Summer Stress for Horseback Riders

By Maddie Gibbs, National Youth Board member

This time of year, we are all looking forward to a fun summer full of horses and showing. However, this can also be a very stressful time as we find ourselves comparing our skills and horses to others and working hard towards goals we’ve set.

It is important to remember that we all grow and improve at different rates, and that one person’s circumstances do not have to affect yours. It is important to take time to remember why we are involved in the sport in the first place. There is always going to be someone who is better than you, or who has a nicer horse, or more opportunities than you—those things do not determine your worth as a person or a rider.

Pony Club has shown me the importance of supporting one another and lifting each other up, even during stressful situations. I think we can all agree that nobody gets through rallies or certifications alone! It takes a village. So, as we all prepare for a fun summer, remember why you love this sport so much to begin with! Take time to revisit things you did as a kid, like take bareback hacks with your friends, or play pony games in the ring. Spend time cleaning your tack and bathing your horse. There is no limit to what we can do when we take the time to remember why we are doing it.

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