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Had a Bad Ride on Your Horse?

Updated on April 11, 2019
Ellison Hartley profile image

Ellison is a professional horse trainer and riding instructor. She runs a summer camp program and offers kids a safe introduction to horses.

So You Had A Bad Ride?

We are all going to have bad rides once in a while. Whether we show riders, pleasure riders or trail riders. Sometimes, the thousand-pound animals we love so very much just don't cooperate. To be successful with horses, you need to learn to not let a bad ride get you down. Here are some things to ponder after you have had a bad ride.

Sometimes Finn doesn't want to come back to trot so his rider has to circle him a lot to slow him. Which is frustrating!
Sometimes Finn doesn't want to come back to trot so his rider has to circle him a lot to slow him. Which is frustrating! | Source

At Least You Have A Horse!

Do you know how many people would love to get to ride a horse? Any horse they can get their hands on! If you ran into one of these people you would probably rub them the wrong way if you went on and on about your bad ride.

Be grateful that you get to be around horses and get to ride. So many people hear about you owning a horse and wish they were you!

Your Horse Didn't Misbehave On Purpose To Make You Mad!

When our horse misbehaves most likely it is some sort of miscommunication between horse and rider. Learning to ride is learning the unspoken language of using your body to tell the horse what you want it to do. Sometimes our wires get crossed. Sometimes no matter how hard we try, we just can't seem to get on the same page.

You need to remind yourself that the things your horse does that you get frustrated with, are not personal. Horses don't have the ability to reason and plan how they are going to be bad today because they want to make you mad. Horses live in the moment. They are in the here and now all the time. If your ride isn't going well, it is because of something happening at that very day, a miscommunication of sorts.

There is always a chance that a physical problem is hurting your horse and causing him to act out. You should always have this on your radar as a possibility if your horse has a major behavioral change. That is a different article for a different day though.

This is a friendly reminder that your horse doesn't do things intentionally to frustrate you or make you mad. They are just being horses and acting like horses do when they don't understand, or if you aren't being assertive enough. Don't take a bad ride personally, it's nothing personal. We all have bad days, horse and human. When we both have a bad day on the same day, it is no fun, not the end of the world though.

The frustration of being little and just not being able to get the darn pony to turn!
The frustration of being little and just not being able to get the darn pony to turn! | Source

It's Always A Learning Experience

Often times, we learn more from a good ride on our horses than we do a perfect one. When your horse doesn't go perfectly this forces you to step up your riding game. It makes you think through what is going on and try and figure out how to fix it. On these days you are really riding, not just a passenger on your horse as he goes around and around.

Having an issue on a ride and being able to work through it is a great way to build confidence. The more experience you get, from bad rides or good ones, is all adding skills to your riding toolbox so to speak. You will have this experience to look back on and use in the future.

I Hate Frozen And All, But You Need To Let It Go!

We can sit and stew for hours after we have a bad ride. Trying to figure out what we did wrong, or what is wrong with the horse. Sometimes you will be able to figure it out, but not always. You have to learn to let it go. Don't dwell on it. When you get your horse out to ride next time it will be a new day and a new start. Another great thing about horses living in the moment. Unless they get really scared or hurt, they don't dwell on things. They let it go.

Let it go for goodness sake!
Let it go for goodness sake!

You Rock!

Who cares if you had a bad ride?! It happens! Do you know how awesome it is that you even dedicated yourself to learning how to ride? It is not easy or for the faint at heart. Yet you keep on keeping on, that's amazing!

You are brave enough to climb up on a thousand-pound animal and tell it what to do. That is pretty darn cool.

As we go through our horsemanship journeys it doesn't matter where we are in it. We will always have a bad day from time to time. So many people start riding, realize how hard it really is and quit. Your perseverance and dedication are awesome and something to be proud of!

So when you have a bad day with your horse remember, you are a rider and that is pretty awesome in its self!

Sometimes it seems like even the dog is a better rider than you are...yea right! Don't be so hard on yourself!
Sometimes it seems like even the dog is a better rider than you are...yea right! Don't be so hard on yourself! | Source

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