Negative Nancy

Negative Nancy

That’s the best way I can describe me this past week and weekend. It’s a good thing I still have lots of photos and posts about Wellington to blog about, because otherwise I would drive all you great readers away with my negativity.

Pre-Simon being very lame (still) lots of crappy stuff happened at work which I won’t get into, and then when I saw that my dear horse who has been on stall rest for three months was still lame, I just lost all my mojo.

Which is ironic, because I get to show a really nice mare in two weeks thanks to a kind teen at my barn. With that in mind, I made myself go to the barn and ride Viper today to get my sea legs back. He was a doll, and I worked on double posting, a mock flat class and overall endurance stuff now that it’s getting hotter. I felt pretty good about the ride… Until I saw the pictures another teen rider took. Because this blog is somewhat about posterity and bettering myself, I’m going to post them… But I don’t like it.


This is my favorite, minus the whole “I may or may not have been comfort eating during Simon’s stall rest” thing. Also, I thought I was working on riding with an open chest/shoulders back but I guess I was wrong.


Just call me lumpy mclumperson.


Hunchy shoulders need not be hunchy.


Bad hands.


Tipped forward in saddle. Bad hands.

I didn’t post these looking for people to comment with “no you look fine!” I know these aren’t the worst pictures ever taken of someone riding a horse… I’m just upset at myself. I need to watch what I eat. I need to up my fitness outside of the barn.  I need to be better.

I also need my horse to not be lame anymore. Only one more day until the vet comes out… Sorry for the negativity. I’ll treat y’all to a tour of Grand Prix village tomorrow instead of my whining.

28 thoughts on “Negative Nancy

  1. Lauren, you are way too hard on yourself! Honestly, the only thing that’s “bad” is your hands in the canter shots, and she could have just caught you at a bad moment. You can’t have perfect form all the time! And, they’re not even bad, just not desirable. The horse doesn’t look upset with you, and that’s all that REALLY matters. ( :

    And we all can’t be positive and upbeat all the time, either. Hang in there! I hope you get some good news soon about Simon.

  2. My shoulders are ALWAYS hunched and my instructor tells me my hands always look like I’m riding a motorbike so do not fret! I know how easy it is to think you’re doing great and then to watch videos or see pictures of yourself and get yourself down. I do it all the time. Like you said, it’s simply about seeing what’s wrong and correcting it

  3. You are too hard on yourself. You guys look pretty good, considering your on again off again riding during this stressful period. Don’t bully yourself, just climb back on the wagon.

  4. While I do think you’re being just a little hard on yourself, I totally get it. Especially the comfort eating thing. I’ve got pictures and videos of myself where I look at my posture or what I’m doing and think, “seriously, Lauren? You did that?! You will never ever be ready to show ever.” but after you get over the negative and the self-pity, it’s a good chance to fix things, as I’m sure you know! Hang in there.

  5. I get how you feel. I think, along with hating photos of myself riding (in which I’m actually riding and not posing), I fall in to the trap of comparing myself to “better” riders or riders of a different (smaller) body type. So, when I see a bad photo of myself, I still share it and I point out the flaws myself. Because if I acknowledge them, I can improve them.

    And, seriously, even if the equitation isn’t 100% of what you’re “supposed” to have, that horse looks pretty damn happy and willing to comply. I agree with Nikki — that’s the important part!

  6. I totally get exactly where you are coming from — I am 100% the same way. Something that has helped me tremendously is video taping lessons every once in a while on purpose. It gives me the opportunity to look at what is bad… which usually happens first, and then when I go back to videos from before (a month, a year, whatever) I’m able to look at the positive and see how far I’ve come.

    One of the best things about riding is that no matter how long you ride, or how many lessons you take, there will always be something to work on and get better at — it’s truly a lifelong pursuit and for that, I am truly grateful.

    1. You are right about that. It’s a constant pursuit of learning! That’s one of the things I love about it. I definitely need to get more lessons taped. I hardly have any video of myself riding.

