Green (Hunter) With Envy

Green (Hunter) With Envy

I’m not usually a jealous person in my real life.  I like nice things and big houses, but I don’t usually covet them.  For example, I’m swooning over the Ralph Lauren leather purses with the Baucher bit detail (very much out of my budget right now), but when I see someone carrying around a Ralph Lauren equestrian purse it’s not like I want to jump them.  I don’t that oh so beautiful leather bag against them.

With horses though, I get super jealous.

When I read someone’s blog with multiple sound, lovely, talented horses that get to show all the time and win pretty ribbons… I get a little jealous.  No, I don’t hold it against them but I do have major man, I wish that was my situation moments.

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In the real world, now that I’ve moved to the new barn I realize that I’m starting to feel this way a bit.  We have a wide range of riders, and I’m probably somewhere in the low middle in terms of horse talent, budget and experience.  I find myself looking at the upper tier and their fancy horses, beautiful equitation, fit and trim bodies from tons of riding, and large (larger than mine) show budgets… and I get a little jealous.

Frankly, I need to quit that shit.  People may think envy is harmless, but it’s not when it comes to horses – here’s why.

I ride like crap when I’m feeling this way.  Last night my horse was fresh and d i s t r a c t e d.  I had already planned to do an evening of trot sets (which is a good exercise for distracto Simon), but the hard hard hard grass ring made me decide to take an evening doing flat work and poles in the dirt ring.

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One of the riders I really admire was riding in the dirt ring with me, and instead of sticking with my plan of mostly just exercising my fresh horse… I saw her horse hacking around beautifully and decided that now was when we needed to work on him going around in a frame.  Right now.  Yup.  He can do it too.  I have a fancy horse too.  See?!  See?!?!

Let me tell you, she did not see because it did not happen.  Overall I gave my horse a poor ride.  It was because I was jealous, and it wasn’t fair to him.

Another it’s not okay to be jealous of other riders is you never know their situation.  I’ve known people who got to go to tons and tons of fancy shows because a parent died and left them money.  Would I trade a parent for horse shows?  Never.  That fancy horse I’m watching?  He could be a crazy bucker or have soundness issues.  The thin and trim equitation rider I wish I could be?  Maybe she started off heavy like me.  You just never know.

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So tonight when I ride I’m going to try and be a bit more grateful for what I do have.  My horse is sound right now, and he is a good soul.  I have budget for training and lessons and some small shows.  I get to board at a nice barn.  I get to have a horse.

I bet that some people come to this blog and are jealous.  It’s all relative.  Time to put on my thankful cap and give my dear sweet pony a good ride tonight!

32 thoughts on “Green (Hunter) With Envy

  1. It’s hard for ambitious people with dreams and goals to slow down and smell the roses. But it is a key component of happiness (at least for me).

    P.S. I think one of the best accomplishments a rider can have is riding your horse to the best of its ability. I’m always surprised at not only how hard that really, truly is, but how great the results usually turn out to be 🙂

    1. Completely agree. A decently educated rider can ride a well trained horse, but it takes a really talented rider to bring out the best in ANY horse. Hopefully one day I will be in that category! I certainly have a lot of work to do.

  2. Yeeeeeeeeeep. I have tanked many a ride in a similar fashion — more often competition/impatience with myself than jealousy of somebody else, but the frustration and distraction are similar — and equally unhelpful! One of my lesser reasons for moving to a quieter/smaller/lower-key barn was to give myself a break from feeling/imposing on myself that kind of pressure and a chance to get myself right.

    From the other perspective … I used to have a barnmate who, for whatever reason, felt very competitive towards/resentful of me (I am not making this up; said barnmate stated it explicitly more than once) and would watch/comment on/copy what I was doing whenever we were in the ring together. It was one of the factors that soured our initially friendly relationship and honestly, I suspect barnmate would have progressed much more quickly/easily and been much happier if they’d spent as much time worrying about their own horse and riding as they spent worrying about mine.

