Struggling with Motivation
Confessions of a Timid Rider,  Equestrian Life

Struggling with Motivation

Confessions of a Timid Rider: Some days I’m not Motivated to Ride

Horses are my passion, but I tend to doubt my skill and often question myself. I don’t think I’m alone in that. But today I did not set myself up for success. In fact, I really made some poor decisions and as such struggled with motivation. 

Struggling with Motivation


I hadn’t ridden in two whole weeks! My barn has pony camp, which really reduces available riding time without a thousand kids running around screaming. Not that Delight cares. But I do. I ride for pleasure and for the thrill of spending time with my favorite boy, not to dodge children on errant ponies.

More than that, I missed last week’s lesson because my daughter was sick with a fever. It would have been bad parenting to bring her to the barn, spread germs, and sit miserably for 2 hours while I rode and took care of Delight. I was tempted, but I chose parenting over barn time.

So not only had I not ridden for two weeks, but I worked that day. We had 5 equine massage appointments that day in 89 degree F weather.

I was not setting myself up for success.


Working all day in the heat I made the mistake of not drinking enough water. This is a recurring problem. For all that the researchers say 16 glasses of water per day, those working outside in the heat should definitely add to that.

Overheated equestrian

How many glasses of water did I drink? Maybe 2. I basically survived the day on Coca-Cola, which is sadly an obsession. Something I definitely need to change. I’ll just have to deal with the withdrawal.

Panic Attack

Okay, so we’ve established I wasn’t in the best physical shape. I really wanted to see Delight and catch up with my friend/ trainer, Robin, so I was determined to go. I never considered bailing. That being said, I was NOT motivated.

#horsesbloggers have been discussing lack of motivation lately. How do you combat it? Share on X

Just before heading to the barn, I had a serious panic attack. I haven’t had one in years. And I’ll be clear, it wasn’t about riding. My summers are insanity. Too much to do- kids home, balancing the house, and of course social pursuits. Let’s not forget trying to run two businesses…..with the kids home from school.

I really needed “me” time doing what I love.

I applied cannibis and vetiver essential oils to my pulse points to relieve anxiety. I am a huge proponent of essential oils and use aromatherapy daily in my massage practice. 

Within a few moments, and several deep inhalations, my heart rate was back to normal and I could breathe again. But the urge to vomit took awhile to recede.


Sometimes I am not motivated to ride. Strength of will is sometimes hard to come by. I made it to the barn, three kids in tow, and proceeded to tack up Delight in a sweltering barn. Ugh. I took video. It’s hideous but real life.

I did tell Robin that I wasn’t feeling well and why, and so she kept checking in with me and gave me a lot of breaks for water and to catch my breathe.

We worked on transitions and 2 point in forward, collected trot. We then concentrated on getting Delight into a frame. My trainer asked if I wanted to do a canter, but my face was so red and I was so overheated as such that I decided to play it safe. But I kept riding.

Of course, Delight starts to anticipate the canter because he is used to doing things in a particular order. One of the reasons I love to switch things up on him every once in awhile. I don’t want him to anticipate, I want him to listen.

His trot was beautifully forward and I was able to receive impulsion from behind and really get him underneath me in a frame. Because Delight is so long, it is really hard for him to collect himself. He’s young and still learning how to position his body.

How do you help your #horses achieve relaxation and stretch? Share on X  

Afterward, we had a lovely walk where he was able to stretch his neck nice and low. He gave a few pops when turning. I think he’s due for a nice sports massage.

Cooling Off

All equestrians know that you don’t ride and then walk away. It was warm out and Delight worked hard. Despite my discomfort due to dehydration, Delight needed a bath.

Delight loves cooling down. After I rinse him off and use the sweat scraper, I use my Cooling Spray, designed to cool off our horses. It also has the incredible benefit of reducing inflammation so it’s a barn must.

After a nice bath, my thoroughbred friend gets some grazing time in the shade.

A nice surprise

While I was grazing Delight, I had the nicest gift! My husband surprised us at the barn! He’d never met Delight before, and you all know how I feel about my favorite OTTB. *SQUEE!*

I can’t say what impression Delight made with his intent grazing and mouth full of grass, but Jason came with us while I put on his fly mask and put him out in the paddock. He even held him for me while I had to grab something from the barn.

Horse husband holds horse

My husband likes horses okay, and would possibly like them more if I didn’t speak about them all the time. But, Jason is wonderfully supportive of all us girls being equestrians. He just doesn’t love the expenses. I can’t say I blame him.

I definitely had a long, exhausting day. But in the end, spending time at the barn with Delight, and then introducing him to my husband really made my day.

Cheers to drinking more water for next time.

Do you sometimes struggle with motivation? Order my book today.

Equestrian Handbook of Excuses


  • Melissa

    I ride professionally five to seven horses a day and I also struggle with anxiety. I also live in Florida and right now it is 92 degrees with about 100% humidity. Which means I have to get my horses written before noon every day. And I am not a morning person. Sometimes just getting out of bed is a struggle. I have made it a habit of listening to motivational videos every single morning. I know it may sound cheesy but it works. The brain is a funny thing. Your world within is a channel on YouTube that I really really like. It’s a great way to start your day. And by the way, you wrote a book and you have your own business and you’re raising three children. You are a badass! Remember that.

    • Heather Wallace

      Awwww, thanks Melissa! You sound like a bad ass too! Florida humidity is no joke. I think whatever it takes to overcome the anxiety and get motivated is what you need to do! I don’t watch motivational videos, but I’ll sometimes stop myself, take a few deep breathes, and envision my last amazing ride and how I felt.

  • Sophie Tunnah

    I think we’re all guilty of forgetting about our own hydration – well, I am anyway!! Sometimes, if I’m not motivated riding is the worst thing I can do – so I go off and blog, or watch training tips. I soon find my motivation again! 🙂

    • Heather Wallace

      Yes, not drinking enough water is a recurring problem for me. I really need an IV throughout the day. Summer heat makes me and exercise makes me bloat up 10 pounds throughout the day. I love to hear what you do to motivate. I’m constantly inspired to write, so sometimes have to force myself away and get out of the house.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.