How I am overcoming a Dressage CRISIS

I am having a crisis of confidence!   I keep hitting a brick wall and seem unable to progress in my riding.  I appear to be in an ever decreasing spiral of negativity, which is frustrating and troubling.  Having achieved so much in such a short space of time I am beginning to think that this is as far as I will go, like some never ending treadmill, or ground-hog day and the sun will never shine.  A whole bunch of clichés I know, but they best describe how I have been feeling.

Dressage Crisis

Truth be told, happiness is not the absence of problems, but having the ability to deal with them.  Well, what I did was turn to the internet to see if anyone was feeling the same out there (I do love the internet for motivational stuff).  Anyway, I found what I was looking for and already feel better.  Here’s a summary of what I found.  I hope it helps you if you ever get into a rut, like me.

1. Just because I am struggling doesn’t mean that I am failing

I’ve lost my way.  Whatever I try simply does not happen – I’m feeling overwhelmed.  Every success requires some type of worthy struggle to get there, right?.  Good things take time.  So I tell myself ‘be patient and stay positive’.  Everything is going to come together; maybe not immediately, but sometime.  I’m rolling with it, instead of resisting it, in the hope that the struggle will help me grow.

2. Everything in life is temporary


Fact!  When it rains, it stops; when you hurt, you heal; after darkness there is light (you are reminded of this every morning).  Nothing lasts forever.  So if things are good right now, that’s great – enjoy it because it won’t last forever.  My things are not so good, but why should I worry? that won’t last forever either!  Just because I am not finding something easy at the moment, doesn’t mean I can’t laugh; just because something is not clicking into place, doesn’t mean I can’t smile.

3. Worrying and complaining changes nothing 

Those who complain the most, accomplish the least.  When I read this it hit the spot.  Gosh, did I feel sorry for myself? Bringing everyone around me down bemoaning my fate, but spending today complaining about yesterday simply made today worse, so I decided to take action instead.  It’s always better to make an attempt to do something and fail than not to attempt anything at all.  I believe in my method so I will keep trying.

4. Every little struggle is a step forward

Dressage CrisisPatience has nothing to do with waiting; patience is about the keeping a good attitude while plugging away at  your dreams.  So I decided, if I’m going to try, put in the time and go all the way, otherwise, what is the point in starting, really?  This could mean getting out of my comfort zone for a while, it could mean going it alone for a while.  It is all a test of my determination, of how much I really want it.  So, if I want it, I’ll do it.

Guess what?  The struggle is not found on the path, it IS the path!

5. Other people’s negativity is not my problem.


An easy way to maintain enthusiasm and focus is to try to be positive when negativity surrounds you.  Don’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal.  Above all, don’t ever change what you believe to be right, just to impress someone who says you are not good enough.

People are going to talk regardless of what I do or how well (or otherwise) I do it.  If you believe strongly in something, don’t be afraid to fight for it.  Great strength comes from overcoming what others think is impossible.

6. The best thing I can do is to keep going.

Don’t be afraid to get back up – to try again.  Right now it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong.  It feels like I will be stuck in this rut forever, but I won’t.  When I feel like quitting, I remind  myself that things have to go very wrong before they can be right.  Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best.


So, armed with this information what am I going to do?  Wake every morning and do my best to follow a To-Do List:

  1. Think positively
  2. Eat healthy
  3. Exercise today
  4. Worry less
  5. Work hard.
  6. Laugh often
  7. Sleep well

Repeat…each day. Joking aside, you only have one life.   This is IT, so do what makes you happy and be with whoever makes you smile, most often.

Why not have your say?

What helps you stay motivated when you’re struggling with your training regime?  What is THE ‘something positive’ that you try to keep in mind when it all seems to be going horribly wrong?  Please leave a comment and share your thoughts, you’ll be helping your fellow equestrians.

Patricia – The Dressage Tipster

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