Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Truthful Tuesday


I had a realization today as I was flatting around on Al. I really needed to decompress once I got home this year. I knew I was feeling some kind of way about my riding and my horses before the move, and it took the last two months for me to finally be able to take a deep breath and remember that I'm capable with these horses. And that THEY are capable too. And I realized as I was trotting Al around on a loose rein today that I'm not getting that feeling in my gut anymore before I ride. Not even on jump school days! I was having so much anxiety before my lessons, it made me want to cancel. I didn't of course. But boy, was I an anxious mess. Even in the lessons with my favorite instructor. Even sometimes on non lesson days. 

These days, I'm not feeling all this pressure to work my horses long enough or hard enough. I work them until I get the results I want. If we're having a problem, we work through it. And if I get the answers right away? Well maybe we'll quit early and take an extra long walk at the end. At the other barn, we've been told walk breaks are stupid and for bad riders. But at my house, we take walk breaks. Especially on these hot and humid days. 

Oddly enough, despite our more relaxed attitude, I feel like Al and I are  ready to get to some shows. I'm not ready to go jump around the 1.2M of course. But I think we're ready to hold our own at the .90's. And Shiny is ready to try... I dunno. Something! I just need to figure out who I want to help us when we go. Our trainer is still stuck in Florida. I can probably handle just Shiny on my own with a groom. But I think with Al I'd like to have someone who knows more than me on the ground. There's just something reassuring about that. Depending on where we go though, I do know most of the local trainers well enough that I could probably ask one of them to help me. I just need to pick a show and get my bum in gear. 

Anyway, that's today's confession. I'm finally feeling a little more confident and getting those trust banks refilled. FINALLY. 


  1. This post makes me happy. I don’t understand being against walk breaks?! Everyone needs a moment to decompress why would horse be any different? Carmen often needs a break to let go of her tension otherwise she’s going to escalate. While I don’t do it in the moment, we get through and then we take a breather.

    Of course you’re capable! Is there another barn you can go to next winter? These people are not good for you.

  2. I'm so glad you're realizing this and also realizing what it is that is causing it! You are definitely capable and you know your horses. I hope you'll find a great solution for next winter :)

    It took me such a long time to admit to myself that I felt this same way at the last barn I was at. I was always anxious, my confidence was suffering, I was feeling pressured to do things I wasn't comfortable doing. I wasn't feeling secure in my riding or myself or the horses and it was a disaster waiting to happen. And even though it really hurt when they essentially kicked me out for being "over their weight limit," and I was looking for a new place anyway - it was really a blessing in disguise.

  3. yay so exciting to be thinking about maybe getting to some shows!! and so happy to feel a little more relaxed and empowered in your own approach lately, too. a had a lesson the other night where it felt like the trainer quite literally wanted to punish us (something like 25 straight minutes of trot and canter in 95* weather) for who knows what reason, and it really makes me wonder why some people even want to be trainers or coaches if they seem to hate their clients (or their horses) so much LOL

  4. Coming from dressage, where walk breaks are a thing in actual competition, I 100% support your ideas!