Not Feeling Like a Typical Equestrian?

Not Feeling Like a Typical Equestrian?

Not Feeling Like a Typical Equestrian?

What does the typical equestrian look like? Apparently not like a lot of the typical equestrians that I know!  Let me explain; recently I asked riders to let me know what challenges they were having in their riding, in the hopes I could potentially help.  And I received so many replies from riders all over the world. Great right?

Except for the line of text that so many of those emails contained…  “I’m not a typical equestrian”. And because of this, the rider feeling unworthy of having their question answered… 

Now, there were of course different versions of this; “I’m not your average rider” or “I’m much older than other riders”.  And it was the tone of all of these similar statements that really got my attention.  To me, it seemed as though because they didn’t see themselves as a ‘typical equestrian’, their question was not worthy of being answered.  Why is it that so many riders feel like this?

Not a Typical Equestrian…

I think many riders simply feel like they don’t ‘belong’. Or that they’re not ‘horsey enough’, as though there was some standard measure for this.   Perhaps of who we continue to see represent a typical equestrian in advertizing.

If I take myself, for example, I’m definitely over 28.  I am not extremely wealthy. And I certainly don’t board at an exclusive barn! My ‘Riding Outfit Of The Day’ is not always colour-coded, never mind matching or complimenting the colours my horse is wearing! And, quite honestly, I don’t spend an hour each morning getting my make-up on, my hair set, and my outfit ‘just right’ to go and do what has to be done at the yard with the horses…

For the most part, I clean a good deal of my own stables and tack – which is something many equestrians I know do as well  (and I know quite a few…)  

Equestrian’s I Know Are…

And I think that there is an issue.  The ‘typical equestrians’ that we are being fed so much of in mainstream media do NONE of these things.  They don’t mix and make their horses feed, they don’t ‘hay’ their horse.  Honestly, have you ever seen an equestrian ‘influencer’ covered in horse sh*t or hay? No, not ever! This brings me to my final point, they rarely ever seem to muck out, skip out, or clean up…  In fact, it’s only done if they are promoting a special gizmo or gadget for that day… #ad :)

I think the feeling of being unworthy to take up ‘equestrian space’ with their questions, thoughts, and opinions that so many riders feel is due to ‘us’ still not being represented in print and online. 

Why don’t we see more vertically challenged (like myself) equestrians? Or riders with multicolored, grey, braided, brassy blonde (darn sun!), dark, or curly hair…?  There are the equestrians that I know and love who have generous waists and thighs and are proud of their bodies.  Many have strong hands with maybe a callous or 5 (hands up here again!).  Skin that is many shades darker than pale lily-white. Or skin that maybe once was lily-white, but has seen a lot of sun.  Most of it while either on the back of a horse or fixing a fence…

But let’s ask the question; what is an equestrian?  It’s a person who enjoys building a relationship with a horse, or lot’s of horses – period. 

Whether that’s on the ground or in the saddle if you love the idea of going deeper with your horse, congratulations!  You’re an equestrian :)

Your Questions & Thoughts are Valid

I would love to see a change in riders regarding how ‘worthy’ their questions, thoughts, and opinions are.  It seems to me that there are so many riders out there that are choosing to stay quiet.  And they do this because they don’t feel like their schedules, riding style, or lifestyle ‘matches’ what a typical equestrian ‘should’ look like.

If you love horses and you’re interested in improving the clarity of the communication between you and your horse (or horses in general), your questions, thoughts, and opinions are needed in the equestrian world.

It’s through diversity of thought, different (sometimes difficult) conversations, and a level of open-mindedness that equestrian sports and lifestyles can grow and expand. 

So if right now you don’t feel comfortable ‘taking up space’ inside of those conversations, you have important mindset work to begin doing for both yourself, your horse, and all of the legions of other not-so-typical equestrians who have not even begun their journey yet.

Start ‘Feeling’ Like a Typical Equestrian

I think the key to making lasting change for all riders is to recognize and celebrate that if you are interested in horses and want to develop your relationship with a horse… You’re a typical equestrian! And because I know this is you, congratulations! I say this tongue-in-cheek because we both know that, deep down, you already are fully aware of this. So own it.

Equestrians care about the relationship between themselves and their horse. They look for ways to better that bond and develop their skills. Even if they are in mismatched clothes and smell like a manure pile!

The key is the desire to improve how you show up for you and your horse. Having that desire and then taking actions that align with that desire is the key to ‘being’ an equestrian.  And the good news is that there countless ways you can do this…

        • Educate yourself more about your riding
        • Understand more about your horse and how he does things
        • Be intentional with each interaction
        • Set some ‘do-able’ goals and a plan to work towards them
        • Realize that you and your horse are a team – meaning training is 50:50

Immerse Yourself in ‘Being’ an Equestrian

So, you are now 100% certain that you are a bonafide equestrian.  However, ‘knowing’ something and ‘being’ something are often two different things. And this is where I encourage you to start your immersion into how you can begin feeling more like a ‘typical equestrian’.

My first suggestion for you is to spend a little intentional time each day learning, or doing something ‘equestrian related’.  Read a book or listen to a podcast – I highly recommend the Daily Strides Podcast for Equestrians ;).   Brush your horse’s tail or clean some of your tack – both while listening to a podcast ;).

Do what feels good for you and really become intentional about yourself and your feelings. By immersing yourself more and more each day in ‘horsey things’ you are going to begin to feel more ‘horsey’.  It is a simple truth.

        1. Sign up for the 2024 all-new Equestrian Fitness Challenge (it’s based on walking not workouts)
        2. Request to join the Daily Strides Podcast Online Community and join in the chats
        3. Do one thing every day that grows your knowledge as an equestrian
        4. Spend 15 minutes every day doing something ‘horse’ related

Trust me, after a couple of weeks of surrounding yourself with intentional ‘horsey’ input, you will begin to feel like what we already know to be true; that you are a 100% typical equestrian.

And then, practice voicing your questions, your opinions, your thoughts, and getting involved in our sport.  Your input is greatly needed and might just change the trajectory of someone else’s ‘horsey’ journey.

Happy Riding

Equestrian Fitness Challenge ’24

Let’s walk together for 21 days and have a chat about how you can do much more than you think you can as a rider and an equestrian… I am so excited to bring you along on this journey for the 100% FREE 2024 Equestrian Fitness Challenge
There will be a daily walk, a 10 minute daily yoga practice, and lots of tips, ideas, exercises, and ways to improve so that you can show up as the best version of you – for you and your horse.
Sign up today and let’s transform your riding – one stride at a time! 100% FREE 2024 Equestrian Fitness Challenge

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