if I try and smile, I lose concentration ;D

Your best bet, as this seems to have really upset you, is to speak to the BO and say how you feel, he will explain his reasons and you can work on them from there.

Good luck, and don't lose heart. Chin up!

Sunny 12-10-2011 04:29 PM

Thank you!

I am feeling better. I do have a tendency to really over-think things.

I will speak to him and see what he has to say.

Again, thanks for reading my sob story. :lol:
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DuffyDuck 12-10-2011 04:36 PM

Thats okay :D
We all need a bit of reassurance some times, and although we aren't there and then, sometimes an outsider view can help.

Keep that confidence up, and even if he has some negative points, don't be disheartened, use them as something constructive to help work on your skills :D

kitten_Val 12-11-2011 09:51 PM

Sunny, did you ask what exactly he meant by that? Trail riding does make more confident horse and more confident rider. And I think that's what he meant: that it helps to build more confidence in general, not that you don't look confident. :wink:

Sunny 12-12-2011 12:06 AM

No, he and the BO had been watching me ride, and before he mentioned the ride he said, "Did you hear us talking about you?" and then he went on about the trail ride, etc.

But it's fine. I don't feel bad anymore, because I agree. I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I'm sure what they were seeing was my awful lower leg. It's unstable and causes me to brace, as I've been slamming it outwards, away from the horse, instead of lightly on the horse's sides.

I think it bothered me mainly because it was the first time they had ever seen me ride, and I know I haven't always looked so....bad. I had been focusing more on Sunny than my riding. So it just felt like, "Wow, now they think I'm a bad rider." And to add to it I'm also the "new girl" at the barn, so I'm already self-conscious.

But it's all fine now.

It just reminded me that I can't let my riding go to crap because I'm riding a greenie.
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Skyseternalangel 12-13-2011 12:07 PM

730 Attachment(s)
doesn't hurt to take a few lessons too :) You can always improve!

Sunny 12-13-2011 12:32 PM

Oh, how I want to take lessons. It's just not in the budget at the moment. :lol:
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Cinnys Whinny 12-13-2011 12:38 PM

Personally, I think ALL riders benefit from occasionally going on some intense trails, even high level riders. I also think it's good for the horses too because it gives them a break for the ordinary, as well as having them work their brain a bit more. It also helps to build the bond and relationship between you and your horse to go through something where you truly have to work as a team.

I don't think anyone can be overconfident in their riding, and anything to gain more experience with our horse, more knowledge about them is a plus. I think I would jump at the opportunity, even if you don't think you need it "for confidence" but just because I am sure you will learn a few things you didn't know be it about yourself, about your horse, or about some other aspect of riding.

Cinnys Whinny 12-13-2011 12:45 PM


Originally Posted by Sunny (Post 1262753)
I think it bothered me mainly because it was the first time they had ever seen me ride, and I know I haven't always looked so....bad. I had been focusing more on Sunny than my riding. So it just felt like, "Wow, now they think I'm a bad rider." And to add to it I'm also the "new girl" at the barn, so I'm already self-conscious.
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I think you may be over thinking, and at least your BO is trying to do something to help you succeed, even if it seemed like a criticism. At least they are willing to help :)

My last trainer (one that has caused me to have trust issues with trainers) had a talk with me a 3 days before my first show with Cinny (and my first show in 15 years). She said "I don't want you telling people I'm your trainer because frankly, your riding is a COMPLETE EMBARRASSMENT! I have also decided not to train you anymore, and don't count on my help at the show." Now THIS lady, was highly critical and unwilling to help me develop myself, and she was a trainer! Those are the people and comments you have to watch for.

By the way, she competed on a green horse in intro with me and ended up disqualified! I also was against her in "suitability" and "equitation." Guess who came out on top???

When people say things that kind of hit you funny, try to ask yourself one question. "Is this person trying to help me, or hurt me with this comment?" It sounds like your BO was trying to be productive and helpful, unlike my prev trainer who obviously was trying to be hurtful. When you ask yourself that question, it can help you decide what to do... and how to feel. You can't really stay mad at someone who clearly has the best intentions and clearly wants to help you be better :)

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