Best Way To Get Over A Bad Ride

So, there was a sucky ride.

Just really, horribly, bad. No serious trouble, but, dressage it was not.

Who else here need to put themselves in trance to ride well?..  Without full attention to everything, schooling with Miss Gray goes to pits.  Frustrating.

It was one of those rides where nothing ever really got better. She was tense. Not spooky, ever. Just tense. We never followed each other, and it just felt so worthless.

grazing horse while riding
Our only good move.

There’ll be rides like this. Where all the sacrifices, money, and time spent driving feels completely wasted.  And we start to wonder if it’s really truly worth it all.  (Is it, really?)


Now, the best way to get over a bad ride:

Just come to terms with that Every Ride Is Not Going To Be Great.

Not for you.  Not for everyone else.

Everybody knows that.  Sure.  Just stings when we have to face up to it.  Right?  Just get in a cool-down, and move on.  Next time out will be SO much better!


Really. Not every ride is going to be great…

staying positive when training is not going well

34 thoughts on “Best Way To Get Over A Bad Ride

    1. I’ve been watching how nicely Carmen is coming around though. She’s developing in the right direction – seriously, already getting a hang of trot extensions a little bit! Excellent! And lightyears from where we are… Ugh 🙂

      Doggie belongs to the barn. I just knew you’d spot him!! 😉 I only own Dalmatians.


    1. They DO right!!?
      I try to focus on those, focus on whichever feel we had there, and stay positive that we can get back there. Some days though….. Well, I know you’ve been there too 😉


    1. Definitely in need of a good ride… Getting at it again tomorrow, with an entirely “new” twist though. I’ll have to write about that as soon as I get the time. Things are changing.

      Anyway, she’s had 4 days off, and looked like she’s in heat today. (Coming in or leaving it, not sure.) So maybe that’s her excuse 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, if it’s any consolation, I had a weird ride today so I’m chalking up to “maybe she’s coming into season.” Her brain was just not in the game and her back was tight. It got better (finally) but the first half was pretty awful. And of course I second guess myself (what if her leg is bothering her?). Oh, it’s probably fine…there are so many other things that can bother them (saddle? me? change in weather? teeth – oh wait, had those checked today, they are fine – the list goes on and on and on…). Horses: a continuous mystery.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m in the same boat. She had teeth done in June. Planning for Dec or so. It just can’t possibly be time already!!!
          And I’ve switched out of the nice sheepskin pad to give even more room, with a thinline, and that was great a week ago, so it can’t be the saddle this week. Of what about our right hind…?
          It’s all killing me! 😉

          Hang in there Edie!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Much better ride today. Still think my saddle needs adjustment, though…My seat bones are killing me and it didn’t used to do that. I think the angle of the saddle isn’t right. I have to work a bit to keep my position (always a clue that things are out of whack). Oh, more money into the saddle, always more money…I really want a NEW saddle, but not yet, not yet…and have no idea what kind, anyway. Just want to buy something different, a better fit for me (and of course the magic saddle that will make Star go perfectly, right?).

            Liked by 1 person

          2. The magic saddle… Maybe it exists… I’m really happy with the new Custom perfection with internal rolls. Definitely no magic, but it works.
            Wondering if maybe the rear of your saddle is slightly down, if seatbones are a little sore. Possibly.
            I need an adjustment too. I know the flocking compacts after 4 months of serious riding in a new saddle, so it’s time to get on with an adjustment appointment.

            I don’t think I know anyone who likes saddle shopping, right…?

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Agreed, that is my suspicion, that because she is out of shape, the saddle is sitting high in front and my seat bones are not sitting on the saddle right. It used to be comfy. Not now :-(. Fortunately, I have the Ansur Excel so I am riding in that to save my seat bones until the fitter comes. I have no idea what saddle I will buy eventually but no money for a new saddle right now.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ashlyn!
      Thank you for your comment. I don’t have too many jumping tips other than get a good instructor to help guide you.
      Ride the best horse you can get to. Dressage and jumping skills get a lot better of course with a horse that’s made for it.
      Train gently.
      Remember to have fun.
      Always warm up and cool down.
      Walk your horse a lot, it strengthens them more, with less wear, than we would think.
      Jump LOW in practice, working on nailing the distances, your position, and your horses speed, and eventually also their canter strides and their length of canter strides. High jumps are for competition – focus on making yourself a very accurate rider in every way and let your horse practice that over low jumps.
      Oh, and of course, make sure to ride some dressage too, it’s the key to everything! 😉

      Glad to have your here!


  1. A bad ride is best forgotten. My daughters tend to write some notes, then file it away in their notebooks. Since it may be recorded on video or a stack of stills, they will look at it … then file it away. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m working on that. You know, instead of venting to every poor friend around about how sucky things are 🙂
      Today, she got grooming, 10 minutes of unmounted play in the arena, a shower, and possibly a cookie. She was a star, and I told her so! Tomorrow we’ll give it a shot again 🙂


  2. Sorry about your sucky ride, but yes I’ve been there, done that and bought the t-shirt!!!

    You end up questioning if perhaps you should have taken up running or golf, but the next ride you have your AGame when this happens

    Tomorrow is a new day

    Mel x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Elinor, this is something that I really needed to read! My last ride left me feeling very discouraged and beaten mentally and physically and this post of yours has made me feel better about riding again! Thanks so much! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am SO glad Elizabeth! This is a huge part of why I enjoy writing this blog – it really touches people out there, and I think it’s just so great!
      Thank you so much for reaching out and telling me!
      Sometimes I just can’t stand one more picture of happy riders and awesome horses doing fantastic things, when I feel we’re barely staying afloat over here. I figured I need to write about that, too, here on this site. Keeping it real 😉

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.