  7. Your shoulders actually aren’t that bad, I like them. I can’t stand it when people put their shoulders too far back it looks like they are straining and tensing their body up, then their horse’s back gets hollow. I have the tendency of tipping forward too, it’s just a natural tendency about every person goes through.
    Sorry Simon is still lame, I hope he gets better. 🙁

  8. All of us type A horse people are hard on ourselves. I will never be totally happy with how I look or ride. I think you guys look great together. And, yeah, Simon better pull himself together immediately. This isn’t fair!!

  9. I think your shoulders didn’t look too bad, much better than that shoulders way back, butt stuck out look that seems popular these days. And hey, you’ve had time out of the saddle, and sometimes you just need chocolate 🙂 The world will not end because your hands aren’t perfect.

  10. You’re not the only equestrienne who resorted to comfort feeding. This winter was not good to my figure and now suddenly it’s shorts weather – yikes. ;D

    I’ve been finding that video is a much more honest representation of the overall picture – there’s good and bad in every ride. (’cause non of us are perfect!) Acknowledge what needs work and move on.

    Hope you get good news about Simon – fingers crossed!

  11. We all have those moments of negativity. It’s better to share them than bottle them up. As everyone else has already said you are much harder on yourself than anyone else would be. (But aren’t we all?) Fingers crossed for an encouraging report from the vet.

  12. First- you and your ride are turned out to perfection! Love the coordinating colors. So cute.

    Second- we might not like what we see, but its great to get videoed/photographed every now and then. Sounds like you’re going through what I went through a month ago when I saw the videos me cross country- I *felt* great, then I saw myself, and, EEK! The good thing is, it gave me that push to go home and start running, start doing my standing up in the stirrups exercise (ugh, I hate it!) and to REALLY watch my “slumpy shoulders.” It’s so crazy, I SWEAR I’m sitting up and straight- and then I see myself. How the heck am I so far forward!?! I feel like I’m going to fall over when I’m actually sitting up and tall and in balance! 🙂

    That being said- I wouldn’t have thought they were bad photos if you hadn’t said they were suppose to be! I still think you look like a great rider with a great foundation. I hope Simon figures himself out quickly… I know that’s terribly frustrating.

  13. Oh my goodness, you are so hard on yourself. It’s good that you strive to improve, but you look like a lovely soft rider to me. And the fact that someone offered to let you ride their nice mare shows that your riding is highly thought of.
    Best of luck with Simon.

  14. You are being very hard on yourself, focus on the positives as well as highlighting the negatives. Don’t get yourself bogged down in the bad stuff especially when you are already feeling the pressure over Simon’s lameness.
    I know only too well how much easier it is to focus on the bad stuff!
    Keep the chin up, you look a lot better on horseback then I do 99% of the time – but if we were all perfect everyday riding would be boring as we’d have nothing to work towards!

    I hope all goes well with the vet with Simon – will keep everything crossed for ye!
    *healing vibes*

  15. I’m basically going to repeat what everyone said, but it’s because it’s true! 😉 I see a gentle, balanced rider. In every photo, Viper (I LOVE his name!) looks VERY happy and relaxed. You’re obviously doing something right! To me, your shoulders look great-like others said: I prefer this to that arched-back, chest-&-butt out style that seems to be so popular in the hunter ring nowadays. Arching your back while riding puts a lot of strain on your lower back. The way you’re riding actually engages your entire core-safer for you, more effective in the saddle. I don’t care what the judges say.

    I do get it, though. I do the same thing. I sometimes have a hard time posting photos on the blog, and especially video! Video tells a much more complete story than photos-sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, sometimes it’s a mix. But I will nitpick everything to its last inch.

    And it’s your blog-you’re allowed to vent. 😉 You’re going through a pretty rough patch with Simon’s lameness, and I think all of us would feel just as frustrated. I personally get really depressed whenever something is going on with any of my animals. I hope this vet can get you an answer and a solution! All fingers crossed!

  16. What I find worse then the disappointment of realizing I don’t look like the picturesque riders I idolize, is that EVERY TIME I take pics or vids I EXPECT to look like them. I mean, how skewed is that?!? I either need to get really good at riding, or get good at photoshop… But the disappointed is heart wrenching.

    Just saying… I can relate.

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