The Rider’s Mind Podcast Episode 112: Times You Shouldn’t Ride




If you’re a hardcore competitor who has been conditioned to believe that you have to ride every day to be successful, this might be challenging for you to hear. It’s ok to take a day off. Sometimes, you’re better off not to ride.

I’ve talked previously about being aware of the energy you bring to the barn (listen to Episode 2: How Your Energy Impacts Your Hors)  What you have going on inside affects the outside and affects your riding. 

I teach ways to shift your energy and ways to step into an energy and intention that will help with connection. 

What if you just can’t shake the bad mood or you just really don’t want to be at the barn? It’s ok to not ride. 

Many of us, especially those of us from hard working families and from competitive backgrounds, often believe that we don’t deserve to be entering or doing well if we haven’t put our time in.  Some of us might actually believe we don’t deserve to win if we take a day off from riding. We believe success comes from hard work. 

This is a limiting belief we might have picked up as kids when our parents were trying to teach us responsibility and hard work, but our subconscious got the wires crossed and attached the amount we ride to our self worth and deservedness. 

If your best friend was sick or off for two days and couldn’t ride, but won on the weekend, would you hold them to the same standard?  Not likely, right? So why are you an exception?

It’s ok to take time off from riding.  It doesn’t make you less deserving. 

You do need to consider your horse’s fitness and conditioning, but if you need a day off, take the day. Give yourself some grace. 

If you can’t get yourself into a fair and clear headspace before heading to catch your horse, you’re probably better off not riding. You probably won’t get closer to goals if you’re not aligned with the energy you need to ride at your best. 

Don’t bring your baggage to the barn. If you’re had a fight with someone, you’re irritable, your nerves feel fried or you’re PMSing, don’t set yourself up for a ride you’re not going to be proud of in two days. 

It’s okay to recognize it’s not a good time to ride. 

Not riding is better than nitpicking and taking steps backwards.
Not riding is better than not being focused. 
Not riding is better than starting something you don’t have the right energy to finish. 

Sometimes we ride to clear our minds and to relieve stress. Riding with that intention and just going for a nice walk or trail ride can be a good option. If you’re schooling or training, that takes a different kind of energy in order to be forgiving and open and relaxed. If you can’t get yourself there, don’t try to do it just because you think you “should”.

Have some grace with yourself, give yourself a “bye” and don’t beat yourself up because you don’t have it in you. 

In the overall picture, you missing a day or two of riding is not going to make a difference. 

Honoring your own body, your own feelings and giving yourself some grace could go a long way. 

We aren’t wired to be “on” and in the zone every day. There will be times when you have stuff that is heavy to carry and it’s not fair to bring that to your horse. 

Sometimes we just need to go for the trail ride, even though it might not feel like it’s moving you forward towards your goals. 

One of the things we learn in Stride is to trust yourself so you know whether you need to ride and if what you’re feeling is resistance or if you’re better off not riding.  You will learn to trust our inner knowing and develop the awareness to hear all the stories that come up around not riding.

Stride is open for just a week!  Check it out at   It’s a membership-based coaching group where you can join for just $39.     

Join the Conversation

Join the discussion in the The Rider’s Mind Community on Facebook. As a member of this community, you’ll also get tips and videos from me. 

Want to connect or ask me a question? Find me on Instagram or Facebook.

Learn with Me

If you’re looking to make changes to your mindset, be sure to sign up for my free Next-Level Mindset Mini Course.

You can also join Stride, my next-level barrel racing group. This group receives video training and coaching from me and Stride members have access to special guests. We work on becoming mindful barrel racers so we can show up, be present and perform with great partnership.


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