On paper (well, in ribbons) this show looked pretty darn good- and to be honest, my complains and frustration comes from a place of progress not fear. So that IS a good thing.
Let’s break it down: I placed 2nd in the equitation over fences, two thirds in the hunter o/f classes and a fourth in the flat.Not too shabby eh? Well, I made some BIG mistakes in the jump classes, to the tune of not enough leg at all, and a big add in the the line with some chips, and then a lovely round in my second class to a huge fail at the…last fence…shit! We basically stopped, and climbed over it. Nothing but a total failure to ride the last fence on my part, which was very disappointing.
I lit a fire under my butt for the last jump class- I told myself NO MORE CHIPPING and NO MORE ADDING and oh, no more forgetting to ride the last fence and start congratulating myself too early, ha.
And you know what? It was our best round! I was moving.
Except then I didn’t know how to take that ‘BIG’ energy down enough for our flat class and I totallllllly bombed it. Oats was tense and anxious, and I was handsy and clutching, feeling afraid that he was bottled up and bucky, but not really knowing how, at the moment, to deal with it. Shoooot…
So, I kind of flopped, pulled, got anxious and failed my way through the flat class- we picked up the wrong lead on the right (TWICE! kill me now…) and generally I was kind of frustrated and miserable. Our last flat class was a dream so what in hell was going on?
Well heck, it’s all a learning experience! It is actually nice to take what I’ve consciously learned from the first show, and apply it to the second show.
We didn’t get a fabulous warmup- the outside ring was frozen solid- and so was I, by the way! So we had to just slowly walk around, freezing our asses off, until we could get into the indoor to warm up over fences. The scene there was total chaos, some riders seemed to have a warm up technique of repeatedly falling off…I felt disjointed and a bit disorganized, but Oats was a dream to warm up. The only thing I was annoyed about was his throwing his head around, but that’s just a warm up thing, I’m sure.
We then sat…and sat…and sat…freezing our butts off, while we waited for the final rotation to go- and we were last in the final rotation. Lovely.
I think the issues were clear- not enough energy for our over fences classes until the last one, when I finally mustered up enough ‘go’ for the course, and then WAY too much ‘go’ for my flat.
The sitting really killed our impulsion for sure, and then when I needed to be ‘sitting’…well, we were already in the ring for the flat class and didn’t have that necessary ‘decompression’ time Oats and I apparently need to not kill anyone in a flat class. I couldn’t moderate myself enough. It was 0-60 all the time.
I had a dream that night that I was galloping Oats and I felt a bit out of control, but that I also liked it…It was strange. I felt like that dream was telling me that was what I needed at the show, but was blocked from achieving it.
So, last night I did my equine counseling session with Vicki, and kind of actually ended up re-enacting some gallops from my dreams? Weird eh? I guess that was what I needed to get…that big gallop, the good canter, and the ‘free, floaty, smooth’ trot that I could NOT get at the show.
It had to come up somewhere. So it did. I liked it!
I like seeing the progression, and I’m liking the process. So what if I am frustrated–at least it’s taking me places to see new things about myself and my horse.
It’s funny- when I said I was half pleased, half disappointed about the show, Vicki asked what would make me 100% happy about the show. What if I came home with all first places?
I instantly knew I what I would say–that the competition was weak, so I was the best out of the worst.
That surprised me. I need to be happy with what I am achieving right now.