Has a bad ride ever stuck with you afterwards?

Think back a bit to the last time you had a bad ride.

Sure, a bad day at the barn is better than the best day almost anywhere else. I get that. But we all have less-than-ideal rides once in a while. I’m not even talking about those dreaded times we land in the dirt. I mean those times when the horse acts up, things don’t go so well, or we simply aren’t up to snuff in the saddle.

C’mon. ‘Fess up. You know what it feels like, even if it’s been awhile.

This happens every now and then for me. I gotta admit it. 


A large part of the problem is the fact that I am fighting a lifelong medical condition that can assail me unpredictably and viciously with balance issues, bouts of vertigo, muscle spasms, exaggerated startle reflexes, vision problems, and some serious sudden-onset fatigue. Those symptoms can challenge my ability to ride as well as I want to.

It’s a good thing I have a seasoned, sensible, and (OK, I’ll say it.) somewhat lazy horse these days. I sold the young and crazy, but beautiful, ones after I came to terms with the reality of my health issues. My current mount is adorable, but not flashy. She’s fun, but not fancy. And she’s low key, rather than high-maintenance. I guess we are sort of perfect for one another.

But I still have bad rides. And mostly, they’re on me, although the horse can pretty much tell when she’s gonna get off easy. She’s sort of smart that way. She knows when it’s time to quit, even if I’m still trying to figure that out.

So my bad rides are no longer the hold-on-for-dear-life, whoa-crazy-horse, we’re-all-gonna-die kinds of nightmares than I occasionally had with my fiery young horses. They’re more the fifteen-minutes-is-enough-today, let’s-not-even-try-the-hard-stuff, and thank-God-horses-can’t-tell-time kind of thing.


Recently, I picked up a cozy hooded sweatshirt with this design on it: “Never let yesterday’s bad ride spoil today’s good one.” It’s become my go-to riding pick, because it sort of says it all for me, with my ups and downs. I wore it today, and had a really sweet ride. So maybe it works!

Little by little, I’m trying to let go of bad rides when they happen and start each new ride fresh. Just because my last jaunt was a little disappointing doesn’t mean I have to bring that baggage aboard this time. My little horse has already forgiven and forgotten. Maybe I can too.

Know the feeling?

Baseball Tee:
Product photo/s – fair use

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