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Am I being too hard on myself/setting my goals too high?

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    Am I being too hard on myself/setting my goals too high?

    This is a bit of a vent... and somewhat of a condensed version of the story of my (riding) life.

    I've been riding for almost 12 years now. Progress was slow for atleast the first half of that time because I was only able to ride once a week most of the time, twice a week in the summer. I was in Pony Club for 5 or 6 years and only managed my D3 towards the very end (early high school years). My progress picked up a bit in high school when I was at the barn about 3 or 4 times a week in the summer and began riding other horses besides Tru and a school horse... mostly other greenish horses. I've never shown much, even in Pony Club. For the longest time I averaged one outing a year and it was either the annual Pony Club D rally or a single mini trial. This was due to a simple lack of money from my parents (my sister also rode for awhile so they were paying two entry fees and stuff) and a busy schedule on my trainer's half... we had several PC'ers with C ratings who were also able to horse trial often in the summer. She was gone many weekends in the summer with them and us lower level riders with less readily available funding sort of took the back seat.

    Sometime in high school I became pretty darn sure that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to event and I wanted to pursue it seriously and achieve things. I am not someone who is saying "Oh I'll just go to Prelim and stop". I want the full package. I have every intention of reaching Advanced eventually. And it's eating at me all the time because every summer rolls around and for one reason or another I do not show. Either I wasn't ready for BN (confidence, lack of certain skills), which was the reason through highschool, or in the case of last summer, no money because I was dropping $300 a month on acupuncture for Tru. The stars just won't align for me and it's killing me every year.

    My coach also does not have her own trailer at the moment and works nights due to financial hardship. It's not like we have a trailer and can just pick up and go whenever we want. So there's another variable that has to work out in order for anyone to show. Like I said... the stars have to align... and there are many stars it seems.

    In the past 2 years I have progressed a lot, especially this past year. I am schooling 3' comfortably and my dressage is getting better and better. I am a very capable rider at home and it tears me up that I can't get out and prove it to the world. I'm fairly sure that given the rate I'm going I could be schooling Prelim by the end of college. But I feel like that what I'm schooling at home is sort of a moot point because I'm doing nothing official show wise. I want to compete very badly. I don't mean 2 horse trials a month even... just 3 a year would make me happy. I could be running BN right now and do well.

    But that raises another issue. Having a horse. Tru is gone, and even if he were still here he would not be appropriate. Jumping was not his thing. The other horses I ride are either A. too green to step right into BN competition and need more experience at little stuff (even though we're schooling 3' at home) or B. too much to handle at competition, but again, fine at home. So basically I can ride fantastically at home on both green and experienced horses but cannot participate in events that are at (not below) my caliber. I just cannot win here.

    I am not happy just staying at home. I'm not someone who wants to just ride around at home and doesn't want to compete. I want to show, and I want to show regularly. Am I putting too much pressure on myself to compete given my circumstances? Should I just forget about recognized events until I have both the money and a verified horse to do them on and just piddle around mini trials and combined tests for the rest of college? I'm getting tired of the 2' divisions, even though they're for the horse, not me. I feel like time it just passing me by and I'm going nowhere in the "real world" even though I'm developing well at home.
    Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
    Thank you for everything boy.


    Better View.

    #2
    What is your work/school situation currently? Maybe you should go be a working student for someone who gives the opportunity to ride/compete a lot(Megan Moore in KY comes to mind). Being a WS is a great way to progress and be exposed to lots of showing, etc.

    It sounds like your situation with current trainer will stand in the way of showing, and if that's what you really want to do, then you need to make a change!
    No Trouble
    2/2/05 - 7/29/13
    Rest In Peace my quirky brave boy, I will love you forever.

    Comment

      Original Poster

      #3
      I'm a full time student during the regular school year. I do not want to take off school time for a WS position because I don't want to be in school any longer than normal. I am planning on doing my Master's right away after my BS too. I work part time year round to pay my own little bills... gas, some clothes, horse things, etc.

      Just switching trainers altogether is not really a possibility for me. She is highly experiences and has coached riders into the upper levels. I really do like her. No one else around my area has done that. There is really no eventing scene around here. Other barns around here are dressage or HJ only with rather debatable coaches and high prices. So either the coaching sucks or I can't afford them. Or both.
      Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
      Thank you for everything boy.


      Better View.

      Comment


        #4
        If you were local, I'd offer you one of mine! He needs a little work on ramped water entries, but is otherwise capable at T if you can afford it. Trainer says easy prelim if not intermediate someday. I ended up with him on accident, bought him for $300 as a trail horse/fixer upper that had maybe done some jumping, they thought.

