The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 31
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 29, 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3

    Unhappy I feel like an outsider in the Eventing community...

    I guess I am just looking for a place to feel like I belong.

    Long story short, The eventing community where I am from is really small, and I have been involved for a few years but get the vibe that a lot of other trainers and riders hate me. A lot of people treat me with disrespect and belittle me, and it makes it hard for me to reach my goals of being a great rider and one day a trainer.
    I have to travel an hour+ each week to ride with my trainer and sometimes it just gets really discouraging. On top of that, a previous trainer that I am not longer riding with is attempting to create a bad reputation for me.

    Riding is the only thing I am good at and yet I feel like I can't move on. the last few weeks I find myself upset every night over my situation.

    Any kind words to put me in the right direction?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2001
    Posts
    6,675

    Default

    Who gives a rats ass what others think. Let your actions and accomplishments do the speaking. Unless somebody is doing something directly to prevent you from being a good rider/trainer, ignore them and get to work.


    20 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,889

    Default

    Let your riding and horsemanship speak for themselves. Cattiness is unfortunately everywhere, from the work place to the barn. I would just avoid speaking to them at all and soon it will lose its appeal.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2006
    Location
    Southern Ontario
    Posts
    1,014

    Default

    Hi Ashe,

    I'm not trying to be a jerk or add to you unhappiness, but the obvious question is -- have you done anything to "deserve" the negative vibes you get from others? Is there a misunderstanding that needs to be cleared up? Are you reading too much into the situation and projecting feelings onto others that they don't really have?

    If there is a back story here, maybe it would be worth it to suck it up, apologize and mend some fences. Most people are willing to give a second chance to someone who can make a sincere apology and offer to make amends. If a misunderstanding is at the root of this conflict, it might be worth it to sit down in a neutral environment to talk over what happened (especially with your old trainer -- why do you think they would be trying to ruin your reputation?). If it really is just nastiness for no reason -- take the high road and ride out the negativity. It won't last forever; new people come into the sport all the time (even in a small community) and the backbiters will tire of you eventually.

    I'm sorry; it sucks to feel excluded. You can't control other people's behaviour, but you can control your own, and you can control how your react to others' behaviour. Good luck


    7 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 29, 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fargaloo View Post
    Hi Ashe,

    I'm not trying to be a jerk or add to you unhappiness, but the obvious question is -- have you done anything to "deserve" the negative vibes you get from others? Is there a misunderstanding that needs to be cleared up? Are you reading too much into the situation and projecting feelings onto others that they don't really have?

    If there is a back story here, maybe it would be worth it to suck it up, apologize and mend some fences. Most people are willing to give someone a second chance to someone who can make a sincere apology and offer to make amends. If a misunderstanding is at the root of this conflict, it might be worth it to sit down in a neutral environment to talk over what happened (especially with your old trainer -- why do you think they would be trying to ruin your reputation?). If it really is just nastiness for no reason -- take the high road and ride out the negativity. It won't last forever; new people come into the sport all the time (even in a small community) and the backbiters will tire of you eventually.

    I'm sorry; it sucks to feel excluded. You can't control other people's behaviour, but you can control your own, and you can control how your react to others' behaviour. Good luck
    Honestly, no. I don't have any friends that ride horses, and I mostly am shy and keep to myself. The only thing that I have done that would be offensive is switch trainers. I'm not sure why she would try to do that.. but I know she talks bad about every other trainer in the area so I'm assuming its because I am now considered competition. I don't know...



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2000
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    310

    Default

    Give the other riders and trainers a little credit. It is very likely that most of them are smart enough to see your old trainer's true colours.

    Ride your horse and be yourself and most of all don't worry about what other people think. Honestly most people are too busy worrying about their own performance, horse, etc to give much thought to someone they don't really know.

    It's funny how once you stop worrying about what other people think how much easier it is to make friends and have fun.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
    Posts
    8,123

    Default

    Honestly, the day people start to talk a little smack about you is the day you know you've arrived at least far enough to make people look up.


    18 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2006
    Location
    Southern Ontario
    Posts
    1,014

    Default

    If your old trainer's beef with you is that you left (on fair and open terms) to train with someone else, she has some serious growing up to do. If this is how she operates, I doubt she has much professional credibility in the community, so I wouldn't worry too much about what she might or might not be saying about you... . I know it's not easy, but just let your reputation speak for itself -- if you are pleasant, fair, good to your horse and good to the people you interact with, people will see who you are with their own eyes.

