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Run Your Own Race

Run Your Own Race

I think a lot of people struggle with this issue and that is of comparing themselves to someone else’s story. We compare how we ride, the horses we own, how much money we have, the results we get etc, and often at the end of the day, we feel like we don’t quite measure up.

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By Amanda Wilson | Friday, 3 May 2019

This can be incredibly disheartening to say the least, especially when people who were not even on the scene a few years ago are almost leaving you in the dust with their amazing results and success. It’s certainly something that I have experienced myself. Whilst I have had pretty good success with my team of horses, I haven’t really made leaps and bounds of progress (in terms of ribbon winning) in the last x5 years. Each season I always tend to have a few minor placings in Grand Prix classes now and then and a few age class wins, but since Viking, I haven’t had a horse who is super competitive and can just go into the ring and be a force to be reckoned with. Cassonova is a super cool horse who I love to pieces but he does have to try hard and if I am slightly off the mark in terms of my distance placement, or my ride in general, he will clip a rail as he is not as scopey as some of the other horses he is competing against.


I realized early on that if I rode to beat everyone else I was going to be quickly disappointed so I made a plan that I just had to beat myself. Every day I wanted to go out there and be a little better than the day before. I stopped focusing on the competitors around me and I turned my attention inward, doing everything I could to better my riding and my horsepower. I just had to do the best with what I had and to celebrate every success, no matter how small. This mindset has meant that I can have two rails in a class and not place, but be over the moon because I rode a certain line better than any I have ridden before it, or because my position was just that little bit better than yesterday.



I’ve spent so long with my head down now, trying to experiment in every class I go into, knowing that in doing so I reduce my chance of placing but I increase my chance of learning. And because of this I often look up and am shocked to find how far I have come. I feel like I am so much more confident in who I am as a rider, my position is getting better and better and my feel and ride in general, is my best yet.


I think we spend far too much time wishing we had what others have, not realizing that the journey we are on provides everything we need to excel. Maybe your road to success has a few more potholes and bends in it than others, but that doesn’t mean you are not going to get to where you are headed. It just means you might have to be a little more resourceful and creative in how you go about reaching your dreams.


My family started off with absolutely no money and very little knowledge of horses in general and over the years we have had more setbacks than you could imagine. Whilst it would have been easy to sit back and say, ‘Oh well I never got the opportunities like so and so, so that’s why I’m didn’t reach the same level of success,’ I knew that to a large degree, opportunity is something we must look for rather than already have. My greatest lessons in life have been attained through my biggest challenges and, for that I am very grateful. Adversity is a great teacher and something that is very beneficial in progressing beyond who we are today.


There are so many grand examples of people who have come from nothing who are excelling at the top of your sport. So if you feel like you are getting left behind, my advice to you is to put your head down, create a game plan and figure out a way to do the best with what you have right now. What you need, will come.  



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3 comments on article "Run Your Own Race"

Teresa Crosby

Well said Amanda you have to make your own destiny. A rail here and there would have done wonders. A million dollar horse doesn't make you get there either. Hard work will eventually get you to where you are going and the fact that you have talent to burn goes along way. Never give up on your dreams. It's just a matter of time.

Nardeen Nobilo

Thank u Amanda for sharing as I struggle with this on a daily basis. My really passion is to learn to break in horse in a way that doesn’t break their spirits and they became your friend. And I kept using thing in life kept getting in the way. But today I feel I had a break though and have at last started with the girls and will work with them everyday for 6 weeks improving myself and what I do with them I will make mistakes but will try and get better everyday. That i’ll Try and get better at me.

Ava Saulbrey

This is such an inspirational article, thank you soo much for writing it, and I can't wait for your book to come out.

Thank You !!

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