mental health

Catherine Chamberlin  wrote about how she decided to not pursue a career as a professional dressage rider. Catherine is the top yong rider in the U.S.

she won 5 gold medals in the fei youth championships.  1 gold and 1 silver in the young riders and juniors. she was selected to represent the U.S.  on the European young rider tour. you wonder why such a talented rider would not pursue dressage as her career? as I read her story on why she chose to keep riding as a hobby I was shocked at how much I could relate. She struggled with seeking perfection constantly. when she placed 6th in the young riders she was angry. that was suppose to be the happiest time of her life, but she was so mad at herself. she only felt goo about herself when she got a good score, or if she could go a month straight working with no breaks. she didn’t mention much about training horses but I know as a working student that if I have a bad rider it effects my whole day, and I feel like the very worst rider in the world. as I was relating to her story I didn’t want to wake up at 25 feeling unhappy because my happiness only relies on how well I do in the dressage industry. So my fellow dressage friends are you ready to make a promise to yourself?


  1. one bad ride doesn’t mean you ride poorly. a bad ride can be 100 of different factor. no turn out, weather change, tiredness, sore. anything! you are so young and you have s many years ahead of you to improve your riding. your trying your very best, and so you come out doing your very best everyday and never stop trying your guarenteed to succeed one day!


2. failure isn’t the end of the world. failure means you learned, and while its hard there is always another chance to try again. don’t just think about the bad test think about all the fun times leading up to the test. or how fun the warm up was. how many enjoyable moments you had with your dressage team at the show. its not always about the destination its also about the journey.


3. believe in you so your horse can believe in you.

4. dressage is about that fun feeling and excitement you get when you get he feel you want. the gitty laughter you have when you feel a super nice piaffe. the butterflies and confidence you feel when your trainer asks you to train a horse. the enjoyment you get from creating such a strong bond with your horse. not about a score. thats the problem we as riders have. we think the happiness comes from the score, bt the happiness actually comes from all the moments leading up to the score. at the end of the day. an 80% would mean nothing if you didn’t have the long journey leading up to it. so a 50% or an 80% it really doesn’t matter as long as you had fun in the journey leading up tp the score.

go kiss and hug your horse! be in the present moment.

By Skye Simpson Dressage Shares Insight on the Sport

Skye Simpson is an FEI Dressage & Natural Horsemanship Trainer located in Banning, California.

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