    Do you have a good relationship with your current trainer? What does he/she think about the situation?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2008
    Location
    Landlocked in Western Mass.
    Posts
    281

    Default

    I agree with what the others say, and to add my 2 cents: when a person is shy, it's easy for them to be misunderstood, and to misunderstand others as well. The lines of communication aren't open if you don't have the confidence to open them up for yourself, it only exacerbates hurt feelings.
    If you can find someone outside of the field of riding who can help you learn to step outside of yourself - by that I mean, feel better about communicating, help you build confidence in yourself ( a sports-minded therapist/teacher/yoga instructor...) I think you'd find that your concern about what others think will fall by the wayside. You said that riding's the only thing you're good at - but I doubt that! I think that having someone to talk to about these feelings will show you that too. Good luck!
    Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it ~ Goethe


    3 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,286

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashe View Post
    A lot of people treat me with disrespect and belittle me, and it makes it hard for me to reach my goals of being a great rider and one day a trainer.
    These two things don't have anything to do with each other, that I can see. Who is going to make you a great rider? Them? No, YOU are, with help from your trainer, most likely many trainers along the way. These "a lot of people" are not standing in your way except in your mind. Not to diminish how you feel about it, because obviously you feel strongly, but you need to step back from the situation for a moment and realize that those people are not really standing in your way, are they? So, chin up and carry on.

    As far as your 1+ hour commute for lessons, I think you'll find that a lot of riders have that. My DD has nearly that far to go, for both dressage and jump lessons. We've met many people that go much further. It certainly isn't as easy as having a BNT right in your backyard, but that's life sometimes.

    You say you've been eventing for a few years, but besides lessons and actual events, how else have you gotten involved in the "eventing community"? Like fargaloo, I don't want to be snarky, but maybe take another step back and consider what is it about you that they don't like? Do you know? Is there ANY truth to it AT ALL? Are you the person who shows up to every event but never volunteers? Do you show up to events but don't know what test you're riding? Not saying it's OK to be disrespectful to folks, but if it's that kind of stuff then please consider that they have a point and try to improve your game.
    But if you step back and say, they're belittling me because my muffin top jiggles, I've got a big nose, or my panty lines show through my britches, well then the heck with 'em because that kind of stuff is 8th grade mentality for people with low self-esteem, trying to bring you down to their level. Don't get sucked in to it and let them damage your self-worth. Don't belittle them back, either. Keep riding and let your results speak for themselves!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2006
    Location
    Southern Ontario
    Posts
    1,014

    Default

    Oldpony66's idea is outstanding - VOLUNTEER! Volunteering scores massive karma-points in any eventing community -- particularly a small one. It will also have the benefit of giving you a chance to get to know people in a different context and under more relaxed circumstances than if you are showing. I know you are shy, but you don't have to be outgoing to jump-judge . Honestly, if you haven't done it, it's fun -- I thought I would spend my time wishing I was riding, but you can learn a tremendous amount jump-judging or scribing, and you really get to experience the eventing community as a community (i.e., a group of people who work together for a common goal).

    By the way, welcome to COTH!


    3 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    3,145

    Default

    The phrase "Riding is the only thing I am good at" bothered me. Try to develop other aspects of your life. If you are good at your career, a good mother to your kids or good daughter to your parents, a good neighbor, a good member of your community, or competent in other areas, you will be less vulnerable to the cattiness of the equestrian world. Try to develop your competencies. Riding is only a small part of life.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,312

    Default

    I will share with you the best piece of advice I ever got as a 20-something:

    "THICKEN YOUR SKIN".

    It was badly needed, both the advice and the act of making myself stop being hypersensitive to the opinions of others. It is not that one should completely disregard the opinion of others to the point that one acts irresponsibly and tramples on feelings or does terrible things with impunity. It is that we must all eventually come to realize that what others think about us may be more a reflection of THAT PERSON's perspective and baggage than it is about our own deeds or words.

    If I hear a trainer bad-mouthing a rider, do you think I automatically think less of the RIDER? Hell, no. I think what a jerk the TRAINER is being. Give your small community some credit--if a trainer is "bad mouthing" you because you left, that sort of thing generally is BEYOND obvious to all observers, and the rider who left is NOT the one who gets the bad reputation in the end. Karma.

