Dear Horse Nation: A community advice column

This reader is having a serious battle with her riding self-esteem. Can anyone offer her some advice on negating her own negativity?

You know those days when it feels like you must’ve completely forgotten how to ride? Either you can’t seem to communicate with the horse or your trainer seems to be correcting every single thing you do? These days it seems like I have those rides every. single. lesson. And believe me, it sucks. I’ve only been riding for about four years now, mostly at eventing barns. I’m not competitive (yet) but I am very focused in learning to be a good rider and overall good horse-person. I’ve switched barns a lot in the past two years, not because I disliked my first barn but because I moved away for school. Now, after a few hunter barns in between, I’ve found myself at another eventing barn with an instructor that I really like but suddenly it seems like my riding has completely fallen apart. I’m very critical of my riding and I tend to take criticism personally. I’m trying my best to stay positive but all the corrections are getting to me and I’m starting to feel like a pretty crappy rider. I guess my question is: How do you stay positive when it seems like you can’t do anything right? I really feel like my negativity towards myself and my riding is holding me back from growing and improving. Can anyone help??

P.S. Most of my issues seem to be with my lower body position on the flat and generally just being with the motion of the horse.


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