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I spent an hour cry/riding today and now I'm just really embarassed

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    I spent an hour cry/riding today and now I'm just really embarassed

    Logged in here for the first time in years because I needed to tell some people who would "get" it. I haven't ridden much at all in the two years since having a baby, and this month I decided to just finally get back in the saddle already. This was my fifth ride. I went into the empty arena to start and someone came in behind me. I just wanted to trot for 30 minutes, and it started out fine. He was trotting too. Then cantering. Then doing the western reining equivalent of a Grand Prix dressage test. Somehow the guy was suddenly using 150% of a gigantic arena. He was literally 15 places all at once. And I was just trying to stay out of his way.

    So the rules are 1) walking horses stay on the inside, and 2) pass on the left. Great. Except four times my horse started walking when I was trying to trot, so I inadvertently wound up on the rail a few times at a walk. Also the guy was in 15 places all at once, so there was one time where he was doing flying changes straight at me, and I just tucked myself into the nearest corner to get out of the way. Now I'm not only not passing on the left, but I'm halting on the rail.

    At the end of it, I decide to walk at the corner leading into the short side and he was all the way at the other end of the arena. Great. I kept walking towards the other corner of the short side, and all of a sudden the guy was right there. He got really mad and stopped and proceeded to explain all of the rules to me. He pointed out all of the times I had broken the rules. He noted that these were "International" rules (I'm an immigrant) and again told me the rules. And again wanted to reiterate in detail each time I had broken one. I apologized. He told me again the rules and that they were "International." I said I had seen he was doing a complicated exercise and that I was just trying to keep out of his way. Then I started crying. I just couldn't stop crying.

    I kept walking (not on the rail) and crying. I was too embarrassed to get off. His trainer came in and schooled him on the changes. He left. I cried harder. Then he came back in on a different horse. And proceeded to continue some sort of lesson. I hid at the far end of the arena and walked in a circle down there. I walk/rode/cried for a full hour.

    Then, since I can't just get off the horse, and crawl into a hole and die, I had to untack, walk all over the barn, feed, clean tack...etc all with what was probably a puffy, ugly, tear stained face. I might have started crying a few more times too. People asked me if I was ok. I said yes, because I just don't have the vocabulary in German for what I was feeling (which was some combination of two years of guilt for not riding/frustration with my inability to even trot properly/the feeling that I am always in someones way in this country/the confirmation that I am indeed in someone's way and they were keeping track of it). And then I got in my car and cried some more.

    Now I just feel really embarrassed about the whole thing. And I'm going to have to avoid this guy not only at the barn, but also at work because he is a Professor at the university that I work at. Ugh.

    #2
    It sounds like this guy is grumpy and inconsiderate and took that out on you.

    Sure, it sucks when someone is in your way when you are riding. But it seems like he should have not only seen that you were trying but also communicated with you that he would like you to stay on the inside or where he was going at any given time so you would know how to avoid him.

    Now, I do not ride internationally so maybe he is right on the whole 'international rules' thing, but my experience is that lots of barns do things lots of ways. Some barns want the walking person on the outside so the person working at a higher speed or the person doing a pattern can just keep working with out having to go around and cut back in.

    Do you have any friends at this barn? Can you talk to them about what the rules are and how it is best to not be in the way of this person?

    Comment


      #3
      Coincidently, I was just watching a video on Germany and how much they like rules. Apparently, they get bent out of shape at tourists in the bike lane, among other things. There was a joke about how dangerous it was to cross outside of the crosswalk in Berlin.

      You are also dealing with soemone who is probably high strung and hard charging, since he's a professor. I can think of many professors I had in college that I would not want to board with, lol!

      I suppose some of this is culture and it sounds like you also have post baby hormones. I found that I was more emotional after the baby (also had an incredible mama bear instinct that kicked in). Be kind to youself and if anyone asks about it, explain about baby hormones and then try to let it go.

      Is there a friendlier, low key place you can keep your horse? Can you go on trails and stay out of the arena for awhile?

      Comment


        #4
        Also the general rule is that the higher level rider stays out of the way than the lower level rider because they have the ability to get out of the way better.

        It sounds like he was doing a test so was unwavering from where he was going. Not something you should do with another rider in the arena.

        Also you should be riding with your head up, looking with soft eyes and be able to see everything so as you know where he is at all times and he does not magically appear anywhere.

