Six things equestrians need to remember when they’re feeling down
This spring, I received some unfortunate news from my vet that my one-star horse would be missing out on his summer season due to a slight strain. I allowed myself to sulk for one day. Then the next morning, I woke up and put lots of effort into being positive and cheerful. This led me to realize all of the reasons why eventers’ lives are awesome, and we need not dwell on disappointing news. We see it all the time at the barn or an event – someone is sad or mad about the way his or her Eventing career is going. I’m not saying that all eventers are living the dream all the time, but for the majority of us, we are pretty fortunate human beings. So the next time you just want to lay down on the barn aisle and cry because:
- your horse is lame;
- you fell off at an event;
- someone has more money than you, rides multiple flashy horses and never mucks a stall; etc
…remember these things to cheer up:
1. You get to travel: Going to events will bring you to so many destinations that you would have never gone to otherwise. A competition will not land you in the Bahamas, but you will still get to see more of this world than people who sit at home on their weekends.
2. You are surrounded by awesome and supportive people who are enduring the same challenges that you are: Very few sports have such an amazing community of people. Most riders are always willing to lend a helping hand to one another. You will form incredibly strong friendships as a result of taking part in this sport. When you are close to galloping your horse off of a cliff, your barn friends will be there to rein you in and make you feel better. Remember, you are not the first rider to go through whatever horse related problem is causing you pain.
3. You may not be living the dream, but you are pursuing your dreams: At least when you are on your deathbed, you will not look back and wish you spent more time doing what you really love. You may not live on an estate with a string of four-star horses and an army of grooms, but you still get to spend time doing your favourite thing in the world – riding. There are so many horse crazy kids that would be so jealous of the fact that you get to be around horses as much as you do.
4. You are among a select group of people on the planet who know how to ride a horse: There is something pretty badass about being able to ride a nearly wild, 1000 plus pound animal. Do you know how many famous actors and actresses have to get stunt doubles to do their horseback riding scenes? Lots! Your Hollywood crush might be on the big screen and have a mansion in LA, but you could ride circles around him/her. This clearly means you are ultra cool.
5. There is always more time to accomplish your goals: Unlike most other sports, riders do not age out. So what if you are in your forties. There is still time for you to compete at the Olympics! Maybe you had your heart set on making your one-star debut this fall, but things are not panning out; relax. There will be one-star competitions next spring. Take a deep breath and do not rush things because being in a hurry with horses never works out well.
6. You are horse poor, not actually impoverished: The only reason you cannot afford to have a weekly pedicure, buy a whole new wardrobe each season and go skiing for a week in the Alps in the winter is that you spend your money on horses. This is a choice you make because you honestly prefer riding to anything else that money could buy. So quit pouting over the fact that you cannot afford unnecessary luxury items and be proud of the fact that you spend nearly all your money on something you love more than anything else.