Thursday 20 July 2017

Pushing Through

This has been a crazy couple weeks for me. Work is a key thing that's been challenging lately. Outside of work, many good things have happened, but in such a way that I've been super busy and my stress level has been above what's manageable for me. Something's got to give at some point but I'm hoping I can keep pushing through until Sunday because I have a show this weekend!

Just last month I was feeling really positive about where Kachina and I were at and I had high hopes for this show. Unfortunately, things have gone downhill since then. I've had fewer rides in the last two weeks due to work, life, and heat. Two of the rides I did have were in a clinic that did more harm than good (recaps coming). The separate but biggest problem is that for unexplained reasons, Kachina's ability to canter on the left lead has mysteriously disappeared (that will probably become a post as well). My goals for the show have been substantially downgraded.

This is a show that went poorly for us both of the last two years and I am bummed that it's looking like a repeat again this year. Believe it or not, I've actually rewritten this post already to try and be less whiny, but I'm having trouble getting myself out of this negative headspace.

I'm going to try and focus on the good though. I'm still going to go to the show, try and have fun, and use it as a learning experience. Two years ago we struggled with focus and tension in a new environment. Last year we struggled with tack issues. We might have new struggles this year but I can hold my head up high that at least they won't be the same issues. We do always learn from what goes wrong and that's super valuable. I'm actually really confident these days about riding in new places and I finally know my tack setup is solid.

I'm also grateful for Kachina. She's sound and healthy, which I appreciate all the more because I have some friends struggling with horses who aren't. As well, I recognize that none of our current struggles are Kachina's fault. She's trying for me every ride, and while we don't have everything figured out, I feel like they are struggles we have together as a team, not against each other.

Importantly, while it might not be a great weekend for me individually, this show is shaping up to be a massive success for local dressage. There were a record number of entries for the dressage. So many in fact that I've been working with the show committee over the last couple of weeks to help them arrange for a second ring and a second judge! (That was one of those good but stressful things, and included me driving for 5 hours after work on Tuesday to pick up a second fence). We seem to have hit a point where everything dressage related is growing and feeding off each other, and it has the potential to benefit everyone in the future. I need to keep my eye on this big picture, because for better or worse I am an ambassador of this sport in the area and I need to be a positive representative even if my own rides don't go according to plan.

Finally, no matter what, a weekend of uninterrupted pony time should be celebrated! With that note, it's time to show!


  1. Sorry to hear about your struggles 😔 but sounds like you have a good attitude going in about not having the same struggles as previous years.

    And that's SO awesome about the growth of your local dressage scene! I would love to have enough entries to merit a second ring and judge at our GMO shows!

    1. Thanks. Everyone was pleasantly shocked about the number of entries!

  2. It doesn't sound whiny at all. It's tough when you are preparing and want to do better but it seems that it won't happen. I don't know what your lead struggles are but I have found it better to avoid the canter for a bit and focus on being really accurate and balanced in the walk and trot and that will sort itself out.

    It's great to see the sport growing in your area and you should be proud of you part of it.

    1. Writing this post really helped me to get in a better frame of mind going into the show. And you are correct about the canter working itself out!

  3. I'm sorry you don't feel more optimistic about your upcoming test rides but I totally get it. Sometimes we just gotta ride what the horse has to offer and leave it at that. Still, I'm hopeful that kachina will surprise you for the better!