Have you ever sat back and went over in your head what kind of show year you’ve had? Were there good memories or bad ones? Did you learn from those experiences and use them to improve yourself and your horse?
I was putting some thought into this over the weekend since we are entering into a new show season. There are lots of shows where I made plenty of memories but only two stand out in my mind. One show involved a rainy and frightening morning. Another involved poor performance on my part as a rider (yep I’m not perfect, lol). Both shows taught valuable lessons and that you really have to be focused and on top of your game just in case something goes askew. Let’s now take the time to reflect on these memories:
The first show that I remember was part of the Dayton Local Circuit towards the end of the season. We had an awful rain storm the night before and the day of the show. The first thing that made this day start off bad was a circuit spark that startled a majority of the horses, including Spartan. I remember reaching up to pet him and he about jumped out of his skin.
Once I was able to get him calmed down a little bit I managed to get him tacked up and walked to the arena for some schooling. The rain that was coming down didn’t sooth his nerves at all and he was spooky all through the warm-up and a little bit of the test. I remember when I climbed on him I was so nervous and luckily he didn’t let that impact him.
The result of the show was two-second place wins! It was a great learning experience on how to handle my horse should something like this happen again. I loved learning from this show because I had never had to deal with something like this before. It taught me that not every show is perfect and there are things that can happen that are going to throw you off your game.
Keep in mind that things happen and you have to deal with them as they come.
The second show was part of the Starry Night series where things just didn’t come together for me as a rider. We had to haul in the day of instead of the night before like we usually did for the other shows. Our horses did okay at first but it wasn’t until we actually got into the arena that things fell apart.
The warm up arena was where I probably had the best part of my ride because when we got outside things were much different. For the judge’s tent, they had a trailer with a table that caused some spookiness in Spartan. The letters around the arena were up on the fence instead of on the ground, which made things very confusing.
With those couple of things being out of whack I let my performance fall apart and let my horse basically do his own thing. I lost focus. Those of you that ride dressage know that this is not a good thing to let happen. We managed to get through both of our tests and I remember being highly disappointed in myself.
This was a lesson that taught me that loosing focus and being a poor rider aren’t a good combination.
Going to shows is a lot of fun! There is definitely a lot to learn because each time you are faced with something new that might just throw you off of your game. Other times things go great and you have a lot of success.
Just keep in mind that no matter what happens you must always keep your head up and be proud of the many memories you make no matter if they are good or bad. Be the equestrian who goes out there and gives it there all!!!