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Cincinnati
Aug. 31, 2009, 02:17 PM
I had an AWFUL day yesterday at a show. My trainer rode my horse on Saturday and I was scheduled to ride on Sunday in 2 tests.

I got sick. Flu. I scratched my first test but my trainer encouraged me to try to ride the second test just to prove I could do it.
I am a sucker.
I had no strength, no balance and felt like crappola. But I rode anyway.
My horse, however, figured out pretty fast I was a pushover so during our training level test he blew right through what pitiful canter aids I could give. So we trotted our 20 meter canter circles. The whole test. :o
I was exhausted and I just know the judge was wondering WTH was that?

Please tell me I am not alone. I feel like I should just chuck this whole dressage thing. It has been a passion for 25 years and I am wondering today if I should just take up trail riding. :cry:

Bobblehead
Aug. 31, 2009, 02:35 PM
Aw, come on, you had the FLU. I know my judgment goes all to crap when I feel miserable. Maybe the same thing happens to you. Probably you're still feeling under the weather, and it's hard to be optimistic when you feel like that.

Your horse was just doing what horses do, taking a break because he could. If he would do the test perfectly whether or not you were aboard, then is when I'd wonder why bother. Although liberty dressage does have a certain novelty to it, but I think it would wear off after a while.

You've learned to follow your gut at shows, and I think that's a good lesson. Personally, I don't think the purpose of a dressage show is "just to prove I can do it." I think it's to get an outside opinion on the skill level of the rider-horse team. You weren't able to present the true picture for reasons beyond your control.

I would have hated sacrificing the entry fees, though, so I might have done the same thing for different reasons. Probably would have had the same result, too. But give yourself a break. Either you like showing and next time will be better, or if you hate it anyway, here's a good excuse to lighten up and enjoy working at home.

Nothing wrong with trail riding, either. I'm dying to go down to the lake and swim my horse.

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Aug. 31, 2009, 02:48 PM
You know, I can ride badly WITHOUT the flu!!

I can't imagine that feeling that way, you could give any good aids at all. I'm impressed you stayed on!

Ponypoor
Aug. 31, 2009, 02:55 PM
I'm 43 years old and I'm not buying that line anymore. I know I can't do it when I'm well and certainly can't do it with the flu.

Ambrey
Aug. 31, 2009, 03:03 PM
Now you know what you need to work on for the next show! 100% compliance with light canter aids :)

You proved that you can overcome such obstacles as the flu and still get out there, give yourself a pat on the back!

Gloria
Aug. 31, 2009, 05:17 PM
Why? Because you love it. You said it was your passions for 25 years. Oh come on, you had a flu and dressage isn't easy to begin with. You did great by sticking through the test. Oh hell there were times when I could not even get a canter depart in my best physical condition. If I had a flu? I would just lay in bed groaning and moaning and send somebody else to ride my pony.

Trail ride is fun but hey dressage is funner (when you get it right anyway). I know, it's awfully frustrating when you don't get it but you will eventually and then it is really fun. Oh don't you ever for a second think that we don't struggle. We do. And we ask the same question from time to time. But we all know that we are just complalining and bitching. :cool:

hitchinmygetalong
Aug. 31, 2009, 06:56 PM
Shame on your trainer for pushing (aka "encouraging") you to ride. You did yourself no favors, you did your horse no favors. You shouldn't have ridden, especially when the goal was to "just prove I could do it." You knew in your heart it was a mistake before you even entered the ring, didn't you?

Forget about it. It never happened.

You can ride. You know you can. You just couldn't ride on Sunday, and for a darn good reason.

Take a week off and just groom and clean tack. Hand walk your horse in this glorious late summer weather and have a chat with him. He'll be your best counsel.

When you feel up to it, climb back on. And focus AHEAD, not behind.

You're not ready to give up. Not yet. If you were, you never would have started this thread.

Ambrey
Aug. 31, 2009, 07:38 PM
Shame on your trainer for pushing (aka "encouraging") you to ride. You did yourself no favors, you did your horse no favors. You shouldn't have ridden, especially when the goal was to "just prove I could do it." You knew in your heart it was a mistake before you even entered the ring, didn't you?