    1. Great post Lauren. I think we all suffer from this at times but we need to push it to the back of our minds and concentrate on all the good we do have. I wish I could have ridden more as a child, had the opportunity to compete as a junior, own one of those $500,000 horses winning the 1.40m Grand Prixs… But it just wasn’t in the stars for me and at the end of the day, what I have and have had is more than a lot of other people so I am thankful for that. I think we both have some pretty great bays. 🙂

  3. I totally get it, and you’re right, we all need to not do that. I try not to compare things if at all possible, because it always comes with a deficit assumption. Right now I’m jealous of everyone whose horses have two healthy eyes, a not-sore back, and bruise-free feet. But I love my horse, accident-prone and all, and wouldn’t trade her for anything.

  4. I get like this much more often than I’d like to admit. In fact, sometimes I find myself complaining about things beyond my control even in my blog and I need to give my head a shake. Our horses are very patient to keep us, I think – not the other way around!

  5. Unfortunately in our sport, money can buy us happiness in the sense that we can have higher quality things for our horses, or better quality training, or even fancier horses. So envy is something that I feel every rider at some point in their riding career has to deal with. What separates the good riders from the awesome riders are the ones that can overcome that envy and ride over it.

    I for instance have a very good friend whose budget is non existent. Growing up together, and working at the same show barn, we both had to deal with a lot of jealousy. And while I went on to college to have a career in something other then horses, she decided she wanted to ride. She rides other peoples horses, and through her riding accomplishments on these horses, shes gotten sponsors who generously give her saddles, clothing, and other riding necessities to keep her riding at its peak performance.

  6. I COMPLETELY get where you’re comin from here. It is hard not to look at fancy horses with their richer than me owners and nice tack and all without being jealous. Not that I see any of that anymore, except online. My jealousy is more of people who get to ride regularly (like you!) and get to show their horses. I have 2 rideable horses, and I hardly ever get a chance to ride them. Sometimes when I read about my old friends having successes with their horses, I get a little jealous, cause that used to be me. But then I remember how blessed I am. Maybe I can’t ride all the time, but I have a mare that I can hop on at any time and she’ll be totally fine and sane. Even if its been a month or more since she was last ridden, she always acts the same. That’s something I really value. And I keep holding out for the day that I will be able to ride regularly again! ( :

  7. Yep yep! If there is a xc clinic or a show going on at the farm, I’m always wishing we could join in the fun. Then I think, “hey, last month we couldn’t even canter, and now we’re cantering.” I’m constantly remidning myself to work hard, be patient, and acknowledge the progress we have made 🙂

  8. Amen to that! I’ll admit that I’ve been a victim of horse and show envy. I like your outlook on it – we are all so very lucky already to have our wonderful horses in our lives.

  9. I’ve never been jealous of things anyone else had concerning horses. I do regret not having been able to ride as a child or teen because our family just didn’t have the money. I managed to find extra money for my girls to take lessons and show when they wanted to… mostly. So I was happy about that.

    I’m also glad that I was able to ride a little later on and consider myself lucky enough to have my own farm now. What does bother me is when people comment on how lucky I am to have everything now. Well, the only thing I can say to that is that it took a lot of hard work and saving to get it. Sure I wish I could have afforded all this before I was in my late fifties so I could have enjoyed it in my younger years but it is what it is. Think of all the people who don’t have the means to even have lessons and consider yourself one of the lucky ones to be able to ride and own your own horse. And I feel the more you have to work for what you want the more you will appreciate it when you finally get it. 🙂

    1. Lots of people like to attribute things to luck, and although luck plays a factor it is not a replacement for hard work. Even if you get lucky in something, if you are lazy or an idiot or both your luck won’t serve you long 😉

