dancing horses

dancing horses

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Ready or Not

photo art by Emma

So I have signed up for a Bronze show this weekend (side note, in Canada rated competitions are bronze, silver or gold).

Honestly, I have been having some anxiety about this.

Not about performance.

I have no illusions that we will be able to pull anything over a 55. But that's not my goal.

My overarching goal is 'to bore the judge'. 

I want Carmen to be relaxed mentally and physically in our tests. I do not want the comment 'tight over the back'. 
so tight over the toppline
I do not care if I get comments that relate to needing more energy or forward. Literally.

I know that we have the tools to do it. But when you have a horse that has had some serious melt downs in the show ring, it leaves some baggage. 

not a good day
I worry about her stomach, I worry about me being too tight and pressuring her. 

I also know that it's time to ask some more of her and help her to cope. So I've been throwing a lot a of stomach supplements at her (well, not a lot really but for me it seems a lot). 

I had a lesson yesterday and it was raining. Carmen is not a fan of the rain. Well, being ridden in the rain- she eats in it just fine. 

I get it, the rain makes all kinds of noises. And until now it really wasn't top of my priorities. 

the opposite of flow

I made sure that we did our groundwork first and then a slow warm up. She was not impressed about the side with all the vegetation but was perfectly fine standing there on a loose rein. So I decided that we could go and I was not going to be bullied (Johanna did point out that I've been letting her get away with some rude things under saddle). 

spook and recovery

It was a good lesson and required me to be on top of myself and not find myself get bogged down into arguments.  Not gonna lie- that is hard. Apparently it's my life lesson right now. 

a bit tense but at least I'm not stiffening and straightening my leg.....

Carmen's brain was a bit like a ping pong ball. With me, gone, with me, gone...... It was a good time to practice my zen-ness. 

We had some wonderful canter work and then we were finishing with a stretchy trot circle. Missy took total advantage of the longer rein and did a spook-spin that unseated me. I almost saved it but she moved again and I bailed, landing on my ass but not in a hard way. More like a really clumsy dismount. 

I stood up and marched her butt right back to the mounting block and got back on. We then spent 15 minutes on the notion that she can bend and I can insist. Shanea pointed out that she flings her shoulders which unbalances me and then she has freedom to make bad life choices. So I had to make sure that I was with her and not let that happen. Being able to focus on that and not the reins helped a lot. 

Finally she got it in her head that she could walk and trot an honest-to-god circle and not fling herself around. And, in case you are thinking that something had her really worried, she was totally able to stand there with her head down and relaxed in the spot that she was unable to walk by. 

While it was a good lesson with some really nice moments, I did wonder if I should scratch the whole show. 

As I was cleaning tack and listening to music a song came on that put it all into perspective: Special by Shinedown: 
Hurry up before you go and get old
Hurry up before your blood runs cold
None of us were ever meant to stay
We're all gonna find out one day
You see life's too short to run it like a race
So it's never gonna matter if you win first place
'Cause we're all the same
Stop waitin' on your fifteen minutes of fame
'Cause you're not special
I'm not tryin' to rain on your parade
But you're not special
I'm not tryin' to bring to you down
I'm not tryin' to sound so inaffectual
But you're not special

Which is true. What does it matter- we will win or learn. I remembered that my goals this year are all about process, not outcomes.

So I'm going. We're going to do our best to be relaxed and calm. If I scratch or am disqualified, whatever.

I may also drink before too.....because that's a great show strategy, right?


  1. Leah doesn’t like to work in rain either. She tries to shield her eyes from it. Given a choice, she’d rather not eat, or stand in it, either. But she was a pampered baby before I got her at 2 years old. Good luck at your show. I think you’ll do great!

    1. Carmen agrees with Leah. It wasn’t raining hard but apparently hard enough.

  2. Good luck! I think you'll do great <3

  3. It can be hard when you have show ring PTSD, but I think your zen-like approach this year is going to pay off. It may not be the show you anticipated, but it also may be more than what you could ever dream of. I wish you the best of luck, and know you and Carmen will do great :)

    1. I will work very hard at channeling the zen.

  4. You have worked a lot on your own relaxation so I am sure you will do well.

  5. You are going to wow those judges. Positive thinking goes a long, long way. Have fun and enjoy the experience

    1. I’m serious about wani g to bore him. I’d like to halt at X and say ‘wake up!’

  6. drinking before, during, and after is 100% my #winning show strategy LOL. also that Carmen Dragon picture will never get old <3

    for real tho, you guys totally got this! in a way maybe it was a blessing to have a slight reversion in the lesson ahead of the show. you two have come so far in your partnership, but maybe this less-relaxed ride will be a good reminder to stay present and not be complacent (not that you were anyway, but you know what i mean). sometimes i like a bit of a reality check ahead of a big event -- hopefully it means you'll be prepared for anything when you enter at A!! good luck!!

    1. I like your plan! And I agree that it’s a good thing to have this happen now.

  7. You've got this! You're going to do great at the show. Think positive and don't defeat yourself before you get there with negative thoughts. Better yet, don't think at all just go and do the best you can, no thinking involved, just feel and go with the flow. Whatever she throws at you, you've seen it before and dealt with it. Don't worry about anything and it will all work out. Good luck.

  8. You're going to be just fine! Look how reasonable she's been for all of your outings so far this year. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. But you have the right idea, it's a learning experience and nothing more. Remember to have fun!

  9. Take a nice big deep breath it's all going to be ok!


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