:dead::rolleyes:

SillyHorse
Aug. 31, 2009, 07:45 PM
Shame on your trainer for pushing (aka "encouraging") you to ride. You did yourself no favors, you did your horse no favors. You shouldn't have ridden, especially when the goal was to "just prove I could do it." You knew in your heart it was a mistake before you even entered the ring, didn't you?
Roll your eyes if you must, Ambrey, but I agree 100% with what hitch wrote. Who in their right mind pushes someone with the flu to ride a horse, much less to show it?

Ambrey
Aug. 31, 2009, 07:49 PM
Roll your eyes if you must, Ambrey, but I agree 100% with what hitch wrote. Who in their right mind pushes someone with the flu to ride a horse, much less to show it?

I guess the opposite of the type of people who think shame is an emotional state that would be useful to anyone in this case, or that such a post would do anything other than make the OP feel worse.

TBROCKS
Aug. 31, 2009, 07:49 PM
Shame on your trainer for pushing (aka "encouraging") you to ride. You did yourself no favors, you did your horse no favors. You shouldn't have ridden, especially when the goal was to "just prove I could do it." You knew in your heart it was a mistake before you even entered the ring, didn't you?

Forget about it. It never happened.

You can ride. You know you can. You just couldn't ride on Sunday, and for a darn good reason.

Take a week off and just groom and clean tack. Hand walk your horse in this glorious late summer weather and have a chat with him. He'll be your best counsel.

When you feel up to it, climb back on. And focus AHEAD, not behind.

You're not ready to give up. Not yet. If you were, you never would have started this thread.

Excellent, Hitch. I might print that out for reading the next time I feel discouraged.

hitchinmygetalong
Aug. 31, 2009, 08:27 PM
I guess the opposite of the type of people who think shame is an emotional state that would be useful to anyone in this case, or that such a post would do anything other than make the OP feel worse.

I see that Ambrey is trying yet again to turn someone's thread into something all about her.

Please don't encourage this behavior, readers. Remember who started this thread and respond to her, not to Ambrey.

FancyFree
Aug. 31, 2009, 08:45 PM
I agree with Hitch, shame on your trainer. Riding a dressage test when you're feeling strong and healthy is challenging enough. Why would he want you to attempt it when you're feeling ill? I don't think there is anything to learn training wise from this experience. Your horse would have responded completely differently had you been well, is my guess. The one important lesson is to listen to your gut instincts. I do understand wanting to make your trainer proud and buck up for them. I fell off in the schooling ring at a hunter show once. I was very shaken up about it and should have scratched, but I thought my trainer would have been disappointed in me. Needless to say, we did not do very well in our class. Sometimes you just have to believe in your little voice, as hokey as that may sound.

MistyBlue
Aug. 31, 2009, 08:49 PM
Cincinnati...ignore the deliberate misinterpretation by certain members who're desperately trying to transpose their own emotional weaknesses onto you. Hitch was encouraging, not discouraging as is pointed out below. :yes:
You can ride...and it's darned near impossible to ride well when ill. There are plenty of people with no strength and no balance at all who don't have the flu and their horses take advantage of them also and they still ride. :winkgrin:
Don't beat yourself up over this. I promise when you feel better later on you'll get a chuckle out of the situation. There aren't many horses who don't get a tad bit evil when we're not on our game due to illness, horses have sick twisted senses of humor. :D



I guess the opposite of the type of people who think shame is an emotional state that would be useful to anyone in this case, or that such a post would do anything other than make the OP feel worse.


Shame on your trainer for pushing (aka "encouraging") you to ride.

You can ride. You know you can. You just couldn't ride on Sunday, and for a darn good reason.

Carolinadreamin'
Aug. 31, 2009, 08:56 PM
OP, agreeing with hitchinmygetalong (great name, btw!) here. There will be more shows and opportunities coming your way. Concentrate on feeling better!

hoopoe
Aug. 31, 2009, 08:57 PM
Cinci have been there many times, even have some of those rides on film. My issue was the mental fog of peri-menopause. Some days I could not connect my brain to my muscles to save my life ( or break 60)

You are OK, don't despair. Regroup and go forward.