        If you are looking down at your horse's head with hard eyes, which is most probable with so much time off, then that is why he magically appears in different places.

        So chin up, take a sigh and tomorrow is a new day.

        Good luck.
        It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

        Comment


          #5
          He was rude !

          I’d find a friendlier barn ~

          ((hugs))
          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by SuzieQNutter View Post

            Also you should be riding with your head up, looking with soft eyes and be able to see everything so as you know where he is at all times and he does not magically appear anywhere.

            If you are looking down at your horse's head with hard eyes, which is most probable with so much time off, then that is why he magically appears in different places.
            I took the OP's post, not as saying she was riding with her head down not looking but more that she had a plan to stay out of his way and even though she was paying attention, in a very short period of time he went where she did not think he was going. Which has happened to anyone sharing a ring.

            Comment


              #7
              I feel your pain. I used to ride at this barn with the rudest 3 women, one of whom would dive bomb anyone in her way. Just a big, nasty PITA. My advice - do what you can to ignore him, and especially don't let some guy talk down to you, no matter what level he thinks he is riding at. You have every right to every square inch of that arena, just like he does. Smile, laugh it off, and don't let him get to you, if you can help it.

              Comment


                #8
                Hugs!! That sucks. Is there a lower-key barn maybe that you could transition to? You may not be able to get away from this particular rider if he rides more than one horse. Don't feel bad about crying. We're emotional beings, it's okay to cry! Maybe you could ask someone when the quietest time is at the barn and try to ride then.
                My hopeful road to the 2021 RRP TB Makeover: https://paradoxfarm.blog/

                Comment


                  #9
                  Even if you were not where you were supposed to be, HE should have communicated so you could both have a productive ride. He was rude, not you. Honestly, i wouldn't bother riding if he's riding. Just untack and make that a grooming day or come back later. Don't let him ruin riding in general for you, just avoid him because he's a ring hog.
                  ~Veronica
                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                  http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I would talk to whoever runs the barn day to day, trainer or barn manager. Explain that you are coming back to riding and need quiet rides to get back in shape. Explain that you ended up in the arena with Professor Speedy and it was unpleasant. Ask what the rules are and if there is a time blocked out for lessons or solo reining riding. It is possible he assumed he had the whole arena for his schooling and was surprised to see anyone. It is possible he schools every day at this time and everyone avoids him.

                    As far as avoiding him at work, let that go. I doubt he even knows who you are or recognized you in your helmet. Also asshole people like this blow up all the time and don't really remember or think they've been assholes. So don't let this carry over and affect your workplace. That is giving him entirely too much power over you.

                    ​​​​​​



                    Comment


                      #11
                      Aw, it's ok. We all have bad days. Try not to let it bum you out too much.

                      And maybe you did get in the other rider's way, but he could have handled it a lot better. For instance, he could have called a heads-up when he was going to do something unexpected (like - "extended canter across the diagonal!" or "Half pass from centre line"). Or he could have politely told you about the "international rules" the first time you inadvertently broke them, rather than waiting until the end and then unloading on you.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Me? I've ridden with both inconsiderate and considerate riders. The inconsiderate ones are sure enough to take any enjoyment out of one's own ride.

                        Maybe not justification for his attitude but perhaps he's have a bad ride... coming in with goals and objectives and, as we've all experienced, sometimes the horse you are on isn't the horse you thought you've be riding

                        I'd have asked him what he would like me to have done differently since I didn't know 'the international rules'. That puts some of it back on him to explain specifically what he felt you were doing wrong rather than a blanket 'you're doing it wrong'. Specifics often helps defuse and dial down a hot situation and helps you know, perhaps, what you should be doing differently (short of leaving the arena).

                        Crying is ok. Doing what you did and walking at one of of the arena is ok. Getting off, briefly leaving your horse for a private meltdown is ok. When he's left the arena, go back in and enjoy your horse.
                        Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; John Gilliespie Magee, Jr

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You might consider that your nationality elicits a deep seated sense of inferiority in him. Germans are renowned for being exceptional riders and do have that cachet about them, regardless
                          of their individual abilities. He may even be having PTSD type flashbacks of graduate seminars in which he was not the smartest person in the room.

                          I would not avoid him. I would loudly address him as "Mad Dog" every time you see him. Scream "Don't steal my milkshake " when he swoops at you in the arena. Or just do your own thing
                          with the confidence you may or may not have but can certainly fake til you make it.

