So what are your worst fears while riding at a show? Everyone is different so please share!!! But in the meantime, here are mine….
A busy, crazy warm-up and a hot, excitable horse.
Thankfully, I haven’t had this in a while, but it makes you feel like you can’t even get started! Not so bad to deal with if you have a warm-up ring that is not busy or crazy. But since, I am not a person who lunges very often. I usually do not even think to go to this option. Because by the time you realize that you have a excited horse in the crazy warm-up ring, time is of the essence. No time to go back, get lunge equip, lunge without getting hurt or dirty and re-mount and ride for a bit before your test.
Getting rung out for lameness or un-level – and definitely not for the new blood rule stuff.
Never happened to me, but I have seen it and I can feel the devastation! I mean it isn’t like you came to the show with a lame horse, nor would you want to ride it if it was lame. And no one wants to draw blood on your horse. I bet this one sucks for the judges too.
Poor ring conditions
Not really a fear so much as an annoyance. Kind of like today with the layer of water on the top and feeling like an eventer riding around the test splish splash. Thankfully – Steddy, had no problem with the splashing – however was NOT going to do any medium trot or canter, his gaits just got boingy-er not longer. Besides it is a level playing field – everyone had to ride in the same watery mess. I surmised that Steddy will not be a bold eventing and gallop thru water – more like Tigger, boing, boing, boing.
Oh and this has happened so many times, I am not sure it is a fear either or just something I HATE. Maybe it is both. But, if you put yourself out there, you take the risk of things working out OR of things not working out the way you intended. Besides, this isn’t rocket science or world peace. If you get embarrassed by a bad test or show or whatever, you still get to go home and have dinner (with lots of wine or candy in my case). You still have your friends and family (and horse) who really don’t care what you did at the show. And by the time you get to the week after the show, it is old news and every one else forgets how anyone else did – you only remember what you did.
Again, been there done that and HATE it every time. I spent my life in last place with my first horse Speedy. I feel like I have paid my dues in last place – however, when you are in classes of top riders/horses it happens. And the odds are better being last when there are only 2 or 3 or 4 of you! But I would rather blend into the middle of the pack (and obscurity) than be last. Because who do you look at when you look at the results? Who won, where your friends are and who was last. But your horse doesn’t care if you were first or last – he just wants his cookie, a roll in the dirt and dinner on time. Though, I did used to wish Speedy cared at least a little bit and not embarrass me so much.
So today, I am writing this after coming home from the first day of the first big show of the year, and I am bummed to have been last today. It was going so well until Vinny got a little (A LOT) scared of something and it messed up a whole bunch of movements to create a string of 4’s with the odd 3 thrown in for variety.
With comments like switching leads behind, bolted, disobedient, tense. REALLY? Yup, it was that bad and after every movement I kept saying “let it go, ride the next movement.” I am not sure how much of the canter work was actually on the right lead and a lot of it was sideways. Just brings back those memories of Speedy and the good ole days of being last and eating humble pie for dinner. AND, what used to get me through the ole days were saying to myself “if I didn’t get a 4 for that movement or that movement, the test would not have been last.” AND tomorrow’s another day, this ain’t rocket science or world peace and tomorrow will be another day Vinny begs for cookies ( and gets them for being cute).