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  • Jealousy

    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for a bit of advice and a chance to just get all of this negativity off my chest. Thanks for hearing me out!

    I find myself feeling jealous of other riders very frequently. I recognize that they have worked for their successes, and I don't begrudge them their skills at all. However, I feel like I need to find a way to stop thinking about others and start focusing on myself. I really don't feel like I am a good rider. In fact, I know I'm not. But I want to be.

    Any tips on how to channel this jealousy in a positive way and perhaps improve my own riding in the process?

  • #2
    This is a trick I use when I can't stop worrying about something. I tell myself that I can think about/focus on/obsess about XXX situation at 3:00 (or 6:00 or 11 pm).
    That way, I accept the fact that a situation does exist in my mind and I'm not trying to forget it or minimize it. I have made an appointment with myself to worry!


    • #3
      I think your answer is here in your post

      Originally posted by ammydreams View Post
      ....and I don't begrudge them their skills at all. However, I feel like I need to find a way to stop thinking about others and start focusing on myself. I really don't feel like I am a good rider. In fact, I know I'm not. But I want to be.
      Do you notice that you say you'd like to focus on yourself.... and then the first thing you say about yourself is that you are not a good rider? Twice.

      It's a bitch to focus on yourself when the first thing that comes to mind is "I'll never get to what I see others having."

      But you have potential because you at least don't begrudge anyone else their hard-won skill.

      So you need a couple of things that I hope will be within reach.

      First, your new mantra ought to be "Good riders, too, put their pants on one leg at a time." Really, it's just time and practice that they happened to do before you showed up.

      Second, you need someone-- anyone-- around you who talks about *how* to get somewhere with your long-term goal, not the fact that you aren't there, others are, the distance you have to go or whatever.

      IME, getting deeply involved in the process of your own improvement works better than trying to be positive, not paying attention to others.
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat


      • #4
        Make a list of short term and long term goals for yourself in terms of riding. Show them to your trainer/instructor and ask if these are reasonable goals or if there is anything to adjust - maybe A is more important than B, or you can't do B without C....

        Each time you ride, pick one thing, however small, that you want to work on that day. Tell your trainer. For example, my mare does not like to canter on the rail - she'll break halfway around despite pushing with my seat, kicking, and using the whip. So in a lesson, when we are warming up, my trainer asks, "how many times around today?". When I commit to it, then I am much better about getting it done. That is how you get better - one itty bitty thing at a time.

        These little goals can help you focus on yourself. You really cannot compare yourself to other riders - every horse/rider combination is different, and you can only think about and the particular horse you are on.
        My blog: Journeys in Riding


        • #5
          What LShipley said

          Make goals that are for you and your horse, not goals that compare yourself to others. When you show, think about specific things you want to accomplish in your round and shoot for those instead of aiming for a particular ribbon etc.

          I'd much rather have a day where I feel good about how the horse and I performed, even if we didn't win anything or beat anyone.


          • #6
            Well, give yourself a pass. Jealousy is a prefectly normal human emotion...everyone experiences it at one time or another. No reason to feel guilty or obsess over it.

            I think it's okay to feel jealous occasionally...let it happen then move on. Keep it short and sweet...it's better to channel the energy onto yourself, rather than use your energy to obsess over others.

            You don't say what your age is, but I suspect you may be young. Jealousy is definately something that you age out of!


            • #7
              Welllll - you are lucky. You are part of the generation that gets to experience THE INTERNET!!!!

              If you want something bad enough - it's possible. Research like crazy. Find every artitcle, every youtube video on the best riders that you like and copy them.

              When I was growing up, no internet, not many books or even videos.. yes I'm old.. but that's no excuse.

              I STILL research.. I watch the Maclay winners over and over.... pause their rides.. etc..... I watch my favorite riders over and over......

              I wanted to learn to trim my horses.. and I DID IT.

              So you can.. it's okay to watch those nice riders; try and copy them..... and you will be the rider you "WANT" to be.
              Live in the sunshine.
              Swim in the sea.
              Drink the wild air.


              • #8
                i get the same way sometimes when it comes to watching successful riders at the same level where i want to be 2.i think of myself as a good rider,but not a great rider...but i just try to distract myself and think of something positive and sometimes it help to for example that if you are watching a show,i would watch the successful rider and figure out what they do differently that i am missing in my riding.
                i mean hey, even olympic riders have coaches..
                my whole point is that don't let jealousy get the best of you and hard on yourself,and stop you from improving and learning.


                • #9
                  I struggle with seeing the people in my barn who take their things for granted- whether talent or horses or equipment....and I often struggle with being jealous of them too. When that happens I try to do two things. First I think of all the things I have that make me happy. It may sound cheesy, but when I start listing my horses, however rejected and green one is and old the other is I wouldn't trade them for the nicest WB in my barn, my wonderful supportive dh, my sister who I get to ride with, my beautiful saddles I saved up for ages to get, my trainers who let me work to earn my lessons so I can still afford to show, my new truck that my DH traded his jeep in for....etc. I start feeling a lot more spoiled and lucky. Even just think of a horse you like to ride even if you don't own one and think of how happy it makes you when you see that horse's face for the first time each day. How they pick their head up and look at you....it makes me feel better no matter how miserable I am feeling when I see my horse pick up his head and look at me when I go out to catch him. So long....but find something to think about that takes your mind away form the negative feeling and lets your mind go to a better place.

                  Then, as far as improving your riding, again...this may sound weird but I cannot tell you how much this has helped me. First pick a theme you want your ride to express, like "harmony," "soft and steady," or, "relaxed" and think that to yourself as you get ready to ride. As you think about that think about what that kind of ride feels like and looks like. Picture the best rider you have ever seen riding in that way, but start putting yourself in that picture. What would it feel like for you to ride that way? What would it feel like for your horse to go that way? Then keep thinking about it as you ride and try to achieve the picture. If you find yourself getting stuck, take a break and focus on the image of that really good rider again and on what you are trying to accomplish. It sounds weird and I honestly didn't think it would work but the mind is very powerful. Visualizing what you want helps a lot. So....may sound weird but my two cents. I really have struggled a lot with my riding and with feeling like every rider in the world is better than me. I finally have started (trying at least) to try to focus on what I can do and change....so long answer and maybe not what you were looking for....but maybe it might help...
                  And I have to give credit...the above is very much take from Jane Savoie and though I haven't read much of her stuff really have found what i have read helpful.
                  My blog: