Reed Kessler and Cylana. -Photo by Keara

Reed Kessler and Cylana. -Photo by Keara

Juliane Schröder, ammie jumper from Germany, shares a problem that I’m sure many other riders go through… she gets angry and depressed when comparing herself to other riders. I’m glad she had the courage to write this blog post. Thank you, Juliane!

Too Hard on Myself

Sometimes, I get overambitious. I have the tendency of being too hard on myself and wishing for things to be different. Often, I tend to compare myself with riders which are simply better than I am. One of my good friends is a very talented rider. She has the feel and more tools in her box than I have. And to make it even more unfair to compare, she has some really nice horses to ride. There are days I get so angry with myself for not being as good as she is!

Don’t get me wrong. I love my horses to death and my mare is the perfect horse for me at this time, but she is not the quickest horse of the ground and her lovely huge Holsteiner feet are sometimes a bit slow. But she is the easiest, honest and bravest horse I know! Last year we went to 10 shows from jumping awkwardly around a 0.95m-course to going in our first 1,20m class in really bad weather and came out with three easy poles down. I have never done a 1,20m class before and we didn’t work with a trainer very consistently. And we will show in the 1,40m classes someday. So basically my mare is brilliant. Not Hickstead-brilliant but Okay-Mom-I-Save-your-butt-and-still-love-you-Brilliant.

But some days I get so worked up when things don’t go as planned that I am about to cry when anybody tries to talk to me about it. My dad knows that by now, and thank heavens leaves me alone. I need to calm myself down and not get so worked up.

I am (sadly) no genius and need sometimes (okay, nearly always) soooo damn long to get things into my toolbox and remember to use them that I really think I am stupid sometimes.

I needed two dancing classes to be able to do disco-fox!!!! It’s not that hard but after two dancing classes and some parties I can now do it quite good. No Ginger Rogers but I can dance with different guys and our toes are still okay! With riding it is sometimes even harder. It is because I ride too often by myself and don’t get to see my trainer that often. I would love to have the Reed Kessler’s talent, but that train is far gone by now. Seems like I have to work harder to get there but what did Roosevelt say? “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”. To me that means working harder than my friend. In the end, I will be even more proud.

After all my mare and I got two 1,20m placings this year. It is her second year doing shows and our first season doing 1,20m. So I am pretty proud of her. And those moments when I am angry with myself about riding, are the best to get my motivation motor up and back on track. If you handle it smart, comparing yourself with better riders doesn’t have to be a bad thing. After all, where would we be if we didn’t dream big and try to be as good as Meredith, Reed, Ludger and all our other heroes? The goal of being better fuels me, just sometimes my tank is full and it’s a drop to much. But then I close my tank cap, wipe off the drops that were too much and get my motor back running!

Thanks and best wishes