Some horses are mighty clever and can figure out what they can "get away with" in the show ring. While one ride will unlike cause a blip on your horses mental map, do be prepared, next time you show, to back up a transition aid with a stronger one (a schooling moment) if he blows you off.

Every time you ride you teach your horse something. Thankfully, many horses ( like mine :sadsmile: ) are slow learners

lovemyrobin
Aug. 31, 2009, 09:15 PM
Think of it this way

You got thru the test with out hitting the ground or being eliminated or excused

So he trotted the canter circles, much better than galloping them or taking off with you

And you did it and survived in a weakened state--most people wouldn't have even tried

Be proud of trying and getting on even when you felt like crap

chaltagor
Aug. 31, 2009, 09:33 PM
"At least you tried" is not a good answer. It's the Horsecity answer. The OP rode when she knew she shouldn't and now is discouraged. Anyone can ride horribly, or at least try to.

There are three days every month I can't do any training on my horses because it ends up with all of us frustrated and grumpy. I know this, and don't attempt it. I trail ride with a bareback pad and enjoy being with them. I'd rather us be happy then trying to do something I shouldn't and failing.

dwblover
Aug. 31, 2009, 10:14 PM
Can I make a totally cheesy yet still helpful suggestion? Listen to the newer Miley Cyrus song "The Climb". I know it helps me when I feel like throwing in the towel.

Hiddenacresmi
Aug. 31, 2009, 10:26 PM
About 20 years ago, I rode in a Hunter's Pace. It was something I always wanted to do, jumping, riding through the woods, etc. We rode in teams, horses well trained, youthful, brave, in shape, etc. We completed the 3 hour event, only to be beat out by another team. Ok. winning wasn't the point. BUT.. that turned out to be the most motivating ride I ever had. The team that beat us and won that hunter pace were 4 ladies aged 75 years old! What a hoot.

So for all of us who say it's time to hang it up.. we are older, heavier, not brave enough anymore, not riding as well, etc. . Suck it up.. .you are not allowed to quit until you are atleast 75 years old. Winning isn't everything.. just get out and DO IT!! :yes::cool::D:winkgrin:

slc2
Aug. 31, 2009, 10:56 PM
Doesn't sound like it really was that bad. Canter was all you actually had any trouble with. What's the big deal?

Sometimes the right choice is to go ahead and ride even if things are not 100%. No show ever happened when everything was 100% perfect how every rider hoped it would be.

An otherwise healthy, fit, young person is unlikely to be hurt by overdoing a bit now and again, even over-doing at the end of a cold or flu. It's not wrong for a trainer to say oh go give it a try. If you're really sick still you just say, 'sorry, I don't think it's best for me'. Don't blame your choices on the trainer.

On the other hand, if you're still really sick, and have an underlying health problem, and riding that one day is going to set you back for weeks, then it's the wrong choice. This may be the case with older folks or those with chronic underlying health problems. It might also be that packing the trailer and truck, fighting a tough loader for two hours, driving eight hours, setting up at the show and showing 3 days, 3 classes a day, and then breaking down a tack room and multiple stalls, loading and going home is LOADS different from just riding in one test in alittle schooling show at yiour barn. The choice depends a lot on exactly what's going on.

Part of the process of achieving success is knowing when to go ahead and agree with your trainer, and when not to. Don't blame your trainer if you go along with something and then it doesn't work out. You're a grownup, it's your decision to do or not do what the trainer says. YOU made the decision to show, whatever offhand comment the trainer made is immaterial.

Trainers nearly ALWAYS so 'oh go give it a try, it can't hurt!' From their point of view, they're used to riding with a cold or the tail end of a case of flu - they do it all the time. They think nothing of riding a test or two at a show when they're coming off a case of flu or cold.

It's their job. In fact, at every job I've ever had in my life in many kinds of work, there was absolutely zero tolerance for staying home til you feel 100%. It's just not in the cards. I can't count how many times I've dragged my butt to work when I wished for a few extra days. Not that work and amateur riding are the same, but that the trainer, who rides for a job, thinks nothing of riding on the end of a case of flu or cold.

