Roosa contacted Equissimo recently to feature in our #10minutesinthetackroom feature. We were so impressed by her approach to positivity and willingness to stand up to online bullying that we asked her to write a guest blog for us.
The equestrian community has always had a reputation for bullying, here at Equissimo almost every response to our #10minutesinthetackroom question, "what do you dislike most about the equine community" is related to bullying. We believe that the equestrian industry has a responsibility to tackle bullying head on, by working closely with the grass roots community we believe that we can make a change.
I’ve recently had a bit of a breakthrough regarding the connection between my own riding, positivity and bullying and I’ve realised that there are always going to be people that you cannot please in life no matter what you do and that no matter how hard you work on something it’s not going to be enough for them – this becomes especially clear when you find mean comments about yourself online or overhear an acquaintance criticising the way you ride and look after your horses. I know that these comments will get me down but nowadays I ignore them and focus on the fact that my horses are happy and healthy and nothing else matters.
Staying positive is even more of a difficult feat when it feels like you are failing. Remember: you will get knocked down many times on the way up and there will be things that seem impossible and that are so hard that you’ll feel like giving up, but you must always remember why you started doing it and carry on! It is all part of the journey that we are on with our horses. I read somewhere online that “fail, fail again and then fail better until you succeed”. It’s great when you do succeed and you need to celebrate your successes, but it’s more important to learn the lessons from your failures. If you failed to jump a clear round because the horse knocked a pole in the last jump, then think of the fact that you managed to jump every single other jump clear! Didn’t get +65% in your dressage test? Think of the fact that you had lots of great movements in that test! This is so important – no rider has ever gotten to where they are now without failing at something and although no one wants to point out when and how they have failed, I think our failures are what makes us stronger and better riders! Every time you fail, you have tried and that is the best thing you can be doing.
Also, please remember that even though you might have a great horse or you might have an average horse but whatever your goal is together, it is yours and yours alone. If your goal is to ride through a novice level test, then that’s your goal and no amount of negativity or online bullying should make you change that. You work towards that goal and you go ride that test when you’re ready. If the horse you bought turns out to be a difficult but talented one, it might take you years to get ready to go out and compete, but so be it! Some people will always be ready to try to pull others down, but you need to live more and worry less about what others might think of you. Until recently, this has been my biggest mental block as I haven’t competed in over 3 years simply because I’ve not felt ready and I always had this feeling that people think less of me for not competing such a wonderful advanced level horse.
But now, I know that I have been on a journey with my horse, one which I am still on and there is nothing wrong with that!
We have all had bad rides but when you go out to ride the next time after this, take a moment to really focus on positivity and begin your ride with a positive attitude because horses can sense your attitude and they feel what you’re feeling. They feel your stress, your negativity and your frustrations. Don’t ruin a good ride today because of a bad ride yesterday, and if you want your horses to perform well, think “good vibes only” because negative thinking attracts negative energy whilst positive thinking attracts positive energy. Stop being hard on yourself and your horse, and bring some lightness and happiness into your ride!
Oh, and for dealing with the haters or those stupid ‘equine shade rooms’ on Instagram? If it feels like you can’t block them out of your mind, then write about them. Writing is SO therapeutic for dealing with nasty negative people, not only can you call them out for their behaviour (I don’t name names but if they are reading my blog posts they’ll know I’m writing about them!) but it also serves as a stress relief as you can turn their negativity into positivity by expressing what they have made you feel and how they are wrong about you. We need more love and positivity in the equestrian world, especially online.
Remember that tomorrow is promised for no one so go live your life and ride your horse. When people say bad things about you, just prove them wrong!
With lots of love and positivity,