Motivation can be a hard thing to muster up when you feel like everything is going wrong. When you feel you’re trying your hardest, giving it all you’ve got, and yet your best just doesn’t seem to be good enough. You might be putting your heart and soul into a horse or a job and for whatever reason you just don’t see the point anymore. This feeling isn’t just one we deal with in the equestrian community. I’m pretty sure all humans feel this way at one point or another. Once you get in this rut of focusing on the negative, you have little motivation and it can be hard to pull yourself back out.
Horses are a lifestyle, and that life is not always as glamorous as social media makes it out to be. Most riders are not millionaires and rely on owners, sponsors, spouses or a second job to be able to afford this sport. What happens if you get hurt? Do you have a team that can carry on until you’re healed? How will you provide for yourself and that team until you are back on your feet? At what age will you consider taking a step back from competing, riding the young horses, and working tirelessly day in and day out? Have you made enough in your career to comfortably retire? These are all questions you might ask yourself, and it can make it difficult to see the light.
It can be very easy to get sick of this life when everything seems to be falling apart. I try to remember why I started, to take some time to just slow down and enjoy the feeling of just being with a horse, my horse. It’s a powerful thing, the bond you create with your horse. It can easily be forgotten when you are too busy to just ‘be’ with your horse.
I think it’s important for every equestrian to have 5 things to help them stay motivated and keep pushing forwards when things are difficult:
1. Support Team
These people are so important. These are people that support you because they love you. They might be friends, family or your partner. They are there for you through all the highs and most importantly through all the lows. You will most definitely experience both in this sport. You can talk to these people about your feelings no matter how silly they may be. Without the feeling of support from these people I don’t think any of us could do this sport, or to be honest, do anything else in life. Everyone needs emotional support now and again.
2. Work Team
These are the people you work with day to day. You have most likely taken the job because you want to learn something from someone on the team. They are obviously good at their job and strive to be their best. This is so important because these are the people that push you to become that absolute best you can possibly be. This isn’t always easy. Often, you’ll watch someone with more experience than you and wonder why they can make it look so effortless or why they are always asking you for more. Just remember that they have the advantage of years of experience. If you are smart, you will do more with your eyes and your ears and less with your mouth.
This is someone you can go to for advice, someone you look up to and trust completely. These are usually people with years of experience and are willing to share everything they know. The knowledge and guidance these people can give you is invaluable.
Your attitude towards life will either make or break you. You are 100% going to fail at one point or another but if you are focused and determined it won’t matter. Remember that you never fail, you only learn. It can be hard when you’re continuously learning but keep learning until you get the result you’re looking for. From what I’m told the path to success is not an easy one, so keep your goals in mind and remind yourself every morning. Life is too short to not enjoy every second, see the silver lining. Be brave, be bold.
Find something you enjoy doing where you can get away and take some time for yourself. Be that reading, biking, hiking, it’s different for everyone. Just find anything that you enjoy doing that lets you take time to reflect.
With these 5 things keeping your motivation is easy, or at least, it’s a lot easier than going without!
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