View Full Version : Getting discouraged

Jan. 5, 2010, 10:09 PM
What if I'm just not a good rider? All of the horses I ride get heavy, get dull to leg, etc.

I try, but I'm reaching the conclusion that maybe I'm just a perpetual failure.

Encouragement needed :cry:

Jan. 5, 2010, 10:11 PM
How often do you ride?

Zu Zu
Jan. 5, 2010, 10:35 PM
If you like to ride --- RIDE ---- with practice you will improve :) and forget about the feeling of failure --- just do it for l the love :D of it ! Don't think about it ~ just enjoy :yes: it !!! Jingle Jingle Jingle & AO ~ AO ~ AO ~ Always Optimistic ..RIDE ON !!!!:cool:

Hunter Mom
Jan. 5, 2010, 10:53 PM
Without knowing any specifics on your situation, there are lots of reasons that you may not be advancing like you want. I had to finally realize that I was NEVER going to ride like the 13 year old girl who has a lovely small junior in our barn. I was never going to ride like the 22 year old who does Jr/Am Jumpers and makes them look super easy. I was never going to ride like the 24 year old who took a then 3 year old TB from the track to winning in baby greens in less than a year. I had to realize I was going to ride like me - a slightly fluffy, 40 year old mom who's big aspiration in life is to do a nice 3' course some day. Maybe. Truth be told, I am just happy when I get off the horse on my own accord instead of doing a footing check.

I enjoy every minute of my riding - knowing that the worst day on a horse is always going to be better than the best day at my job.

Decide why you like horses. Is it the smell of the horses? The way they look at you and say "HI! Thank you for coming to see me." Is it the warm breath they bless you with when eating treats out of your hand? Take a few minutes to really think about WHY you like horses. There is a lot more to enjoy about horses than just a ride - it is, after all, just a ride.

Jan. 5, 2010, 10:57 PM
Oh honey, I know exactly how you feel!! :( It's a tough situation to be in when you feel like you're consistently ramming yourself into that brick wall that you just can't get past.
I doubt that you are just a "bad rider," especially if you're working your butt off and you have a trainer whose instructions make sense to you. Are you a natural talent? probably not, but very few people are - I know that I'm definitely not!
Just keep at it and just enjoy[I] it, like ZuZu said. Do you feel yourself getting anxious and frustrated when you keep doing this? because anxiety is a killer of effective riding. Are there [I]other things going on in your life that are affecting your riding - I got rid of the needy boyfriend and now I can handle the needy horse sooo much better and with that much more patience.
Another thing I'm going to recommend that has helped me immensely, and you're going to laugh, but ballet. Take ballet lessons at the local YMCA or gym or school. It makes you very very aware of your body, which is critical for riding. I am not graceful and that's not the purpose. It's balance and awareness. :) Jingling for you and I hope you can get back to enjoying the ride.

Jan. 5, 2010, 11:04 PM
I sense your frustration. We all reach flat spots in our learning trajectory. Have you considered a change? When I travel, I look up one of the good training stables in the area and make it a point to take a few lessons with another trainer. Now, I have "relationships" in two cities, where I can ride while away from home. It's like a mini equestrian vacation - and a clinic just for me. It is amazing what common faults are identified, but different approaches used by different trainers. Not only does riding different horses make you better, but also riding with different trainers. I, of course, did my current trainer the courtesy of asking for his "blessing". Would this be a possibility for you? locally or otherwise?

Jan. 6, 2010, 12:22 AM
I think you are probably a sympathetic and kind rider. The downside to this is that when you put your leg on, your horse may not respond.

The best riders are those whose horses are happy. I think you are one of them.

oldenburger with fries and a cold beer
Jan. 6, 2010, 08:00 AM
I am sorry you are feeling so disappointed. It sounds like you put a lot of yourself into this sport. I know this sounds counter intuitive but why not take a break? I try to do this with any project that becomes unbearable. When I come back, I generally have a fresh perspective. Don't forget the horses are picking up on your disappointment as well. Don't feel bad though..the horses I ride become spoiled and opinionated. Total cookie monsters!!!
I do have a fun game I do with my horses that they seem to really enjoy. I knot the reins in front of me and let go. I Literally go around the arena with no reins asking for transitions upward and downward. I keep my arms out like a bird and work on my position instead of them. They love it and we have now gotten to the point that with my gelding I can jump a small course this way. It makes me feel like a kid and it really puts the focus on my position. If, you have a safe horse to try this with I highly suggest it. Coming up with games like this makes the time I spend at the barn feel light and playful. Laughter is always the best medicine. Yoga is another fun thing to try. Who cares if people are laughing at you as long as you are having a good time and so are the horses. Isn't that what it is all about?
Also, try a clinic with a different instructor on different horses. Riding new horses always gives me a fresh perspective on different training techniques.

