Why A Type A Personality And Riding Don’t Always Mix

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Wow!  Huge steps forward this week in my dream to become an accomplished equestrian.


But first, thank you to everyone for all of your support last week.  Last week was a tough week. What a difference a week can make.

On to the steps forward:

1.  I didn’t quit riding.   After finding out that nothing is wrong with Nikki (at least not physically), my first reaction was to quit riding.  Cancel my lesson which was scheduled for Friday, declare all my horses retired, sell my boots, helmet, show coat, breeches and everything else and call it done.  For some reason, I didn’t do that.

2.  I did go to my lesson last Friday.  I told Heather, my trainer, how embarrassed I had been at the fancy vet clinic.  Told her how awful I felt.  Told her how I felt like Nikki’s condition was all my fault.  Told her how my first plan was to quit.  She assured me all of that was ridiculous.  For some reason, I decided to believe her.

3.  I had a good lesson.  I jumped again!  At the canter!  For some reason, I was able to turn the volume down on the panic and I can’t do this tape in my head.

4.  Heather and I came up with a temporary plan for Nikki.  For some reason, I agreed that I would get on him.

5.  I did get on Nikki.  Actually, I’ve ridden him 3 days in a row.  He only got today off because its pouring rain.  I don’t remember the last time I drug myself out to my barn, let alone wanted to, ride a horse 3 days in a row.  For some reason, I didn’t panic while on Nikki.  He did his same stupid stuff and it didn’t bother me.

OK well, it bothered me a little but I didn’t freak-out, give up and get off.

Why doesn’t a Type A personality and riding always mix?

In my lesson last Friday, I jumped little fences, maybe 18 inches at the most.  It was the second time I have jumped in years and years.

After my lesson, Heather said to me, “Here’s my speech for you.  You and your Type A personality are what makes you a wonderful attorney.  But, I only want happy mantras to go through your head until your next lesson.  I don’t want any of  Oh my gosh, I’m so awful.  Today I only jumped stupid little 18 inch jumps and I was scared about that in the beginning.  How stupid am I?  I used to jump 3’6″ and higher and now I get freaked out over stupid little 18 inch jumps.  Stupid.  I shouldn’t ride.'”

How did she know my head was going to go that way?!

How did she know I’m always looking at, thinking about, what I used to do or what I think I should be doing and then getting upset when I don’t think I’m measuring up.

Heather went on, “What you are going to focus on until your next lesson is that you jumped after not jumping in many, many years and that you did well.” I laughed and said OK.

I’m a Type A personality?

I’ve heard the expression but I’d honestly have to Google it to find out exactly what that means.  Is that why I get frustrated with my lack of progress and give up?

Hmmm . . .

Believe me though, I’m not looking for excuses.  I don’t want to blame my lack of dedication or perseverence on something.  That’s all my fault.  Oh, wait, I’m right back to that blaming thing.

Argghhhh . . .

Well, major progress this week and that’s enough said.

How was yours?

‘Til next week,


(Danelle left 8 Women Dream in March of 2010 and is still working  on her dream is to become an accomplished equestrian)

  • BRAVO Danelle! So proud of you for “riding it out” :) after a tough week… And I love this from Heather:

    Heather went on, “What you are going to focus on until your next lesson is that you jumped after not jumping in many, many years and that you did well.” I laughed and said OK.

    Really, so true! Continue to focus on the positive and we’ll cheer you on.


  • Veronica

    That my friend was the best post you have ever written. It had me holding my breath from the moment I began to read, you held my attention. Great job on the post.

    Now for your relationship with Nikki and your riding, I am so proud of you, I almost want to cry and smile at the same time.


  • Rachel

    That’s wonderful news, Danelle. Keep it up :)

    You’ll find a lot of understanding about perfectionism here, that’s for sure. A perfectionist’s biggest weakness it that we tend to give up too easily (whenever we can’t easily meet these lofty goals we set for ourselves.) I’m so proud of you for not doing that to yourself.

    Re-learning an old skill is a daunting thing to do. I truly is difficult to remember what you used to be able to do when you’re not there (again) yet. It so great that you are sticking it out through that, and learning first hand how much the right attitude can help. You already know that, of course, but living it is another matter, and once you’ve had some real success with it (as you’re having this week!) it becomes easier to find that attitude again.

  • Remy, the photographer

    Danelle – first and foremost…I have to really acknowledge the fact that you didn’t quit. You had stacked so many things against your success, I thought for sure, one small tiny new let down would have toppled everything over. But you didn’t quit. And whether US 7+the world of blog readers had anything to do with that, it starts with you being willing to just push thru and make it happen. Far out!

    I like your trainer Heather already! What I’ve seen in my son when he plays sports is alot of what you talk about…he can make a great play but 2 minutes later is upset about what he didn’t do, how he could have done it better etc. Alot of what has been in his way has been what goes on in his head, not his body. His body is fine. No broken bones, and only ONE concussion to date.

    SO keep the good talk going. Every time you feel the negative talk creeping in, smile and just realize that you are changing the way you think – and that takes time…

    Unfortunately in college we did alot of different kinds of personality testing/typing and I know the difference between Type A and and Type B. Some friends tried to create a different category for me…they said I was the worst kind…They said I’m a Type A, but I THINK and BELIEVE I’m a Type B. Sometimes that proves to be disastrous.

    The great thing is that you are moving in a new direction, and that is fantastic Danelle. I’d love to come out there and take some photos of you riding when the weather is a bit nicer –


    Love Rem

    oh, and Cath. Mellowed? Really? Ok, I’ll believe you…. :)

  • Catherine

    Congratulations on staying in the game!

    Type A? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


    I think I see all your fellow dreamers nodding.

    Takes a Type A to recognize a Type A, although I have mellowed quite a bit over the years.

    I think.

    Somehow I feel the other dreamers laughing at me now.