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Rider Insider: Dealing with a Tough Ride

What do you do after you've had a difficult session in the saddle?

May 24, 2013

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A Tough Ride Winston Churchill once wrote, "No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle."

Running with the same idea, a variety of bumper stickers, posters and other novelties state, "A bad day at the barn is better than a good day at the office."

Most riders will agree that there's never a truly bad ride. After all, if every ride went smoothly, you would never have mistakes from which to learn. Each challenge you encounter gives you the opportunity to develop new skills that you'll be able to use later if you encounter a similar problem down the road.

Of course, that's the best-case scenario. Working through problems and ending on a high note leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment. However, things don't always end up so well. Occasionally, you'll encounter one trouble or another that you just can't seem to completely fix before you dismount for the day. Other times, it isn't a specific problem, but a ride that is simply not as good as you hoped, and you leave feeling like you have unfinished business.

How do you recover from a tough ride? What do you do once the ride is over or when you set out for the next ride to make sure it doesn't get you down? Share your thoughts by clicking "Submit a Comment" below. Some responses may be selected to be published in a future issue of Horse Illustrated!

Noble Equine Throughout 2013, Noble Equine will be sponsoring the Rider Insider column in Horse Illustrated with a prize for the selected featured response. If you'd like to be considered for a prize, make sure to include your contact info in the email field of the contact form (emails will not be publicly displayed.)

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Reader Comments

Mary-Elizabeth Cole    Nelliston, NY

1/26/2014 1:19:35 PM

One of the first horse I started riding on was a 15 year old horse who happened to be bad tempered and just wanted to stay in his nice warm barn. For me I love horses so much it wouldn't matter if it had no ears or a tail. One day before I mounted I whisper in my horses ear and said"if you behave today ill give you a great big carrot. He behaved wonderfully and he got his reward. He behaved a little better after that knowing what was in store for him.

Jenna    Stark, NH

8/12/2013 6:33:16 PM

Wow! No rough ride ever! I've been on the ground more times than I've been in the saddle; but through all of that I have learned how to sit through a buck, how to stay on when the horse decides to stop from a gallop, I learned how to gallop off of a spook that sent the horse straight home, and I'm currently learning how to fall and roll so it doesn't hurt. Oh the love of horses!

Julie    Bozeman, MT

8/6/2013 3:18:37 PM

How do I recover from a tough ride? I shake it off, get back on and go again. I enjoy riding for the ride and the company. The end product is simply a bonus. Every new experience, whether good or bad, helps me to learn to become a better horsewoman.

Emily    St. Louis, MO

7/17/2013 7:37:27 PM

After a not so perfect ride I say to myself, "Okay this is a problem we can work on improving for the better this weekend." or "Every ride you learn somethng new even if it was a unsatisfactory ride." And it bosts my confidence to know I'm becoming a better rider from a bad ride. If I'm still upset, I'll untack my horse and the look on his face when he's waiting for a treat always brightens my mood.

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