        I feel your pain on the funding issue. I just dropped $700+ on two events this spring, fell off at the first and was off my game (and subsequently E'd) at the second. I'm watching my savings dwindle and having nothing to show for it besides a bad track record - trying to decide if I should just quit showing for the year and save my money, keep plugging away at it, or maybe just do a couple unrecognizeds and call it a day. This is the first year in a few that I've had a horse that could compete AND the money to do it. I've had great success in the past, but it's been a few years and I've been itching to get out.

        It sucks, and I feel your pain. If I had a money tree I'd send you some seeds! On the plus side, I have two abso-freaking-lutely gorgeous, self-made horses that I adore, and that may just have to be enough until I marry into money.

        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          -sigh- I've been able to muffle the frustration during the school year by telling myself that lots of people take a break or have to cut back on showing during college. But then the other side of me goes "You can't take a break from something you never started". Which is how I feel... like I've never really gotten started.

          I'm a good rider. I could really be competitive at BN/N right now if I could go out. I went to clinic this week with a certain BNT and on the first day we did stadium work, 90% gymnastics. I whooped the two other riders because one had almost zero jumping position and sense of place in the saddle and the other couldn't control her horse or get the striding right and keep the rails up. I'm a good learner, very capable, never use shortcuts or stupid tactics in riding... I SHOULD be competing. Yet sometimes it seems like all the loonies and snots are the ones that get to show the most.
          Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
          Thank you for everything boy.


          Better View.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by katie+tru View Post
            I SHOULD be competing. Yet sometimes it seems like all the loonies and snots are the ones that get to show the most.
            I can't decide if the whining, sense of entitlement, or judgement of your fellow riders is the most annoying thing on this thread. I might not be as annoyed, if not for your previous post this week about how you didn't get the clinic ride time you wanted.

            Honestly? ... riding is a huge luxury that many, many people don't get to do at all. The world does not owe you a horse, the ability to compete or anything else. Try to appreciate what you have, work hard to get what you want, and STOP WHINING on internet BB's.

            Comment


              #7
              I understand that you're frustrated (I've been there, trust me), but you asked, so, yes, I think you're being a little unrealistic.

              Competing (and moving up) requires time and money. If you don't have the money, you have to make up the deficit with time (usually spent as a working student). If you aren't willing to do that, then you're just going to have to wait for a time when you are able to.

              Getting to the top of any sport requires hard work and perseverance. Things don't just fall into place on their own, no matter what the Disney movies tell you. You have to go out and make it happen. And it has to be your only priority.

              Yet sometimes it seems like all the loonies and snots are the ones that get to show the most.
              And no matter how it may seem, try not to say the above out loud too often. It makes you sound like a spoiled brat. And after your clinic thread, this is an appearance you should probably be avoiding.
              "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
              -George Morris

              Comment


                #8
                If your situation and your goals are incompatible, you need to either rework your situation or you need to rework your goals. It really is as simple as that. Not often easy, granted! But simple, yes.

                Very, very few people get their achievements handed to them on a silver platter. A lot of the time it looks that way from the outside, but only very, very rarely is that how it actually went (or how it actually is currently going) down. If I were you, I would be trying hard to knock it off with the calling them names and instead be pouring my time and energy into studying how they found (and made the most of) their opportunities, and into how I might successfully do the same.

                Signed,
                Quite possibly both a loony and a snot
                bullyandblaze.wordpress.com

                "The present tense of regret is indecision."
                - Welcome to Night Vale

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by katie+tru View Post
                  I SHOULD be competing. Yet sometimes it seems like all the loonies and snots are the ones that get to show the most.
                  So is the the lack of horse, or the lack of funds?

                  If you've got the funds to get to an event, find a horse. Be creative. Maybe there's someone with an older, experienced horse that doesn't have time to ride but doesn't want to sell that you could half lease, or even just someone that needs a horse ridden - if you can locate one that knows how to jump sort of and is brave enough, you've got an event horse.

                  I'm waiting for the older generation to show up and tell stories about how in yesteryear, they MADE their own horses, jumped bareback blindfolded backwards with no hands and kicked ass doing it. If you're that good, make it happen.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It is obvious that you adore your trainer but from an objective point of view it sounds as if her program is not in a situation where she can support your goals. From your previous posts, I assume she only has two lesson horses that are not very green, and they are both quite senior. It sounds like you click with one of the two, but she needs it for less capable riders.

                    Unfortunately the reality is that the ones who get to show are not necessarily the ones that want it the most or deserve it. The ones who get to show though are the ones who take it upon themselves to make it happen.

                    In this case, you need to either find a lease situation and buy a trailer (expensive) or move to a barn that has a program that can better advance your goals.