Jan. 6, 2010, 08:10 AM
If it is you realizing you are not where you want to be then your ready to move on.

Now if it is others telling you the same thing with no change than I understand your frustration.

I will tell you for many years I had no feel for creating my rides, Granted I could get on a horse who was already there and the horse made me look like a better rider than I was , But Now !!

After almost giving up SEVERAL MILLION NIGHTS of Sadness & Madness

It happened I finally was creating my own rides and I could hear in the back of my head all the great advice and the crtiticism [ good kind / but ouchy to hear] in the back of my head. I Could finally apply it --- NOT just on my horse but on others.

WHAT is so funny now is I train at a barn now that is BIG , lots bigger than me -- successful--- They have me flat so many of there horses from wild---- to ones that have not so talented owners -- for them to have a good creative ride.

Yes riding is emotional -- at least to me and obviously to you.
Keep kicking and DON"T try to be like others , be a better you.

SO are they dead to your leg -- FIX it .
My favorite saying a trainer that irked me cause she was right, but made me feel like DUH !! " WHen you have a problem with the horse , " Get in and Get OUT!

You can do it , if that is what you want . It takes focus and desire.

I think you have focus , just it is at the bottom of the mountain right now.
You definetly have desire, That is why you posted this thread!
Happy trails and press on!

Jan. 6, 2010, 08:11 AM
wondering if you are a pro or ammie and what age?

If you're a pro then perhaps a clinic or lesson will perk you up.

I do feel that you're more likely an ammie and in that case then I agree with Hunter Mom. You have to realize at some point that you can only ride as well as you ride. Others will always do things better and you have to learn to be ok with that. You continue to practice and commit as much time and money as you can but be satisfied with what you're doing.
If you can, take more lessons or try lessoning with a new trainer to help you improve your current skills. Sometimes a new voice can be the breath of fresh air that you need.
We all get in ruts but the winners are the ones who get out of them for the better.

Jan. 6, 2010, 09:30 AM
Lots of good advice. I personally, get burned out every once in awhile and have to take a break. The beautiful thing is you recognize the issue. Now you just have to figure out the fix.

Jane Savoie does a really nice job in video one here http://www.janesavoie.com/shop/dvd_train1.htm of training a horse to be more forward and respond to the leg (I know she is a dressage gal--it still applies). I've seen lots of different types talk about this, but hers is really a nice approach, imo.

Jan. 6, 2010, 11:15 AM
booooooo stop thinking that way! :) It will do nothing constructive to help you get out of this rut.

Did you have a bad ride? Trainer yell at you? When this happens to me I usually have a small pity party and then look critically and constructively at what I can do to try and fix it. It usually involves replaying a lot of things in my mind, doing some research and then hopping back up in the saddle to try it out. As someone else mentioned too, try a clinic or a different trainer for a little while. I did that for a few months and boy, what a huge difference in my understanding of riding and trying to fix my bad habits.

Jan. 6, 2010, 11:29 AM
Think of it, as a bad hair day. Good rides & good moods don't happen everyday, stay positive and keep riding!!!!!!!!:yes:

Jan. 6, 2010, 11:47 AM
I have people say horrible things about my riding all the time. I always go back to my horse. He doesn't swish his tail, he doesn't buck with me, he doesn't evade my contact...so maybe people on the outside don't always know best ;)

When I feel the way you do, I sit my trainer down and have an honest discussion about my feelings. I have cried in the past.:winkgrin: If your trainer can't give you some real constructive things to work on, and then POSITIVE feedback when you get it right...maybe look at taking some lessons in a new barn for a while, just to get out of your rut. New horses, new trainer, new place...could be just the thing. Even a new discipline! (Like the time I tried WP...ooh. Reminded me what I liked about English. Tons of respect for those WP riders, but was that ever NOT the discipline for me!)

Jan. 6, 2010, 02:19 PM
Perhaps it is time for a new trainer ....

