Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Riding is 99% mental

Super straight mover! rocking the bareback

I always strive to be honest on this blog. Obviously sometimes I don't do this, but maybe one day my story can help someone else. You guys all know that riding is mostly a mental game. That the rider with the best timing but no confidence while be surpassed by a bold rider, because horses are supremely sensitive to their riders emotion.

I have been struggling recently with the mental side of my riding. A lot. And it's not limited to my riding but it's a misery that pervades all of my life. It's mostly that riding is where it is most noticeable because thats what I used to take the most pleasure in. Somewhere along the line I lost my vibrancy, my self-esteem, and my motivation. It's something of a struggle and it's a little humiliating to say all this because I love to put a brave face on things and to be ok. I never rode at Masterton A+P show. I went to the grounds, I watched and I waited because they had changed the schedule. I walked the course and went back to my truck and had a meltdown. And then I went home without ever getting on my horse. And I never went in the next day, instead I went for a ride with Kim in the hills which seemed the more enjoyable option. I have an appointment to see someone about this, because I can't continue on this path.

I have Foxton next week and I'm starting small, back to the 1m to try and regain this confidence. So I can just get going again. If I don't ride at Foxton, I might as well turn the horses out, but I'm not prepared to give up on my dream of going to HOY just yet. Connie seems sound and sturdy. Mystery swelling is gone and I found some bruising on her sole which could explain the lameness? It's been so wet this summer, her feet are still pretty soft. Her saddle is also in getting repadded because it's been twisting on her back. I think it got crooked from me riding crooked as talked about earlier. So I'm cruising around bareback which she is really good about, she is very forgiving of my almost falls. My bareback balance used to be amazing when I was a kid, but obviously you lose it pretty fast. Amazing workout for the legs.

She actually moves differently bareback. I know her saddle isn't an ideal fit, but I have saved some money so that if I get her to HOY I can get her a saddle thats fitted to her. At 7 she isn't going to change as much so it's worth making the investment. She is built much like a barrel and she really needs a custom fit. I'm keen to see how this will change how she goes if at all. I try do the best I can for my girlies.


  1. Hey Beckz, long time reader here. No great advice for you, I just want to encourage yourself to cut yourself some slack. I know I struggle with how all-or-nothing riding can feel. Maybe your focus is shifting and you're going through the growing pains. No matter what, it's all good. Thanks for keeping us in the loop of what you're going through.

  2. I'm glad you're getting help. Depression is a serious issue and very difficult to deal with, especially by yourself. Hang in there; things will get better.

  3. Hi,
    I'm a long time reader as well. Sounds like you're doing the right thing taking a little time out just having fun with your horses. No point in pushing things if it's not enjoyable any more. Good for you for asking for help when you need it, I'm sure things will get better and you'll get to where you want to be.

  4. I think one of the hardest things is learning to be kind to yourself. All of us, often, set ourself goals and and have expectations, and sometimes when these don't work out as we expect, we are hard on ourselves. I've done it often, so I understand. Taking a deep breath and regrouping is good, and it sounds like you're thinking about what else to do. Please remember that you are strong and capable, and need to allow that to just be - sometimes that will mean not doing anything or backing off to give yourself some breathing space. I hope some of this makes sense, and I'm wishing you well.

  5. Thanks for your comments and support guys. I think I stated it wrong in my post, I should have said I'm miserable in all aspects of my life despite the fact that I have a most blessed life, and that it has carried over into my rider. I always get nervous at shows, but I always start. I have lost the ability to talk myself down if it were. And I would like to be kind to myself I really would, I just can't seem to remember how? Logically I know I am strong and capable, I can't seem to be able to understand that on an emotional level.

  6. Beckz, I am right there with you. Not literally, I'd love to be in NZ!

    I was treated for depression. I was embarrassed about it, unhappy, and just didn't care. Going to see someone helped. You're 100% right that riding is 99% mental. I am about 1% there. :)

    Wishing you well!


  7. You have an award waiting for you at my blog!