I Have a Good Excuse!

I Have a Good Excuse!

horse-racingDo you have a good excuse why you didn’t win the last competition, or why you haven’t ridden lately?

The thing is that everyone HAS a good excuse!

No-one wins all the time. But those who win more often and progress to higher levels don’t dwell on their excuses! They work out what went wrong, how they can improve and get on with fixing things.

We are all born into different situations, some brought up in families where they could choose what horse they rode, had the best instructors and started competing in big competitions at an early age.

Then there are others who had to ride their bike for miles just to get to the nearest riding school. They would work all weekend and be rewarded with a short ride if it suited.

It doesn’t matter where you started, it matters where you are going

If you want to improve, be persistent about improving.

Set yourself up with a reflection diary. Within the diary, have a long term plan that includes

  • Five-year plan
  • One-year plan
  • 30-day plan
  • Weekly plan

Then each day after you ride, do a bit of self reflection

  • What was your plan at the beginning of the session?
  • Did you stick to the plan? If not, why not?
  • What went well?
  • What can be improved on?
  • How will you improve it?

By persistently keeping this diary you will find that you won’t dwell on excuses, you will focus on improvement!



  1. michaela piper says:

    true on so many levels dwelling wont change your next result but being able to see what went wrong has already set you up for your next win. thinking in that mindset also will stop you getting so worked up when your desired result doesn’t happen and your able to bounce back quicker and be more prepared for the next show.

  2. Darcy Turner says:

    Great article!! It encourages riders to work hard and try their best no matter the outcome, and if you do win that is great, but there is always room for improvement.

  3. Catherine Piper says:

    WOW so on point

  4. hard work sucks but its worth it.

  5. Such an amazing shot.

  6. Melanie McNee says:

    This article provides a great guide for riders to improve their mindset. Loved it! Defiantly found this helpful.

  7. The power of YET – It’s A growth mindset – Keep trying

  8. Kayla Burnaby says:

    Commenting for the quiz.

  9. great information to keep you motivated and to keep trying and to not give up!

  10. Interesting to read and great tips to be a better horse person

  11. Aneldi v. Wyk says:

    In the past i would dwell on my excuses in order to get away with not achieving what i wanted to achieve. This stopped me from reaching my full potential.
    In my opinion, this article really interacts with those who struggle with the same thing i struggled with, including myself. The tips that were provided is a very helpful way of over coming this obstacle in the long run.
    In a nutshell, this was very well written and provides excellent information and advice to riders who seek it, including myself.

  12. Chloe Hutchsion says:

    this was amazing to read

  13. I have been working on this the last couple of years.
    To not get stuck on why it didn’t happen, to be flexible on goals and the plan, as life does jump in on occasions. To set reasonable goals also and breaking them down to smaller goals if needed.
    Great article

  14. Joanna Hooper says:

    Very interesting piece, with good detailed information to remind you never to give up!

  15. Lilliana Bestmann says:

    Agreed, I enjoyed reading this article.

  16. Great article!! very insightful

  17. I love this article! full of great information.

  18. Having a reflection diary is a great way to keep yourself motivated in what your doing. I agree with this 100%

  19. Never blame the horse for nocking that rail or picking up the wrong lead. Remember…you win or you learn but you never lose.

  20. I am pretty sure that at one point or another we have all made an excuse because we didn’t like the outcome however, from experience, competing against younger riders, I think quite often the people who win a great deal of the time are the ones who have excuses for why they didn’t win this time such as, ‘there were too many flies annoying my horse.’ or ‘the ground wasn’t good enough’ or ‘that judge…’ the list of excuses goes on. I feel like most of the people who are used to not doing as well admit to the fact that they still have some improvement to go and they work hard to get to the top unlike the ones that have never had experience with losing. We all use excuses to cover up the fact that sometimes we just don’t deserve first place and we don’t like the reality that we didn’t win.
    This was a well written article nevertheless and I do like the idea of a reflection diary for improvement.
    Thank you

  21. This information was great. You should always keep trying no mater what the outcome is.

  22. I am going to have to save this. i am just getting into starting to compete on my horse. I am 34 and only been riding for 2 years now. Starting out each ride with a plan is a great idea.

  23. I grew up as one of the people with less and take this article as a sought of guide because it says that “It doesnt matter where you started, it matters where you are going”. I have always wanted to improve with my performance in riding and it has been hard because i was one of the less fortunate, and in being like this i have been persistent on improving. And any dramas ive had for my misfortune i have made excuses for and not that i have read this article it has helped me realise that i shouldnt dwell on excuses but focus on improvement

  24. this is really helpful for me I am not really young and come from totally different profession ,no more excuse .

  25. kayla O'Connell says:

    Great inspirational talk, helps you to stay motivated and press on no matter where you end off. 🙂

  26. Kayisha S says:

    I myself have found that with using the reflection diary it helps you focus on where the trail and all of the hard work you are putting into your horse is going to lead you.

  27. Connor Batcheler says:


  28. Sarah L says:

    this is great information to make you want to keep trying

  29. Jessica Young says:

    Great to keep in mind when you take a horse home!

  30. Summer T says:

    This is great advice. Very helpful.

  31. I agree with the article. We have excuses on after the other, why do we not just except reality and know that we can make a difference in our life. if we just have a go, look and think about what we did wrong, and then try knew and different things to improve. If you have a passion for riding do not let your excuses lay you down. the reason is because they will not help you improve but allow you to hesitate. Trust in the Lord and ask him for confidence and courage each day. He is good all the time and all the time God is good. Keep that in mind when new challenges arrive.

  32. Jamie.B says:

    Very helpful tips for any riding level. Will differently use this to help me.

  33. when you have achieved something with a horse that you’ve trained yourself, its more of a motivation to keep on going and trying then what it is on a horse trained by yourself

  34. This article was motivational for me and the advice is something I can use in the future

  35. Rhianna Hammond says:

    Love it!

  36. Kassie B says:

    Winning or having a success on a horse that you trained and you have helped improve, how the horse moves and reacts to things that it has not seen before, is more satisfying than winning on a horse that has been trained by someone else.

  37. Mikalah says:

    When you win on a horse that you have trained yourself it is a much more satisfying achievement than on a horse that has been trained by someone else.

  38. A great reminder that success is prominently about your ability to learn and grow from your experiences, not just simply winning blue ribbons.

  39. This was great information and will remind to keep trying and go on no matter what the outcome. Thanks for sharing great information.

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