It’s natural to want to do well in the equestrian world. We pay so much money to go to shows and show off our skills. Many events and biggers shows give out elaborate ribbons as long as your arm to the top 10 riders. We want the ribbons because they tell us we are doing something right.
Don’t get me wrong I love ribbons. I want all the ribbons in the world and I get bummed out if I come home from a show without one. Ribbons are nice but they aren’t everything.
I think that we get our thinking mixed up when it comes to ribbons. We focus so hard on placing and year-end banquets and qualifying that we miss how we get there. We get so focused on what place we got than how we got it. Now you may remember you rides but why is placing and ribbons so important.
What I think we really want and should want, is a top 10 quality ride instead of a top 10 ride. Have you ever had a horrible ride but still place? Quality is as important as ribbons.
We should be focused on building our skills to where we have the top quality rides. If we raise the quality of our riders, we will place better because of it. As a sport, we shouldn’t be focused on the placings and levels but on the scores. Which would you rather be: a bad rider at the upper levels or a good rider at the lower levels.
Of course, the first option will in time show its true colors. If you don’t strive for quality rides at every level you are going to hit a wall eventually. I know I get so stuck in thinking about going up through the levels that I forget that it’s not a race.