Why Today Could Have Been a Bad Ride But Wasn’t

Confessions of a Timid Rider:

Have you ever had a bad day doing something you love?

It’s Monday

I work a lot of weekends and Mondays tend to be my “day off” aka barn days. Monday is like my Saturday in a lot of ways and thus doesn’t inspire the hatred that most 9-5ers have. I do carry over exhaustion from working weekends. Not an excuse, just a contributing factor.

I  Was Frustrated

I am a pretty even tempered person, very logical. I’m also a Libra, and if it’s to be believed I tend to try and see both sides of an argument. Being an introvert does not help, as I don’t like confrontation and tend to keep my feelings internal. They build up, and keep building up, until finally they explode. Usually the explosion is over something completely innocuous and unrelated. I’m a work in progress.

But on this day I was carrying some serious mad with me to the barn.

I Couldn’t Find My Horse

Love, love, love my barn at Lancaster Equestrian Stables. But it’s huge! There are three barns up “top”, acres of paddocks, and barns and paddocks “below” as well down the hill. There was a rumor that Delight was going to be moved from his stall up top to rough board below but I was not sure if or when it was going to happen. I did not see him in his regular stall and the name plate had been changed. I didn’t see him in ANY of the stalls. So I peeked over into the paddocks (which are very big) and called my trainer. She had asked for him to be kept in so we assumed that he was moved below. I packed up all my tack and went below. Walking out to the paddocks I counted all the horses but no handsome bay in sight. So I packed up all my stuff, again, and went back up top.

By then my trainer had arrived and we went searching in the paddocks back up top. He was indeed there at the very end of the field. Happily laying in the grass with nary a care in the world.

I Was Distracted


By this point I was really not in the mood for a lesson. You know those days when you want to be there but you don’t really want to do the work? #NOPE.

My Horse Is Testing Me

Well after all his laziness in the paddock, Delight basically fell asleep on me in the ring too. I would ask him for the trot and he would stop instead. When I refused to give in to him he would toss his head and swish his tail in impatience. I’m telling you, this off-track thoroughbred (OTTB) was just not in the mood either. Of course I didn’t back down, but I knew that it was largely my fault because I was probably so distracted I was giving him mixed signals.

Delight turned 6 in April and you know how teenagers are, right? Testing you to see what they can get away with.

But….Today Was a good day

It’s Monday

It’s Monday, but I am at my favorite place, the BARN. It’s my day off, and I get to spend it with my favorite species! Hint: it’s not humans.

I Was Frustrated

I brought frustration and anger to my riding lesson……but I was able to talk through my feelings to my trainer aka therapist. I didn’t hold in my anger as I usually do. Instead I talked it out and felt better for it. Even if my riding was crud.

I Couldn’t Find My Horse

I couldn’t find my horse. Finally after running all around the farm and lugging my tack everywhere I did in fact find Delight. And look how cute he was laying in the grass. We got a good laugh at of it, and some adorable photos.

I Was Distracted

I was easily distracted. Yup, nothing changed that. This was more of a therapy session while sitting astride a horse. Not much riding actually got done. Every time my trainer thought she had me on track, I would upset the rhythm. My head just wasn’t in it. But thankfully my trainer knows me well and just went with it. Luckily she’s the understanding type and my friend.

My Horse Is Testing Me

My horse is testing me at every turn……well, he’s not testing just me. He’s testing everyone on the ground and in the saddle. Teenagers, ugh.  Yes, my trainer rides him better than me (DUH). I learned a valuable lesson- that I can actually be MORE assertive with him. He likes a strong, confident rider. I’m learning that what I thought was assertive was probably okay for some horses, but not this one. See, I did learn something in the lesson!

Confidence is something that cannot be taught, only earned. 

Confidence is something that cannot be taught, only earned.

So at the end of the day, while my riding was NOT my best, I would not label this a bad ride. Were my transitions good? Nope. Was my posture off? Yup. But I learned a lot about how my frame of mind affects my body and how it all affects my horse. I know what I was doing wrong. It felt wrong. And I know what I can do to fix it. Plus at the end of the day, I spent time with my friend and my favorite horse on a beautiful spring day. That’s more than most people can say.


So, all in all it’s been a pretty good day.

Have you ever found something positive in an otherwise bad day?


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6 thoughts on “Why Today Could Have Been a Bad Ride But Wasn’t

  1. I’m also a Libra and find that I tend to be logical and calm for 99% of the time, and then the rest 1% I will just lose it and on those days I try not to ride, but instead do ground work, lunging or go for a hack!

    1. I hear you- it’s hard to be calm and easy going all the time. Very smart on your end- and something I will definitely try to do next time. Hopefully I don’t have a bad day for awhile yet though.

  2. Love this. There are just some days where everything seems to be against you but it’s great to see how you can still pull out the positives. I will try to remember to do this later when I’m practising my dressage tests and they feel like a bit of a mess!!

    1. I bow down to your dressage skills. I would love to learn and am always in awe at how much WORK it is to look effortless. Just remember- at least you’ll be better than most because you are trying.

  3. I’ve had very similar days: the horse is now in a new barn, or turn-out day changed, causing me to wander all over looking for him. Then the lesson feels like a bust. However now – when I realize the progress I’ve made as a returning adult, I know these days are actually good days, despite the frustration involved. I can’t say “f*** it” during a lesson; I have to be present and calm down. I think my physical instincts on a horse have changed due to having to relax on crappy days. And then the good days are amazing days!!

    1. Amy you’re view point is great. Like you, I try to always see the positive in things even when having a tough day and feeling frustrated. Sometimes it doesn’t work but usually I end up getting something positive out of it in the end.

What are your thoughts?