                          Pretend you are back in the best german riding school you ever went to on the best horse you ever rode, where you wouldn't so much as speak to some silly American because they can't ride anyway. Ask him when he is going to start riding that horse instead of just running the legs off of it (maybe not, that might be too mean)

                          Honestly you don't have to take everybody as seriously as they take themselves.

                          Sorry your happy place is sad right now.

                          Comment

                            Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks for all the understanding comments. I really appreciate it. The arena was empty when I went in - I really thought I would have a bit of quiet time to get my riding legs back. I can stick this out. I've had my horse there since 2016 which is at least three years longer than him - plus I can see the horses out the window from my apartment its that close. My horse has the plum stall of the entire barn and a pasture buddy. I just need to get back in shape as fast as possible so that I can ride outside and hack out in the forest. He probably thinks the student that rides my horse is the owner, and I'm some newbie leasing him or something. That said, I have avoided riding with certain, ultra intense types of (German) riders in the past, and I think I will have to avoid this guy for a while.

                            Baby hormones are hopefully gone by now, but I'm definitely dealing with the emotions of surprise parental leave since all of the daycares have been closed for three months.

                            Also, am I totally misremembering, or do a lot of American barns have a rule that the person doing the complicated pattern or jumps course is understood to have full use of the center while the others stick to the rail or circle at the other end as much as possible to stay out of their way? That's my general rule of thumb, but now I'm questioning myself.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by smm20 View Post

                              Also, am I totally misremembering, or do a lot of American barns have a rule that the person doing the complicated pattern or jumps course is understood to have full use of the center while the others stick to the rail or circle at the other end as much as possible to stay out of their way? That's my general rule of thumb, but now I'm questioning myself.
                              Generally, yes. Details depend on barn and ring. If I’m riding during someone else’s lesson, I try to keep track of where they are going (what their course/exercise is going to be) so that I can make an effort not to be in their way. Especially in an indoor or smaller ring. For example, I try not to be in a corner, whether I’m on the rail or not, at the same time that a lesson rider is landing off of a line and coming into that corner. Or I try not to be on the rail at the exact time and place that the lesson rider needs to turn off of it to a jump. The smaller the arena, the more likely it is to need to just stop and hide in an unused patch of sand until they are done with the exercise. And I’ll often do my best not to free-ride during lessons because of all of the logistics.

                              Sorry that happened to you. He sounds unpleasant.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                We have all had some cry rides
                                It definitely sounds like you’re at the ideal barn for you. Hopefully you can just avoid this person, especially while you’re still getting back into the swing of riding. Some people take the arena rules a little seriously. Yikes. Part of boarding and sharing arenas is that the arena rules are guidelines for people, but we all have to be aware and make adjustments because horses and people are not perfect.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by smm20 View Post
                                  Also, am I totally misremembering, or do a lot of American barns have a rule that the person doing the complicated pattern or jumps course is understood to have full use of the center while the others stick to the rail or circle at the other end as much as possible to stay out of their way? That's my general rule of thumb, but now I'm questioning myself.
                                  You are not misremembering.
                                  Which is why I said the rules are different everywhere.

                                  If he wanted to work on a pattern (a whole pattern) he should have politely told you that so you would have known and could ask 'where is best for me to stay out of your way while you do it'. Ya know, that whole communication thing.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    You said he was doing western grand prix so were you talking dressage?

                                    If so in English dressage I have been taught that if you walk you do so in the middle and leave the outside track for those going faster.

                                    I have no idea about western.

                                    I hope you have better rides in the future.
                                    It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                                      You are not misremembering.
                                      Which is why I said the rules are different everywhere.

                                      If he wanted to work on a pattern (a whole pattern) he should have politely told you that so you would have known and could ask 'where is best for me to stay out of your way while you do it'. Ya know, that whole communication thing.
                                      This!

                                      Check with the barn manager to find out exactly what the rules are. Don't feel bad for crying, we all have our moments, you are allowed, don't feel embarrassed. The rider was rude and could have from the start let you know he would be doing reining and asked if you wouldn't mind staying on the rail.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Maybe ask him when he usually rides so you can "stay out of his way" And tell him you are so sorry about getting in his way. He may be wrong, but you still need to be able to enjoy going to the barn. He might even decide to help you out a bit. Good Luck!!

                                        Comment

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