Last night, I was scrolling through youtube, and I came across Mayim Bialik’s video, “I Have Regrets.” She starts the video by talking about how she used to be one of those people that always said things like, ” I live my life with no regrets,” but the truth is, we all have things in our lives that we regret. It is a mindfulness of these regrets that keeps us from continuing to make poor decisions, so I decided to list out some horsey regrets.


I regret losing my temper

We spend a lot of time reciting quotes like, “The only two emotions that belong in the saddle are, a sense of humor, and the other is patience.” However, I will admit that there have been times where I have felt my blood boil, my jaw set, and my temper rise. I have since learned that there is always another day and that a trail ride on a bad day is far better than a dressage ride.

I regret keeping the wrong horse for so long.

I don’t talk about it often about the horse I had before May. He was a good horse in so, so many ways, but he was an awful partner for me. Rides ended in tears more than they ended in smiles, and I dreaded going to the barn. Since finding him a much better home, I vow to ride horses that make me happy, at least more often then they leave me in tears. Life is too short to ride the wrong horse.


I regret riding at barns with sub-par care.

This one is more of ignorance than it was active action, but I am still at fault for my ignorance. I will no longer board at a barn where turnout fields lack water troughs, where 6 days of care a week is considered “enough”, and where the barn skips feedings simply because no one felt like coming out that day. I may never board my horse at a “fancy” barn, but I now have some serious non-negotiables for my horse’s care.

I regret sticking with trainers who didn’t make me better.

I have been riding for 22 years now, and I have never, consistently ridden at 3′. Maybe a jump here and there, a couple of courses with May in 2016, but never consistently. In fact, the highest I have ever competed, despite spending more than 15 years trying to be a hunter/jumper rider, is BN. Now, I actively work to find and ride with trainers that have students riding at or above my goal level. In this case, Novice… eventually.


I regret caring about what the rail-birds think.

I remember showing an old trainer’s VERY fancy, imported Irish horse in a 2′ equitation class when I was about 13. Let me take that back. I remember that day, but I don’t remember the actual jumping rounds. Why? Because I have a lovely habit of holding my breath through the entirety of my rounds, to the point of almost passing out. In fact, my mind has found jumping in an arena so overwhelming that it simply blocks out the memories. The worst part is: I am not afraid of falling off and getting hurt; I am just afraid of what others will think of my mistakes. From now on, I vow to ride to enjoy my horse. Go in the ring and just kick around for the sheer joy of doing it.



None of a us are perfect, but I like to think that we are all trying to be better everyday. My goal is to one day be the kind of rider that leaves every ride free of regrets. What about you? Any horsey-regret that you have vowed to not repeat.

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  1. Avery

    Thank you for sharing your list. That is not an easy thing to do. <3 We all do have that list of things. BUT. They all make us better if we want them to. I choose not to think of them as regrets because without that exact moment, we would not have gotten better and have been able to see how far we have come. Sure, it would be nice to not need those moments to get to the other side, but that is not how life works. Just like how you have to go through the bad times to truly know and feel the good, otherwise they are just…well, times I guess.

    1. Emily

      so true! I think as long as you take ownership of the bad and use it to improve the good, then you’re on the right path!

      1. Avery

        Yes! I try to think of ‘failure’ the same way.

  2. emma

    i love every bit of this!! and so much of it kinda falls into the category of “sticking around too long when ya kinda know things aren’t quite right.” that’s maybe the biggest stickiest trap that’s so so so easy to fall into without even realizing it. whether it’s the wrong horse or the wrong trainer or the wrong barn (or in the rest of life, the wrong job or the wrong boyfriend or whatever), we kinda end up in these situations where we’ve already invested so much that maybe we think we just need to keep slogging through. but…. i think you’re 100% right. it doesn’t have to be like that, and maybe we’d all do ourselves a huge favor by just, ya know, taking steps and making choices every day to make things better. bc it turns out if we stay focused on us, the rail birds kinda just get bored and fly away anyway 😉

    mostly tho it’s just such a great attitude. May seems like such a cool horse and like you guys have a lot of exciting things ahead of you!

    1. Emily

      Totally right! How does that saying go, “just because you spent a lot of time making a mistake, doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it?” I think that plays into horses a lot. We’re told not to “quit” but sometimes “quitting” is the best decision.

  3. I completely agree with your point about staying with trainers who don’t make you better. I am in a similar position – I have never consistently jumped higher than 3′ (which, okay, height doesn’t mean everything but in this case it means something). I’m so happy that I’ve now found a trainer who is making me soooo much better.
    I love your point about living without regret; it’s not so much that we’ll never make mistakes, but rather that we should be actively analyzing our lives to make sure we and our horses are in the best possible situation.

    1. Emily

      Yup. I mean, you’re right, height isn’t everything, and obviously, at some point, the horse does become the limiting factor. But trust me, my riding isn’t at that point yet! hahaha

  4. the_everything_pony

    The feels. Love this!! <3 I agree that we all have regrets when it comes to horses, and interestingly enough, my mom has the same thought as you – her previous horse Chula was headstrong, and her rides would often be frustrating and all the things you mention. I told her though that if she hadn't had Chula for so long, hadn't finally decided to get a horse that was fun and easy to ride she would've never found Whisper. Whisper wouldn't have even been born yet if my mom had decided to look then. While I completely empathize that she regrets having one that wasn't quite right for her for so long, I think it led her to Whisper! I know I certainly have the temper regret and the trainer regrets too. But, as much as we have those regrets, they helped us to change our views and be for the better! Thanks for the post!

    1. Emily

      I have to agree with you there! If I hadn’t held onto my old horse for so long, I would never have gotten May. <3

  5. Shauna

    What a great post. This should go viral on social media. So many great points, that many of us have learned the hard way at one point or another.

    1. Emily

      Thank you! Being a rider is filled with hidden moments of defeat and victory. We’re never perfect, but at least we’re trying!

  6. roamingridersite

    Love this post!! Would you mind if I stole it and wrote a post of my own like this? So many things to write about!

    1. Emily

      Of course! I’d love to read your thoughts! ?

  7. KateRose

    I love this! I have many regrets also (very similar to yours). At least by acknowledging them we learn from them 🙂 Great post!

    1. Emily

      Exactly! The only thing we can do about yesterday is being better today!

  8. aHorseForElinor

    I waited until I was almost 40 years old owning a horse.

    1. Emily

      I bought one right out of college, and according to my family, committed “Financial Suicide” 🙂 It’s been worth it.

  9. Tracy

    I honestly don’t have that many regrets — the only one I have is leaving my first horse in a bad situation when I went away to school. Live and learn, and now I know that the only person I can count on for long-term care of my horse is me.

    1. Emily

      Not a fun lesson to learn… but definitely a valuable one. If you ever start to regret that adorable chestnut pony you’re riding, I’ll be happy to take him off your hands 😉

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