                    I don't mean to pick on your instructors program or say that she's not a good trainer. I'm sure she's fantastic if you adore her that much - but either you or your coach are going to have to come up with a horse and a trailer if you want to do any serious showing. With no record even at BN and N, most people don't just hand you horses to ride and trailer them places..... At this stage in your riding career, if you want to show, you're the one who is going to have to make it happen.

                    Also a side note.... Saying stuff like this is only going to hurt you.

                    I whooped the two other riders because one had almost zero jumping position and sense of place in the saddle and the other couldn't control her horse or get the striding right and keep the rails up. I'm a good learner, very capable, never use shortcuts or stupid tactics in riding... I SHOULD be competing. Yet sometimes it seems like all the loonies and snots are the ones that get to show the most.

                    The eventing world is small. There are many times when I've had to beg use of a whip or spurs, or ask for someone to come and help us with a flat tire, or even to share gas and a ride to a show.
                    How many bridges did you just burn with that comment? Bet the folks who rode in that group with you won't be particularly inclined to help you out next time.
                    The rebel in the grey shirt

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I think you need to be realistic.

                      You don't have a horse, you have limited funds, you don't want to change trainers or relocate, and you don't have access to a trailer.

                      I agree that you can work on finding a horse to ride, but that won't solve what you see as the main problem, which is competing -- you've got to have the ability to pay for and get to competitions.

                      It does sound like being a working student in a good program would be the best way to reach your goals, but you have to realize that this is not compatible with being a full-time student (unless you just do it over the summer).

                      I do NOT think you should compromise your education; prioritize school! But just know that this means you have to put your goals on hold.

                      If you want to be a professional, then this means you will have a very, very late start. It's already a tough road to travel.

                      If you want to ride Advanced, and be successful competitively, but not necessarily make your LIVING in horses, then you need to take the long view.

                      I know plenty of people who ran their first Advanced well into their 30s, or even 40s. It can take a very long time to put together the skills, the horse(s), and the resources to get that far.

                      The beauty of our sport is that you aren't going to "age out" physically any time soon. You've got literally decades to get better.

                      I rode when I was young, and through college/grad school, but I didn't start eventing until I was 30. I see no reason why I couldn't reach whatever goal I wanted now, in my 40s -- no reason connected to my age, anyway. The "skills, desire, horse(s), resources" part still applies.

                      If you want this badly enough, it will still be there for you when you are done with school.

                      If you truly want to be a professional, then I think you need to get yourself into a serious working student program sooner rather than later and find out if this is really what you want.
                      The big man -- my lost prince

                      The little brother, now my main man

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by SevenDogs View Post
                        I can't decide if the whining, sense of entitlement, or judgement of your fellow riders is the most annoying thing on this thread. I might not be as annoyed, if not for your previous post this week about how you didn't get the clinic ride time you wanted.

                        Honestly? ... riding is a huge luxury that many, many people don't get to do at all. The world does not owe you a horse, the ability to compete or anything else. Try to appreciate what you have, work hard to get what you want, and STOP WHINING on internet BB's.
                        This ^^^

                        Comment

                          Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by SevenDogs View Post
                          I can't decide if the whining, sense of entitlement, or judgement of your fellow riders is the most annoying thing on this thread. I might not be as annoyed, if not for your previous post this week about how you didn't get the clinic ride time you wanted.

                          You know... I just typed a brief, polite, rational response to this to try to understand where you're coming from on the accusations of my "sense of entitlement". But then I realized that it would probably be a waste because you seem to have already made your own judgement on me and it's not worth my arguing. Apparently no one is allowed to express any negative feelings in your presence.
                          Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
                          Thank you for everything boy.


                          Better View.

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                            #14
                            I SHOULD be competing. Yet sometimes it seems like all the loonies and snots are the ones that get to show the most.
                            Since you asked.... the above one example of what I perceive to be a sense of entitlement. Why "SHOULD" you be competing? .... Because you want to? ... Because you believe you are a better rider than those competing? ... Because you deserve to? ... Because you are not a "loony or a snot"?

                            All of those demonstrate a sense of entitlement. If you want something, get out there, work hard and figure out how to get it. Stop thinking that you *should* have anything.

                            I don't appear to be alone in my views. Your "clinic" thread was another train wreck of self pity. Did you note how many responses you received that basically said "stop whining, figure out a solution, and get on with it"?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I don't necessarily pick up a whining noise here, but often these threads, when posted by adolescents/very young adults make it sound like there is a VERY LOUD TICKING SOUND in the background, as if life is going to suddenly STOP within the next couple of years if all goals and aspirations are not achieved and RIGHT AWAY.

