Mental Health in Equestrian Sport

Hey Everyone,

I have to say I am rather impressed that Equestrian Australia now has an Awareness and Action Program, click here to read all about it.

Mental Health is a massive issue at the moment.

Is it because we are more aware of Mental Health than we ever were?

Is it the foods and our way of life?

Is it that life is indeed more expensive and stressful?

Was it always happening and this prominent but we are just able to admit it now as stigma is reduced?

Who knows… All I know is that I am happy we are all talking about it. That’s the cure isn’t it, to talk about it.

They mention in this Article that it is about possibly your individual resilience to stress and whilst that may be so, I don’t necessarily think that people that have/get a mental illness cannot cope with stress (as is sometimes thought).

I hear that when people speak of mental health; “Ah it won’t happen to me because I’m not weak” or “I’m too strong to get a mental health issue.”

I remember when I was suffering from PTSD and my Psychologist said something to me.

I had said that there was no way I could have a Mental Health issue!  After all, everyone that knows me knows I’m as strong as an Ox and I have awesome coping skills. I ride off the trackers so how weak can I be really???

His reply is something I will never forget and I have said it to people that I have come across who I can see are suffering and I see them resonate with it.

he said “We all have a bucket, and drips get dropped into there over time. One day the bucket overflows because it is full.” It made sense to me instantly. It was okay to have this, it was okay to have a FULL BUCKET. The good news is full buckets, can have water splashed out of them and that’s what I did. Was it instant? No. Did it take time and effort? you betcha! Was it worth it? Yes 🙂

I am so happy now it is almost ridiculous. I love life, love the sun, love the animals and most of all I love me. I like who I am and what I am like. That’s the key to getting better.

Mental Health illness’s are not about being weak. They are not about having no coping skills. They simply happen; just like a cold or a virus. They are an illness. Once we learn to reduce the Stigma we can truly help each other.  Some friends say they want to help whilst they are also saying “Can’t you just get over it?” This doesn’t help your friends.

My PTSD is gone now, in the past and good riddance, but I am always aware that it happened and to anyone who is going through it just know that there is another side and when you are at the end and you can look back on it, you can see it for what it was.

I won’t say I am happy that it happened, but I also don’t wish that it didn’t. For two reasons: 1. It’s pointless as you can’t change the past; and 2. I know myself so much better now.

Another quote “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom” ~ Socrates

To anyone that needs a chat, I am always here. Xmas and Holidays can be hard.

To all of you, if you know a friend who is suffering; be kind, be thoughtful and be tolerant. Things take time.

It’s hard to hit the Publish button on this, the stigma is still there even though I am better.  But still, I may be able to help someone with this post…

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x


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