Jan. 6, 2010, 03:49 PM
I'm constantly fighting the "God I suck!" feeling. During the school year I only ride once a week in a lesson, and during the summer I ride as much as I want...but with no access to a trainer. What I do is remind myself that I can only be as good as my current situation allows me to be. When I'm riding once a week, I can't expect myself to have the same strength I have over the summer, and over the summer I can't expect myself to look as pretty as I do when I'm in training. You can't judge yourself against anyone who hasn't had the EXACT same experience/situation you have had.

Last Spring I was getting really sick of riding, especially when I didn't do as well as I had hoped at zones. I was considering taking the summer off when my friend told me about a horse she knew that needed someone to bring her back into work after an injury. I spent 3 months w/t and trail riding, finally by August I had her up to cantering, small jumps etc all without any instruction. I had a lot of frustrating rides but it really gave me some confidence in my riding abilities, and I ended up having a lot of fun with the horse. Sounds like you need to take a break from "serious" lessons/riding and just play around for awhile.

Jan. 6, 2010, 04:04 PM
When I hit a plateau I found that a change in trainers helped a lot. Not that there was anything wrong with my old trainer's methods, but it really helped to have a fresh perspective and a different way of explaining things. It is really motivating when things start to click into place...and trust me, it is not too late for things to click into place. Keep at it!

Nilla Wafer
Jan. 6, 2010, 04:13 PM
Hey Retlaalter1, are you feeling any better yet? :)
I hope so...

I am probably one of the worst riders at my barn....I have no show background or experience....I had no idea that wearing a troxel helmet might not be considered fashionable..... but who cares? :) I can finally afford to own my own horse, after wanting one for many (many) years. We have a fun time together, and I love him! Seeing his sweet face and watching his antics when he's free in the pasture makes me smile. And after a long day in the office, it's just what I need to put things in perspective. I hope you feel better and don't get discouraged. :)

Jan. 7, 2010, 01:07 AM
When I think of where I was a couple of years ago and and thinking where I would be vs. where I really am now (skillset wise) it isn't too hard to start beating myself up. Coulda shoulda woulda, but you know I am in this for fun so whatever I do is really just fine. I have a pretty good idea why my horses won't canter when I am in two point and sometimes even when I sit, but we walk and trot just fine, and really the horse doesn't care as long as he gets his scritches and enough attention without being over stressed. Please, just let yourself enjoy the ride and have fun - that is what it is all supposed to be about.

Jan. 7, 2010, 09:06 AM
What if I'm just not a good rider? All of the horses I ride get heavy, get dull to leg, etc.


LOL Have you been riding my horse lately? :D Sounds like you have :yes:

At some point ALL of us feel like we failed or on the verge of it. Even the best rider is fightning internal battles with theirselves, it is normal!

I for one will never be that pretty rider. I can ride any horse out there effectively but I cannot guarentee pretty.

I bet your a fabulous rider and you are just feeling down right now! THAT is subject to change day to day with rides. Horses feel as we do too at times. If you have that athletic, big hearted horse that works for you wholeheartedly and then in the next ride he has a heck of a day with his own ride = he feels like we do for that day!

I don't know your situation whether it is the horses your riding, or your own horse, whether you self train or have a trainer, ride 1X per week or 7... something in this mix may have to change for you to accomplish your riding goals and feel better about yourself!

Good Luck!!!

Jan. 7, 2010, 09:20 AM
I know just how you feel! I was never able to ride good horses, everything I had trained myself and they all ended up local horses only. We won local, but that meant nothing.

I saved my money, got some good and bad lessons, and now I have three jobs riding three great horses and I couldn't feel better about myself! I still think I ride like crap, but the owners and all three trainers are saying I'm wonderful and doing great. I guess if I'm not getting replaced, I'm happy :)

Just enjoy the riding. I had to take a break to get down to basics and start all over. No instructor would do that, even at my request.

You'll get over this bump in the road :)

Jan. 7, 2010, 10:22 AM
What if I'm just not a good rider? All of the horses I ride get heavy, get dull to leg, etc.

I try, but I'm reaching the conclusion that maybe I'm just a perpetual failure.

Encouragement needed :cry:

I don't know you and of course have never seen you ride, but your issue's do not equate to perpetual failure.

The issues you speak of are very common, very easy to fix, and are just part of the process of developing your understanding, knowledge and skills as a rider.