Our final regular season show is now behind us and there is only the Region 1 Colonel Bengt Ljungquist Memorial Championship Show left on the calendar. It is hard to believe that our third year of showing is almost complete. Where did the time go? As I reflect on our show last weekend as well as the season as a whole, I realize that I have much to be thankful for, more than just the satin ribbons that hang on the wall of my home office.
At my show in August, I had my mental breakdown. Cried like a baby with my frustration about our performance. There, I said it. Now everyone knows. The frustration came from the numerous mistakes during my First 3 ride – cantering like an out-of-control freight train, falling out of canter on the canter loop, our inability to ride a centerline. and having the judge tell me to learn my leads (how pleasant of her). Just wanted to crawl into a hole albeit a big one so that Ike could get in there with me.
During the weeks between that show and our September show, I have cried a few more times, but not because of my riding. I cried when I heard the news that one of my dear blogger friends lost her sweet mare Sugar. It was completely sudden and unexpected. I never had the opportunity to meet Sugs, but I felt the loss as if she was my own horse. I am now crying again with the news that a dear coworker, who only just retired last year, is now in hospice care. How unfair life can be.
These recent events have placed some perspective on how I am going to look at my show performance. We sometimes place too much importance on the attainment of a ribbon and a placing. I am as guilty as the next person of this. But, dressage provides us a way to rate our performance that has nothing to do with a ribbon. Whether or not you place, you get to take home your dressage test; the test tells you how the judge rated each and every movement of the test with comments for all the lower scores. Some judges will even give you comments with the higher scores. You need only read the comments to know what you need to raise your score. How lucky that we have written comments?! You can compete against yourself from show to show.
That being said, I went to the show last weekend with my personal goals – to maintain my Training 2 and First 2 performance, obtain higher than 65% at Training 3, and to get higher than 60% at First 3. If we placed, wonderful. If we did not, that was okay as well. I am happy to say that we obtained each and every one of our goals! Could not have been prouder with Ike’s performance at the show. If you would like to see some action shots, check out our pictures at Pics of You –
I can head to the CBLMs and know that we are more than capable of riding Training 2 and First 2 in our championship classes. No matter how we finish, I know that we will have put forth our best effort.
I am so thankful and grateful that I am able to own a horse and that I have the means that allow me to compete. I am lucky that we are both healthy are physically capable to do the sport I love. Life is too short and our time with our horses and loved ones is a gift. Remember to enjoy each and every ride.