Just a thought. Have you become involved with your USEA Area Adult Rider Program?
I had already put my $.02 in, but THIS ^ is another absolutely fantastic idea, of course the OP is in Canada, does the USEA cover Canada? Certainly there is an equivalent.. (Please excuse me, folks, I am a trail rider and just usually lurk on this forum as an eventing mom!)
Anyway, I was actually coming back to add - Do you have a local club - beyond your barn/trainer - that puts on your local shows? I'm talking about a club similar to GVRDC in Western NY, or DVCTA in PA. I would probably start by getting involved with the eventing community on that level, and don't worry, they'll get you volunteering in no time!
As always, LordHelpus offered helpful advice. I was going to say the same things, but she beat me to it.
Just to add a bit - try cracking your shy-shell at home (home barn) by saying something positive/complimentary to those you ride with or happen to be in the barn with. "Nice shirt"; "I like your hair" (not necessarily right after they've removed their helmet); "Your horse has the nicest manners/smoothest-looking canter"; "Here, let me get that door/brush/rail for you". Doesn't require a conversation, just a quick comment. Makes the other person feel good and lets them know that you're a pleasant person - not the whatever they originally thought.
And the old trainer? Her attitude is HER problem, and others are well aware of that. If you run into her, smile and say 'hi' - be the better person.
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?
Folks have given some great general advice, but honestly, you've not really put much out there in terms of information and I think that is part of the problem. Being a shy guy, I too can not put out much information, I don't express Who I Am, but instead remain quiet and yes, sometimes that is taken as aloof, uncaring, indifferent, when inside I am really crying out, wanting to be part of the crowd.
I'm saying that as a 52 year old guy. Delta talks about getting a "thick skin", but you don't just grow one over night and in reality, you need a good support group (and maturity) to still help the process along. Eventually you do need to find balance within your own Self. There is nothing to prove to others, but for what matters to you...yet...you, we all interact and learning to deal with, and roll with people who don't care is part of that thickening she is talking about.
So to some points...Many of us travel over an hour to get good training, deal with it. Be thankful you have a good trainer. Spend the time going through what you want to accomplish or just chill, enjoy music and be relaxed when you get there. The point is that you decided this path, accept it, make it work.
Trainers talk, but answer this question for yourself, does you current trainer give a rats ass about all this stuff? Is he or she committed to helping you be the best? If you can answer yes then let it go, do not dwell on the past. Let it go and focus past the jump, don't keep looking at it.
People talk, so the question is who, and does what they say matter. People certainly talk about me somewhere, but to those whom I trust, whom I call friends and/or whom I respect i give weight to what they may say, to others...no. If you are lonely you do not need horse people only to be friends. You just need friends.
Hate is a strong word, an emotional word and one not to be used lightly. Hate is energy. Someone who ignores you does not hate you, they just don't care, don't care back. Someone who talks about you negative for no reason is petty and the best response is to not just ignore, but show the opposite. Lastly, those that treat with disrespect you treat with respect for to do so casts doubt on the injustice.
I wish I knew more, but I will believe you are a sincere girl. As such, I wish you the best, find happiness in your horse, in your riding, and not in others.
The last few weeks I find myself upset every night over my situation.
Horses are supposed to be fun. By allowing yourself to get emotional over the reactions of others, you're allowing them to take away something that is personally yours to enjoy.
I usually board at H/J/DR/etc. barns with none/1-2 other eventers. If you are a confident, knowledgable horseperson who minds their own business, rides well and takes great care of their horse, people will like having you around.
That being said, there was someone I boarded with years ago in your situation. The only problem was, she lacked the social skills that somehow she transmitted non-verbally (and verbally) I guess. She would make strange observations about other people's riding (trying to sound knowledgable), frequently talk baby talk to her horse (loud enough you could hear it down the aisle), frequently forget to pick up after her horse, use inappropriate ring etiquette while riding with others, be smiling some days and then very upset or even crying in the stall others... basically the barn figured she was a strange individual and unfortunately the younger barn clique thought she was fair game for picking on behind her back. (Which lead to some very despondent posts on social media about how she REALLY felt which made it worse.) If she had something to say to other barn mates, they would have respected her much more if she would have just come out and said it to their faces.
You do need to toughen up, but you also need to be aware you could be throwing out a weird vibe that discourages people from getting to know what a good person and caring horse owner you are on the inside.
Thanks everyone for the replies. I feel as though because I am a bit 'bigger' it gives people a reason to look down on me because, well this is a SPORT where you have to be ATHLETIC (even though I am athletic, just chubby)
Anyway, I agree... I guess I do just need to be tough and put it behind my back.
My trainer is AMAZING and has helped me so, so much and has been amazing for me. I am still waiting for my moment in the show ring to shine, but I'm sure it will come one day.
I am still waiting for my moment in the show ring to shine, but I'm sure it will come one day.
I'm sure it will, but don't you dare make that the yardstick by which you measure your satisfaction with the sport! That's not what eventing is all about--it's about the process of developing that partnership with your horse and about tackling the tests. The fact that there are other people competing alongside you is nothing more than a chance to see your eventing buddies and to borrow a girth from someone because you forgot yours. I'm almost 50 and my "athletic" days are behind me. Yes, you should be fit and strong and capable, but this ain't no beauty contest.
I understand this all too well. I recently switched trainers because my last trainer (who I had been good friends with for 8 years) seemed uninterested in helping me with my horse, after I broke my back during a lesson with her. My best friend still rides with previous trainer (so I see/hear about her a lot) and previous trainer has deleted/blocked me on facebook and we no longer have a friendship. Sometimes I get worried about having competition with the old trainer and her students, but does it really matter?
At the end of the day it was a better career move for me because my new trainer is more experienced and also has had a back injury before and is helping me with my recovery!
It hurts sometimes when people in your 'bubble' steer away from you but just keep moving on, steadily create yourself a new bubble!
As everyone else has said, do some volunteering! Not only will you meet people but you will feel better about yourself for doing a service to your eventing community. I volunteer often and its amazing how much help they REALLY need to keep shows going, I'm sure they'd really appreciate your help!
BTW, really love the name Ashe!
Eventers of the West
A Facebook group I created for Eventers in the West Region of the U.S. Remy - My OTTB Gelding! Love him to pieces!