We all experience having ‘one of those days’, or a bad day every now and then.

Sometimes things simply don’t work out, or go according to plan, which may, or may not be, rider/horse related. Things might be happening in our personal, and/or professional, lives.

We may have had some unfortunate or bad news, have something, or someone, on our mind or a bad day at work or school. The person we’re supporting may be having a bad day.

Something may have triggered a flare up, or exacerbated an ongoing medical condition or a disability.

Or it’s that pole that cost a championship; critical lost marks from an unbalanced flying change; a fall out hacking; the horsebox breaks down; an owner shares some startling news; a horse comes off the lorry lame for a vital competition; a sale falls through; the bridle breaks out hunting.

Running an equestrian, or any business can be tough at times too.

Or we might simply be tired.

How we manage such things will be individual to us. As a standalone incident they may or may not be an issue, although emotive nevertheless.

Cumulative events take their toll too, and sometimes the smallest thing can trigger an edgy response.

We are human after all. Many things can affect us, and our fellow riders too.

Knowing this, and that we’re all subject to stress, pressure and ‘a bad day’, makes for better understanding and tolerance of, say, an occasional abrupt or clipped response, a strong correction, a sharp tone of voice.

Sometimes I think until staff really get to know the rider they’re working for, they can take things very personally, but communication under all circumstances is an essential part of being a boss, including when things go wrong. 

Matthew Wright, from his Equestrian Employers Association blog: ‘Everyone has to start somewhere‘.

This sentiment of knowing yourself and those around you – our ‘personal clues and cues’ and that sometimes things get to us, helps our understanding.

That can prevent misinterpretation or perhaps even feeling bullied.

This applies to many situations, inside and outside equestrianism. However, if ‘bad days’ continue, having a ‘courageous conversation’  might be a good idea.

So remembering “It’s good to talk”, regardless how difficult you believe that might be, is much better for well-being than suffering in silence

A simple ‘I’m having a bad day’ is often enough, can avoid misunderstandings, and even evoke empathy, compassion and some additional support.

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