The trainer's casual comment isn't a reason for you to go do something you know you're not in shape to do. Take responsibility for your own decisions. You decided to go, it went fairly well, accept it and let it go.

hoopoe
Aug. 31, 2009, 11:15 PM
chalt me too. When I had them, those days I could not unlock my lower back no matter how much mental or physical effort I made. Knew better than to try anything "serious"

MMorgan
Aug. 31, 2009, 11:52 PM
I guess the opposite of the type of people who think shame is an emotional state that would be useful to anyone in this case, or that such a post would do anything other than make the OP feel worse.


Just because the other poster stated "shame on the trainer" doesn't mean that he or she was trying to shame the OP. I think the intention of that post was to help the OP redirect her negative thoughts and feelings (of failure, disappointment, shame) that the OP implied in her initial post, back to where they belong--partly on the trainer and partly on the circumstances. Shame is the experience of not living up to some internal ideal--and in this case, the trainer set a somewhat unrealistic standard, which, given the OP's illness, she could not have met (nor could any of us). (The trainer made a mistake, so perhaps the trainer should feel guilt rather than shame?) In any case, OP, I hope you hear what others are saying and when you are feeling stronger, give it another try.

ThreeFigs
Sep. 1, 2009, 12:03 AM
I'm with Hitch on this one. It's one thing to ride at home when you're NQR, but it's a heck of a challenge at a show! Your trainer was out of line to encourage you to show while ill. I hope she realizes that now.

Here's hoping you feel better about things soon! Don't give up!

Hiddenacresmi, loved that story! For many years, we had a lady in this state who did dressage and hunted till well into her 70's or 80's. I want to be like her!

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Sep. 1, 2009, 01:40 AM
I do have to say...it could have had serious consequences. I was in a lesson, and I was feeling a bit fuzzy, but thought I was fine. Well, I wasn't - you know how the flu can just hit you suddenly? One minute you're pretty much okay, the next whammo!

My trainer had no idea, and asked us to canter, I suspect my balance was off and we just went down. Hard. I was convinced I killed Ted. She ran over to check him, the both of us were sore but otherwise okay. I was going to ache for the next week with the flu anyway, but I took Ted with me.

That is not to say that I always make intelligent decisions about my health and my riding. Do as I say, not as I do!!

JSwan
Sep. 1, 2009, 07:39 AM
Please tell me I am not alone. I feel like I should just chuck this whole dressage thing. It has been a passion for 25 years and I am wondering today if I should just take up trail riding. :cry:

Heck no. I hunt with people pushing 80. They ride circles around me. You have plenty of life left in you. Heels down, head up, chest back, elbows in.

At least you had a legitimate excuse for having a crappy ride. :) Gack. The flu. I can't even imagine getting out of bed much less competing.

Hope you're feeling better.

CatOnLap
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:20 AM
Here's a bit of a different slant. First of all, kudos to the OP Cincinnati for having the guts to push herself in a bad moment. You proved something and hopefully learned more about standing up to your hired help (i.e. your trainer) and judging your own state of readiness.

Please, though, no one emulate her.

We are in the midst of a global pandemic of an influenza bug that is selectively killing people of child bearing age, rather than the oldsters and youngsters that it hits usually.

If you think you have the flu, phone your doctor, follow their advice and do not expose yourself to the public.

NEXT TIME STAY HOME IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT HAVE THE FLU!!!!.

It can only be seen as irresponsible that someone who thinks they may have influenza decides to share their germs with a whole crowd of susceptible people and spread the infection, simply in the interest of not wasting the showing opportunity.

(I hope you didn't actually have the flu, but perhaps some food borne gastroenteritis illness that was over with in 24 hours, and if you did have the actual flu, I hope you are getting better now)

blackhorsegirl
Sep. 1, 2009, 12:33 PM
Don't feel bad. We have moments of lapsed judgement and I'm sorry you felt so bad. And, yes, shame on your trainer. Always remind yourself that it's your passion. I keep my passion on a very short rein and do not let myself get bullied. The idea is to have fun and enjoy the journey.

Holly Jeanne
Sep. 1, 2009, 01:00 PM
I started a similar thread about a year ago or so. I decided to go with the trail riding. Guess what? My young horse is developing confidence in me and in herself and I'm developing confidence in her. Eventually, we'll be back to the dressage (ie lessons and maybe eventually shows) but without feeling like we should be doing x and y and we'll be more of a team when we do.

