As Macklemore says: “a little bit of humble, a little bit of cautious.”
Quoting rap lyrics for a reason. Stay humble. If you know everything already, go home.
Don’t take the lesson. Don’t ride in the clinic. Sure as hell don’t cry. Lessons are humbling. I’ve ridden with Mr. George Morris, Mr. Peter Trappmann, Mr. Grand Prix/Ms. Dressage-Event pro. Every time I come out humbled, but never defeated. I don’t make excuses like “my horse” this, “my equipment” that, “this never happens at home,” etc. etc. etc. … STOP.
Did you ride in the lesson for them to lie to you and say you’re amazing and brag to all your friends how perfect you are? Or did you ride to learn? To improve? To grow? Save your tears for the truck on the drive home.
Everyone struggles. I can tell you it was a shock — SHOCK I SAY — when I discovered that I wasn’t the perfect rider and didn’t know everything already! And it’s tough to find this out in front of an audience. But I didn’t pout. I didn’t blame the trainer (surely that Olympian doesn’t know as much as Susie Q Eventer!!). I didn’t quit and go home.
I’m a trainer and I have trainers. My trainers have trainers. Their trainer’s trainers still train.
The more I know about this sport, the more I realize I don’t know. Stay humble. Learn something. Or go home and give advice on the Internet to others who can’t cut it either.
Amy Nelson has been riding hunter/jumpers and eventers for 25 years and is based in Rochester, IL. She retrains OTTBs, problem horses, and trains eventers at her own show barn, Hummingbird Stables. She competes with OTTBs in upper level eventing, has qualified for the AECs at many levels, and has competed in the RRP Thoroughbred Makeover. Her goals are to compete at the one-star level this year, and eventually four-star. You can follow Amy on Facebook here and on Instagram at @amynelsoneventer.