Success is defined by the goals you set. And the goal can be as simple as showing up. If it doesn't feel like you are in the right place at the time, then you are not. And there is zero shame in deciding once you are there that the goal of riding four tests is changing to a goal of a few handwalks around the arena during warm up periods. Don't bow to the pressure of external expectations or even your own expectations which you established months ago. Listen to Carmen, focus on what she needs. Listen to your heart not your head about what you need in the moment. A dressage test is a moment in time with no real meaning. A relationship is for the long haul, and if you keep your focus on what you need for the relationship to flourish you will be a champion every time. End of pep talk. ~ Karen who has inadvertently taken on the role as my life coach. Surprise Karen!First of all- THANK YOU everyone for the support and the much needed kick in the pants. I received some excellent advice both here and on FB. Putting it out there helped get it out of my head and into the light which also helped a lot.
After typing that I went and got Carmen ready for our ride. I just focussed on staying with her- trying to support without tension. FYI, that is really hard. Just in case you were wondering. I realize that when she tenses she needs me to wrap my legs around her (not clamp them) and keep her under me. Relaxing to the point of no contact does not help and neither does tension.
I actually did a really good job of not buying into her drama and tension. I used it to visualize those same areas in the show ring and then rode her through. Tense going into the corner? I looked at A and focussed on getting her bent and through- NOT at the spooky nothing and saying 'oh yes you WILL go there'. The small spooks I ignored and carried on and that seemed to end it.
So I got ready feeling much more positive.
Then this morning I had a call from the vet about Guinness. You see he has been lame for the past little while. At first the vet thought it was a broken bone in his elbow (very complicated name for a teeny little bone) but the x-rays didn't show that. Then he thought that there was arthritis and possible elbow dysplasia. I was feeling so sick and worried about him. But the thing I love about my vet is that he doesn't try to be the expert on everything. So he sent the x-rays off to an orthopaedic radiologist who diagnosed Panosteitis- an inflammation in the bone that happens during growth (essentially 'growing pains'). It's benign and will be outgrown. I was so relieved. And suddenly excited for the show.
So we're off to do the thing.
Whatever that thing will be.
I will let you know.