Cincinnati
Sep. 1, 2009, 07:32 PM
Thanks for letting me vent. I got a wonderful score of 36%. Wow. Think I will have chocolate ice cream to celebrate. Anyway, next time I am going to think it through VERY carefully before I attempt something as inane as riding when ill.

I am slowly getting over the sickness. Not to worry, nothing "contagious". ;)

Ambrey
Sep. 1, 2009, 07:51 PM
Cincinatti, any ride that ends with a purposeful dismount deserves chocolate ice cream!

Gloria
Sep. 4, 2009, 11:40 AM
Doesn't sound like it really was that bad. Canter was all you actually had any trouble with. What's the big deal?

Sometimes the right choice is to go ahead and ride even if things are not 100%. No show ever happened when everything was 100% perfect how every rider hoped it would be.

An otherwise healthy, fit, young person is unlikely to be hurt by overdoing a bit now and again, even over-doing at the end of a cold or flu. It's not wrong for a trainer to say oh go give it a try. If you're really sick still you just say, 'sorry, I don't think it's best for me'. Don't blame your choices on the trainer.

On the other hand, if you're still really sick, and have an underlying health problem, and riding that one day is going to set you back for weeks, then it's the wrong choice. This may be the case with older folks or those with chronic underlying health problems. It might also be that packing the trailer and truck, fighting a tough loader for two hours, driving eight hours, setting up at the show and showing 3 days, 3 classes a day, and then breaking down a tack room and multiple stalls, loading and going home is LOADS different from just riding in one test in alittle schooling show at yiour barn. The choice depends a lot on exactly what's going on.

Part of the process of achieving success is knowing when to go ahead and agree with your trainer, and when not to. Don't blame your trainer if you go along with something and then it doesn't work out. You're a grownup, it's your decision to do or not do what the trainer says. YOU made the decision to show, whatever offhand comment the trainer made is immaterial.

Trainers nearly ALWAYS so 'oh go give it a try, it can't hurt!' From their point of view, they're used to riding with a cold or the tail end of a case of flu - they do it all the time. They think nothing of riding a test or two at a show when they're coming off a case of flu or cold.

It's their job. In fact, at every job I've ever had in my life in many kinds of work, there was absolutely zero tolerance for staying home til you feel 100%. It's just not in the cards. I can't count how many times I've dragged my butt to work when I wished for a few extra days. Not that work and amateur riding are the same, but that the trainer, who rides for a job, thinks nothing of riding on the end of a case of flu or cold.

The trainer's casual comment isn't a reason for you to go do something you know you're not in shape to do. Take responsibility for your own decisions. You decided to go, it went fairly well, accept it and let it go.

I have to agree with SLC here. Trainers will always try to push their students a little bit. It is no evil. It is their jobs. And it is student's job to decide whether to listen. There are times when all the excitement and adrenaline do help a person to overcome his/her sickened state. If nothing else, it is a good learning experience. Now OP knows that showing with a flu is not a great idea and she can definitely say no next time.

I don't mean a person should always push to ride regardless his/her health. It is just that a person may need to experience it herself to know her own strength. And honestly if the biggest problem OP had was the canter, well, darn, that was pretty good accomplishment.

slc2
Sep. 4, 2009, 07:03 PM
I think a person with a chronic health problem needs to be careful...but even with a chronic health problem, I've found that there is a time when it is good and right to push oneself and a time when it's over the top. Honestly finding that middle point isn't easy, knowing how much to push isn't always so easy.

Cielo Azure
Sep. 4, 2009, 07:39 PM
eeww.

Knowing how H1N1 can really hurt young people, and especially pregnant people, if i knew i had the flu right now, I WOULD NOT subject anyone to my going to an event such as a horse show. Especially since there is no vaccine for high risk populations yet.

That is not a bad trainer's decision, that is yours (unless the you are under 18 and the trainer is a parent)...

People, if you have the flu right now, stay at home.

Yeh, Aubrey I would feel very ashamed if I knowingly took the flu to a horse show and later found out that someone who was pregnant or immunosuppressed ended up in the hospital from flu complications.