    You sound very young. This too shall pass. Don't invest too heavily in the opinion of other people--do what you think is right and thank your lucky stars that the only real critic worth listening to you is the face in the mirror.
    Click here before you buy.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 28, 2009
    Location
    Summerville SC
    Posts
    329

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post

    "THICKEN YOUR SKIN"
    Indeed! You're just lucky you're in eventing Even showjumpers, which you would think is considerably less catty than hunters, is super catty compared to eventing! I've been really loving coming over to the dark side

    But also beware of who you surround yourself with and who you take lessons from. There are reasons why people don't like other people — and while sometimes it's because they don't like being beaten, other times it's because someone did something to leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth.

    My advice is to kill them with kindness and make friends. Volunteer at the next CT and just talk to people. Get out of your comfort zone. If you're old enough, grab a beer with someone you assume doesn't like you (if you're too young, Skittles? lol I dunno ... what do young people do? Beer? Yeah, beer). It's amazing what you'll learn about yourself, others and the people you surround yourself with by being nice and being the first to break down a barrier.

    I'm not the most outgoing person in the world, but I go out there and volunteer, and when I show up at a clinic by myself, I bring enough beer for a little hangout. Sometimes I even invite myself over to the bigger crowds to introduce myself (*cough cough* I think there are a few on here who have witnessed this at the Fork *cough cough*).

    Not everyone likes me, no matter how hard I try (and I do try!). That's not my fault, and it's not their fault. It's just how it is. I don't begrudge people who don't like me or my trainer. Of course, I wonder why and I want to change that — that's just human nature! — but there is very little I can do about it besides just be me. The harder I try, the worse it will likely be.

    So be nice, reach out, grow a thick skin, and ride! Good luck!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2000
    Location
    Southern Pines, N.C.
    Posts
    11,323

    Default

    Shyness can be mistaken for snootiness. The "I am too good to talk to you", when really, you are just too shy to start a conversation. Ask me how I know this....

    I can agree in principle the posters who says "Who cares what other people think?" but the reality is that we DO care, and it is really hard to be among people who you believe do not like you. (ask me how I know this....)

    What I got out of your post is that you are a very good rider with loftly goals. That can make it hard for people to feel comfortable around you. Unconsciously you may be emanating the "I am better than you are" vibe. Question: If you were at Rolex or Jersey Fresh or Bromont, would you still feel this way? Or would you be intimidated to talk to the 4* riders? In other words, put yourself in other people's place and see how they might feel. You are NOT the best rider, you may just happen to be a better rider than they are. That doesn't mean you are a beter person than they are.

    At the food stand or in the ofice or stading around watching dressage, make sure to ask questions of other people that are 100% focued on them. the goal is to not talk about yourself or your horse. Remember that everyone has personal goals which can be appreciated and encouraged.

    Someone may have just moved up fro BN to N and are very proud of that. THAT is their goal and is worthy of congratulations and asking further about details.

    If they are polite and, in turn ask about your scores or tests etc, quickly say that your horse was being good and you are please with how he is going. NOTHING MORE.

    Remember the conversation is all about them, no one really cares a rats ass how you are doing. Also remember that the rider who has just finished their first N or P or whatever level may have just achieved her goals, while you are still working to achieve yours. That means that she has gotten a result which you are stil working on.

    Not proofed. Sorry about spelling etc. mistakes.
    Don't Worry About Hurting My Feelings Because I Guarantee You, Not One Bit Of My Self Esteem Is Tied Up In Your Acceptance.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2010
    Location
    Flyover State #1
    Posts
    348

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Helpus View Post
    Shyness can be mistaken for snootiness. The "I am too good to talk to you", when really, you are just too shy to start a conversation. Ask me how I know this....
    THIS ^

    I went through this not just in riding, but in life as well. Looking back I realized how many people (even in middle school and high school, where kids are the meanest!) tried to include me and be nice to me but I was so shy and had such low self esteem that I pushed them away. *I* was the one at fault. Not saying you are now, but even trying to stay out of the way and do your own thing can be counter productive in the horse world. I ride mostly alone and not with a specific trainer right now, but I did move from a pretty nice English barn to a more casual western/backyard type barn and I've been on hyperdrive participating in barn events and socializing because I don't want to be seen as the "snooty English rider who thinks she's better than us."

    Sometimes it's just all about perception, from both sides.
    Team Ginger


    2 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2008
    Location
    Area II, the Blue Ridge Mountains
    Posts
    1,657

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Helpus View Post
    Remember the conversation is all about them, no one really cares a rats ass how you are doing. Also remember that the rider who has just finished their first N or P or whatever level may have just achieved her goals, while you are still working to achieve yours. That means that she has gotten a result which you are stil working on.
    This is super advice. I really feel badly for someone who is not part of a group when training and competing. There has to be a reason you are "on the outside, looking in," and it may be that you are not connecting with others.

