Do You Suffer from RBF?

Okay so I know the traditionally agreed-upon definition of “RBF” is “resting bitch face” (which, arguably, I do have). But does anyone out there suffer from riding bitch face? I have had a strong case of it in the past.

I think it’s just how I look when I concentrate. I just look like I’m mad/upset/frustrated but I’m not, I swear! A friend once asked if I was okay while riding and then told me I looked like I was about to cry. I’m pretty sure I was just thinking very deeply about lead changes or something.

And when I’m jumping, whew. My expression is either super-intense-laser-beam-eyes or….this:

It’s super cute.

Anyway. In my lesson last week, one of the girls said she was impressed by how peaceful and calm my expression was on course. Um, sweet! I’m glad I am slowly learning to keep my facial expressions at least somewhat under control. It just makes for better photos. Not that I know that from experience or anything.

But usually it’s something like this:

I look so unhappy
Apparently just taking a little nap

And then just to prove that sometimes I can ride (mostly) pretty AND have a pleasant expression on my face:

That’s a real smile! Just wish my hands were down a bit but whatever I ❤ this picture

Anyone else suffer from making goofy faces while riding?

16 thoughts on “Do You Suffer from RBF?

  1. Mine is awwwfullll!!!!!! I actually consciously try to smile now while riding both for pictures and the “fake it till you make it” thing. I find that smiling as I enter a dressage test makes me much more likely to laugh over mistakes than grimace and overreact.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point! I always smile at the in-gate person as I go in at a show. First of all because they’re volunteering and almost no one ever is actually that nice to them, and second because smiling makes the body relax and the mind feel more positive.


  2. My trainer and always joke at me because in warm up I look like I’m gonna kill someone I concentrate so much. “Smile damn it at least look like you’re having fun” haha I am my face just doesn’t. MUST CONCENTRATE

    Liked by 1 person

  3. too funny! Why do we always look like we are having the worst time ever when usually it’s the exact opposite?! This is why I never much cared for sports photography in general- I always look horrific when I’m concentrating or working hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very funny! My RBF isn’t pretty but I also have an annoying habit of holding my breath while jumping…. not the best thing to do really. Then as we pop over the jumps, the air expels from my lungs at such a rate that it becomes a rather high pitched squeak! How embarrassing. My riding instructor is always shouting ‘Remember to breath!’ at me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve seen instructors tell students who hold their breath to sing a song while on course in a lesson! Something simple like Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, at the top of their lungs, to help them breathe, relax and not get too mentally “stuck” on what they’re doing.


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