  10. Oh boy did I have those issues when I first got Red. Oh man, oh man. I envied every single horse I saw..”Look at that one, it has a beautiful, shiny coat” or “Look at how muscular that one is!” little did I know, I had my dream horse right. in. front. of. me. Literally. I just had to give him time and realize that in the future, we WOULD have all of that. No, we will probably never have a huge show budget and maybe never even have the ability to show, but after YEARS of wishing for a horse, I have one, and I am dang grateful for him. All of them. But mostly Red because he’s my baby and ALL mine. 😉 😉 Ever since I realized how foolish I was being, I quit having those issues. Sure, sometimes when I go to a rodeo or watch dressage riding, I get a little twinge and wish my horse could dance like that and I could stay on like that calf roper, but really, I just began, who knows what’ll happen. And, Red had never been used like he’s being used now. Ya never know!!! By the way, you DO have a gorgeous, fancy wonderful horse, he may not be perfect, but like you said, no horse is perfect. And heavier women/men CAN ride just as good as thin riders!! I’m on the smaller side, about 5.3 and a half and 120’ish pounds, depending on the day..and look at you! You can ride a lot better than me, I’m pretty sure! Hahaha! As someone else said above, the more you work, the more you appreciate. Of course, you obviously work a lot for him and that is AMAZING. Let me tell you, when I cried for Red and didn’t know if he was healthy and I thought I had to rehome him and I got NO good feedback about it, then I found out everything was okay and I WOULD keep Red, my appreciation went up a few notches. 😉

  11. Gratitude to attitude! You’ve got the ticket – think about how blessed you are, and make sure that the primary focus of your competitiveness is towards yourself: improving your riding, beating your own scores, etc, rather than towards others.

    But seriously, in my next life, I think I’d like to be a trust fund millionaire baby and have all the fancy horses and tack and such.

  12. So I have so been in THAT boat. In fact I think I was captain of it a few times and if you want to see my hat COME ON BY!.

    Super interesting though… I spent a couple of years working really hard on my riding in lessons, more intimately and with a trainer that was better than my previous ones. Restructured my seat a bit.

    No IM not skinny AT ALL. And I ride whatever is available (cue the string of green or crazy horses all cheaper than a close out purse not a RLauren) …

    BUT Im much better now at floating them around the ring just looking seasoned in a short time and riding much softer and confident so that when I show up at the show I get “the look”. You know the one where people are watching your warmup a little too closely and you know it is because you are doing a good job 😉 Your horse is cleaned up nice, and you’ve stuffed yourself into a tight pair of breaches after not eating a few days and it all comes together VOILA! You don’t have the cash or the imported horse but suddenly your lovely ride and shiny boots matched with an obedient happy no THRILLED pony due to your skills elevates you to a status far more important.

    Perfect picture in THAT moment status;)

    1. That’s definitely what I, working towards! Work hard now to one day be able to pull it all together.

  13. Totally have this problem too- it’s tough when I board at a barn and train with a lot of fancier horses than mine, and people who get to go to an event every other weekend and I’m lucky to scrape up the money for two. I mostly get jealous about everyone getting to show all the time. Who have the nice saddles, and the gear, and the trucks, and the trailers… the list goes on. It’s hard when you’re surrounded by it. But I try to remind myself the same thing: at least I have a horse. How many kids out there wish they had a horse but can’t afford one? How many kids grew up into adults and still couldn’t afford their dream? I’m lucky I get to make it happen. And how many people are given such a nice horse as Wiz? He might not be gorgeous warmblood dressage material, or 100,000 tucks his knees to his eyeballs type jumper, but he’s great for free and most free horses aren’t anything like him. He’s sound and happy and healthy and that’s all I can ask for. Perspective definitely helps.

    The other thing to remember is that it’s ups and downs for everyone. When you and I are envying these other people, they’re just at an up. If you ask, they’ll usually tell you about the years they spent struggling with a horse they couldn’t get sound, or a horse that was crazy and that scared them to death, or the years they struggled to get by money wise, just like you and I.

    Great post 🙂

    1. Wizard is definitely an amazing horse. We may not be rich, but I’m excited to se where our free horses take us 🙂

  14. When I feel like this (because we all do) I remind myself that it’s about the journey not about the destination. That always seems to knock it right out of me!

  15. Oh my gosh, my friend just started leasing a horse who jumps 3’6 like it’s a ground pole, will be perfect when she’s riding him bareback in a halter, and does cross country like its nothing. I am obviously so jealous because I don’t own or lease right now, and all my regular horses are unavailable (shoe problems, club foot, arthritis). But I need to be thankful for all the amazing people who help me get my horse fix by letting me ride their horses and such, because I definitely couldn’t live without them. 🙂

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