How to deal with comparison: winter circuits and social media
I can imagine that many of you are on social media, whether that be every platform out there or just a few, like Instagram or Facebook. I can also imagine that many of you have heard the phrase, “comparison is the thief of joy”. In the modern age where social media has become the norm and an entirely new place where we share our lives, it opens our worldview up to vastly different ways of life. The ability to find inspiration from others we see as role models or people who have our “dream life” is an incredible feature of social media. However, this also opens our eyes to how easy comparison can be through it.
Horseback riding and everything that comes with competing, in every discipline and every level, is achieved in a multitude of ways and by many different groups of people working to achieve their goals. It becomes extremely easy to start comparing your journey with what you see about others’ journeys in the riding world. Everyone has access to different resources and skillsets, so keeping consistent focus on your own horses and their experiences/performances is what makes it all worth the hardships and hard work. In the midst of Winter Circuits in warm, sunny places like Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), World Equestrian Center (WEC), and HITS in Thermal, California, where riders of all english disciplines seem to be showing twelve weeks in a row with multiple horses, basking in the sun and going out for drinks every night, it is extremely important to look at those experiences, take a step back, and do your best not to compare your situation with the ones you see on social media. You, your horse, and your program are what’s important, and showing in the big circuit shows does not determine the importance of your journey and work, although it may be a goal for you. After all, social media does not show the true ins-and-outs of people’s lives, only the parts they want to show.
Social media, with the immediate and constant access to content from these winter circuit shows, makes it quite easy to show you everything you may be missing out on. It is a dream for many people to have the time and resources to afford these wonderful, grand circuit shows in the beautiful sunny weather. Taking a step-back from social media every once and awhile is a great reminder that what you are doing for you and your horse is just as important and beneficial as showing. Comparison online makes it easy to take away the credibility that we have built for ourselves in this industry. As cheesy as it may sound, always remember that you are doing your best for your horses, riders, trainers, etc…, and that is all that matters.
Happy New Year,
The Athletux Team