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eventerdrew 12-17-2009 05:57 PM

NO enthusiasm... advice needed
Hey guys,

I need some advice about riding. I have been a competitive rider since the age of 7 and have been riding 6 times a week, every week since then. Now, I feel like I have NO motivation for riding. I haven't ridden in a week and my horses are sitting in my backyard. I have no excuse other than the fact that I'm burnt out. My two horses are misbehaving lately and I feel like that is part of the reason I don't want to ride. If I were to have a horse that is "fun" I would maybe want to ride but at this point, horses are not my relief. They are my stress.

Any tips on how to get my motivation back? I feel horrible not riding for a week but it's not because I actually want to ride :(


eventerdrew 12-17-2009 08:06 PM


HorseExerciser 12-17-2009 08:12 PM

I feel more motivated when I take lessons because I have someone there to help me and tell me what to do if a problem arises. They also can give you more to think about later on and practice when your by yourself. Find a trusted trainer and take lessons once a week or more, go on some trail rides when the weather is nice, just spend time with your horse. You don't always need to ride them, sometimes taking them out for a brushing is a good change of pace for their minds and bodies.

MN Tigerstripes 12-17-2009 08:19 PM

Maybe just don't ride for a couple weeks. Your horses won't lose a lot of condition, especially if they're already in good shape. Spend some "easy" time with them. Grooming, maybe lunging, braid their tails. Just "stupid" stuff that's relaxing. I think sometimes when our horses are being difficult we forget the enjoyment we get being around them. Maybe by temporarily moving the problems/stress to the back burner for a couple of weeks you'll find yourself eager to get out there again.

Gillian 12-17-2009 08:27 PM

^ I agree with both of the above posters. For a while after I moved Zu to his new barn I couldn't get lessons and I felt my enthusiasm towards riding slipping. I'm only just getting back to riding 4 times a week, and while it feels good, if it's been too long since a lesson and Zeus and I start arguing It's hard to make myself ride. I had one of those rides today. We just couldn't get it today. I still plan on going out tomorrow to ride, but I'm going to have to make myself.

I don't know if that's what's up because I don't know how often you take lessons. But I do know that it helps me tons. I think to have fun riding I need to feel like I'm doing well, feel like I'm accomplishing something. So when I have rides where I don't accomplish much I stress. When that happens I need to just take some time to hang with him, go on a trail ride, goof off bareback, whatever. Than when we get back to work I can handle the bad days.

Hope you figure out what can get you back intot he swing of things.

ridergirl23 12-17-2009 08:40 PM

ugh, i had two weeks like this, i was SO SCARED that i didnt like riding anymore, i was so scared that i wouldnt like riding anymore that i forced myself to ride everyday... one day i just snapped and that SECOND i needed to see my horse, haha then i HAD to go riding. it was weird, maybe thats hwat your going through?

iridehorses 12-17-2009 08:53 PM

Sounds like burnout. I don't know what kind of ridding you do aside from eventing but sometimes a total change of discipline will recharge you.

Although I've owned horses for over 25 years and rode way longer then that, I burned out about 5 years ago and sold all my horses. That lasted a whole 2 years before the urge to ride and own again returned. I needed time off not a change of discipline; but if it's in your blood, it never goes away completely.

snoggle 12-17-2009 09:17 PM

Agree with everyone else. I'm also wondering if the horses are enjoying being ridden right now. Maybe your lack of interest is because they are frustrated too. Have you tried doing some stuff with them that they are good at? Try doing some stuff that you know will be successful and fun. Maybe some casual trail riding or some review of things they know how to do well. Maybe that will make it fun for both of you again.

eventerdrew 12-17-2009 09:18 PM

Thanks for the tips, guys.

My problem is that I've let this burnout run its course too long. I have really been burnt out for a year or so. It started with the injury of my first eventer. I lost my motivation. But then, I started taking lessons and got back going again. Then, my trainer moved and my other horse got hurt. When I'm not in competition mode, I don't want to ride and when my horses are fighting with me, I can't go out and compete. Double Edged sword.

I take lessons about twice a month. Money is tight and since I have my own barn, it is easier for me to ride by myself a lot of the time.

I wish I could switch disciplines for a while but I simply can't. I do not have the horses or the resources. one of my horses is a strictly jumping horse (HATES dressage, hacking is ok) and one is not good at anything but eventing. Ginisee is retired and can do more stuff but I don't have equipment

If I stop riding for more than a couple of weeks, I need to think about leasing/selling my horses. I cannot afford to have them sitting and doing nothing (with the exception of Ginisee who is a forever pasture pet). I have to sell one horse already before college (Uma) which I think will take a lot of the weight off my shoulders. Maybe I'm just tired of riding two horses?

Gillian 12-17-2009 09:27 PM

Riding two horses could definitely be a contributing factor. I have days where I don't want to ride my one, so I don't know how I would handle having to ride two. This might seem blunt but maybe you need to think about selling Uma sooner rather than later? (By the way, she is gorgeous, If I could afford two I'd be all over that.) I definitely understand about money for lessons. I'm so grateful we can do around once a week, but really wish it could be more. Maybe selling one would also allow for more frequent lessons to improve/motivate you?

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