Are you heading towards the “X” in your equestrian business or riding? Learn how to avoid common “horror movie moments” in my latest blog post!

In a recent coaching session with Amanda Orlando of Amanda Orlando Sport Horses in Wellington, Florida, we stumbled upon a powerful analogy that perfectly captures a common struggle in both equestrian business and riding. Amanda, like many entrepreneurs and riders, found herself caught in a cycle of repeating actions that weren’t producing the desired results, leaving her tired and stressed. As we discussed her plans to make significant changes, she likened her situation to something we’ve all seen in horror movies.

The Horror Movie Analogy:

Picture this: You’re watching a horror film, and there’s that moment when a character decides to investigate a strange noise by venturing into the dark woods, descending into a creepy cellar, or opening that ominous attic door. As a viewer, you’re internally screaming, “Don’t do it!” You know it won’t end well, yet the character proceeds anyway.

This scenario, Amanda realized, mirrors the way many of us approach our businesses, riding, and lives. We repeatedly make choices we know aren’t in our best interest, yet we can’t seem to break free from these patterns.

Breaking the cycle in equestrian business and riding:

Amanda’s situation is far from unique. In business, she possesses extraordinary skills in working with young and problematic horses, yet felt compelled to follow the traditional path of other trainers. For riders, this might manifest as continuously entering shows you’re not ready for, or pushing yourself into a higher division because “that’s what everyone else is doing.”
The challenge lies in resisting the urge to “open that door” to familiar but unfulfilling practices. Instead, we need to find the courage to chart our own course, even if it means deviating from industry norms or peer pressure.

Applying this to your equestrian life:

  • Identify Your “Horror Movie Moments”: What actions are you repeatedly taking in your business or riding that you know aren’t serving you well?
  • Challenge Industry Norms: Just because “everyone else is doing it” doesn’t mean it’s the right path for you. Embrace your unique strengths and build a business model or training plan around them.
  • Embrace Your Pace: Don’t feel pressured to enter competitions or take on challenges before you’re ready. It’s okay to progress at your own speed, whether in business growth or riding skills.
  • Seek New Doors: Instead of repeatedly opening the same unfulfilling door, look for new opportunities that align with your passions and strengths. This could mean exploring a new business model or trying a different riding discipline.
  • Be the Plot Twist: In horror movies, we root for the character who outsmarts the villain. In equestrian life, be that character who defies expectations and creates a unique success story.

In conclusion:

The next time you find yourself about to make a decision out of habit or perceived obligation, pause and ask yourself: “Am I about to walk into the woods in a horror movie?” If the answer is yes, it’s time to rewrite your script. Remember, you’re the protagonist in your equestrian story. You have the power to change the narrative, avoid the predictable pitfalls, and create a thrilling success story that’s uniquely yours.


This week, identify one “horror movie moment” in your equestrian life – a habit or practice that you know isn’t serving you well. Then, brainstorm alternative approaches that align more closely with your strengths and vision. Share your insights in the comments below, and let’s support each other in breaking free from these self-defeating patterns.

Remember, the most successful equestrians, whether in business or in the saddle, aren’t always the ones that follow the well-trodden path. They’re the ones that dare to be different, embracing their unique strengths and creating new opportunities. So, step away from that creepy cellar door and start blazing your own trail to equestrian success!