                              I did not ride in my first recognized Horse Trial until I was 29 years old. That was also the first time I ever rode into a dressage ring. I sucked, and sucked out loud! I grew up doing 4H shows, riding bareback, a little foxhunting, and just straddling anything with hair. Almost no lessons.

                              Seventeen years later, I am moderately competent, have had very modest success, a lot of good weekends, a lot of bad weekends, a precious few great ones in this sport I've adopted.

                              My point is that you have DECADES in which to pursue your aspirations. Let me ask you this: what are your goals for the OTHER aspects of your life? Career? Family? Community? Retirement? If those are things that have never crossed your mind, then you're not acting like a grownup yet, which is fine if you're still in school. But these are the types of things that define who we are as adults, not our passions and our hobbies and how much we LOVE HORSES. We all love horses. Most of us are able to also have lives that encompass other things.

                              Set some goals that are realistic.

                              Move forward with your education, your career, your vocation in life.

                              You can always find horses to ride, barns to work in, hot racehorses to walk, carriages to drive . . . being around horses is entirely and completely do-able with NO MONEY. Been there, done that, for the first twenty years.

                              Being an upper level event rider is something one has to work towards. No reason you can't aspire, but nobody gets to skip the in-between part.
                              Click here before you buy.

                              Comment

                                Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by SevenDogs View Post
                                I don't appear to be alone.........



                                One example of what I perceive to be a sense of entitlement. Why "SHOULD" you be competing? .... Because you want to?

                                All of those demonstrate a sense of entitlement.

                                Uh, yes? That's the point here. If someone wants to do something it would be nice if they would be able to, correct? That's my frustration. I want to and I can't. I don't see how genuinely wanting to do something is acting entitled. Are kids who want to go to school acting entitled? What about people that want to have good jobs? Or kids that want to play on sports teams?
                                Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
                                Thank you for everything boy.


                                Better View.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  yes your goals are too high.

                                  If you don't have the time or the money..you can't play.

                                  You know that little saying "it takes 100K to make an advanced horse" ?

                                  It's true.

                                  A good goal would be to get out of school and then worry about the horses.
                                  And then once you have time and $$ you can buy or lease a horse, buy a trailer, buy a coach and get yourself to some local HTs.

                                  But right now while you are in school riding needs to just be a little pressure release on the weekends.
                                  Ya know all those riders that are in school and go to FL for the winter? The majority of them have their horses in full training with a BNT and are paying a good price to have the luxury to fly out on the weekend and catch ride their own horses at high levels.

                                  All of us have our wants, dreams and regrets. Learning to manage them is part of growing up. sigh...
                                  http://kaboomeventing.com/
                                  http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
                                  Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    I'm a good rider. I could really be competitive at BN/N right now if I could go out. I went to clinic this week with a certain BNT and on the first day we did stadium work, 90% gymnastics. I whooped the two other riders
                                    Amending my above statement to add that this part about "whooping" other riders in a clinic is childish. Maybe these riders are in the BN level for a reason, hmmm? I'm a good rider, too (sort of) but not even close to being "competitive" at BN most weekends. A lot of that has to do with the horse, too. This bit sounds like you have a big chip on your shoulder about what you ought to be doing. Life is full of discarded "ought tos", young lady.

                                    I want to and I can't
                                    Cry us a river. There are people out there who want to EAT, and can't. Want to go to school, and can't. Want to have clean clothes and a roof over their heads, and can't.
                                    Click here before you buy.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by katie+tru View Post
                                      Uh, yes? That's the point here. If someone wants to do something it would be nice if they would be able to, correct? That's my frustration. I want to and I can't. I don't see how genuinely wanting to do something is acting entitled. =
                                      This post confirms that you think you are entitled to compete because you *WANT* to.... um NO! ... And just because others get to do so (for whatever reason: they work for it, parents pay for it, blah, blah, blah) doesn't entitle you to it. That is the type of thinking my three year old nephew does.

                                      If you truly want something, go make it happen YOURSELF! I know you think I am being harsh... and I am, to a certain extent. But, you really have some growing up to do.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        I got my first pony at age 38 and did my first show at 42. Quit Whining. Get a grasp of the fact that You Too are Not going to the Olympics. Why ? Because it takes vast amounts of support and money to get there, and just like almost every other special snowflake, you don't have it. Earn the money to do it. Finish school, get a real job and pay for it all. Like the rest of us do.

                                        Why 'should' you be out competing ? I wasn't. Are you better than me ?

                                        I don't come from a bunch of money either, and like most everyone else, I wasn't indulging in luxury sports until I could afford to. No sympathy here, I'm afraid.

                                        Comment

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