Panic Attacks Happen

I had a panic attack today about the upcoming show season.  It’s been weeks since PJ has been worked and I’m afraid he’s loosing fitness.  When I got him home last year he was unfit and it took him all year to become strong.  Our canter-depart issues were mainly due to his lack of fitness, and I was afraid that this problem would be renewed once we could ride again.  And with the weather being as it’s been, it wasn’t looking likely that we would start riding again until right before show season.  That wouldn’t give me a lot of time.

Compound those fears with my feelings of inadequacy that PJ is not as far along in his training as he should be for his age and there is my panic attack.  Everywhere you look there are articles about training that say a 6-year-old horse should be doing at least second level.  And show results are full of examples of 8-year-olds doing Grand Prix!  

On January 1, all horses turn another year older, but I have to remember that PJ doesn’t really turn 6 until the end of May.  I also have to tell myself that most of those horses that are further along have more natural talent and are being ridden by professionals.  PJ is a very nice horse but he’s no Ravel.  And the whole point of me doing most of the riding is because I enjoy learning, and he’s teaching me a lot. 

So, I’m taking a deep breath.  There’s nothing I can do about the weather.  My first important (read: USEF/USDF and not schooling) show is not until the first week in May.  PJ is at least getting out and moving around.  Everything will be fine.

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2 Responses to Panic Attacks Happen

  1. Horse training is a process. It’s not about time, it’s about the process. Putting an expectation of time on it not only upsets you, it makes things more difficult for your horse. You’ll have a much better relationship with your horse if you can just focus on the process and quit worrying about time. Take it from one woman who has put years into finishing her horse.

  2. onthebit says:

    I saw this facebook post and it made me think of you! I bet that you could even get them to trailer you if you talked to them…”We still have a few spots open in our upcoming clinic with Betsy Steiner. If you’d like to participate but can’t because you haven’t been able to ride due to weather, bring your horse over to our farm for a few days before the clinic. We’d love to have you. If you’re interested in participating in the clinic contact me on Facebook or email at

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