    Do you like these people and respect them? If so, then make a big effort to be friendly, interested in, and respectful of them. Make it 100% about the others. Smile!

    I am much older than many of my eventing friends and because of this, it takes more effort to be part of a group. But I adore my cohort, who are mostly young enough to be my children, and on that basis, I have solid friends. And I really don't think it has anything to do with being a "better rider," or having a "better horse." I for one really LOVE to hang out with people who are better riders than I am. It pushes me to work hard.

    Although I also adore my BFFs who aspire to run Novice someday.

    I do not think I would be doing this sport without the friendships that surround it.

    OP, I am concerned that you may not like these others and that that is conveyed, and then reflected back on you. Please try to see and then point out their positive qualities. If you want to be friends, you have to find ways to like them and communicate that. Care about others. Cherish their wonderful qualities. And start over by making a big effort to be a nice person to them.

    I am sure you have a good heart. But there has to be something going on with you that has led to this perceived spitefulness, and I don't think it is because you are a better rider. I don't want to be harsh, and please accept this as my attempt to provide constructive feedback and help you to be happier with yourself and others.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 3, 2003
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,139

    Default

    On the other hand--sometimes it just takes a while to find some like-minded fellow eventers to hang out with. I remember when I moved from out of state and didn't have any connections in my new region. I went to dressage shows / events alone and usually just talked to others that were stabled around me. It worked out fine--I was there alone, doing my thing--but I still enjoyed myself and my horse. Sometimes during a long show weekend, I would end up getting to know riders that I still talk to today. But that takes a few "seasons" sometimes.

    However, if you were in the camp with one trainer (that has a bunch of groupies) then you moved to another trainer, sometimes there is some element of "high school" level snubbery that occurs. The groupies that hang with "Trainer A" don't talk to the person that switched to "Trainer B". That sort of thing eventually comes full circle though as others sometimes "leave the fold" and try other trainers.

    Another thing someone already mentioned is to volunteer. Do you have a state/local eventing organization there? If you could be on the board, it would be a great way to give back to the sport and get to know some people. Our eventing association is always looking for willing, enthusiastic board members!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2006
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    985

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Helpus View Post
    Shyness can be mistaken for snootiness. The "I am too good to talk to you", when really, you are just too shy to start a conversation. Ask me how I know this...
    I... apparently can come off as a snob who thinks she's too good for her company when I'm feeling quiet and shy. Also, apparently I frown when I'm thinking (er, in my own world).

    But get me to open my mouth and it's quickly apparent that I'm very friendly and a bit of a goofball.

    My other issue is when I'm concentrating, I don't HEAR people* (I'm not talking about being on horseback, but at work, someone can say something to me and it can take a minute or 5 before I'm even aware that something's been said to me. Some coworkers felt I was ignoring them. Which, I guess I was, but not on purpose. ;-)

    Actually, I can see this happening to me if I was grooming and being oblivious to anything but the horse. Hmm. Wonder if I've ever done that?

    *Or, sometimes I do suddenly become aware of them, but then it's like someone has jumped out at me and I, uh, maybe let out screech of surprise?



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2008
    Location
    Area II, the Blue Ridge Mountains
    Posts
    1,657

    Default

    Just a thought. Have you become involved with your USEA Area Adult Rider Program? When I moved back to Virginia from Michigan, it took me forever to really connect with others. But once I became involved in the AR program, those connections really blossomed.

    And I second the idea that volunteering is a super way to get to know people. I've gotten to know so many amateurs and professionals through volunteering. I love to scribe for showjumping and make a point of smiling and waving to competitors as they enter/leave the arena. Doing that and dressage warm-up have provided me with both social and learning opportunities. I also like to jump judge but sometimes that can be isolating. And while I have done lots of dressage scribing, that is the least social of all, unless you want to buddy up to a dressage judge


    1 members found this post helpful.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 20
    Last Post: May. 20, 2011, 04:34 PM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: May. 19, 2011, 05:11 PM
  3. Sad Loss to the "Pony" eventing community
    By GAEventer in forum Eventing
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: Nov. 30, 2010, 07:38 PM
  4. A big thank you to eventing forum community
    By mpollard in forum Eventing
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: Sep. 17, 2009, 09:13 AM
  5. how do you deal with a outsider?
    By zippandrich in forum Off Course
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: Jun. 8, 2009, 04:45 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness