If you don't read Lola's blog, take a look at my last post here. I took Lola to our first Horse Trials at Beginner Novice level. This was a HUGE step for both of us. We prepared as best we could, we schooled the cross country course prior, we have been working over fences that size all summer, and now that we've sorted out canter departs, our dressage was good enough for the test. Should have gone fine, right? Except we had an epic FAIL. Now you really do want to go back and click on that link don't you!!! Really, I understand! I while I like hearing other bloggers talk about how well they did at shows because I can learn something from it, I LOVE getting hear everyones' sob stories about terrible shows! Ok, maybe not truly terrible, I can't ever stomach hearing about riders or horses injured. But boy does it feel good to hear that there are other people out there like me, just trying to make it, and feeling just as awkward about it!
So please, if you have a bad show experience to share, leave it in the comments. I would LOVE to hear that all the bloggers who really seem to have it all together have also fallen off at shows at one point or another! Yes, that's right, after a embarrassing dressage score, and a refusal and rail in stadium, I was eliminated from cross country for a falling off at our third refusal.
I completely psychoanalyzed the ride on Lola's blog, and it was a very cathartic exercise, but there is one more aspect I need to vent. Since Lola is a sale horse, I feel personally responsible for her future. Riding poorly when I can just come back stronger next year on a horse I'm committing life-long ownership to is one thing, but riding like I did at the last show that I can afford to take her to for the season is fairly devastating to her sale promotion.
I am feeling the weight of not giving her a good enough ride, the weight of the tediously slow work it takes to get Bear back into shape after almost a year of extremely inconsistent work, and the weight of the reality that summer is gone and my evenings are fast disappearing. And then I remember that having a horse at all is a blessing! Owning TWO talented horses is a stoke of extreme fortune! And really, compared to many of the winters other bloggers face, I have an extremely mild and short season of bad weather! I may not be managing them to their best, but how dare I allow horses,such a positive area of my life, to bring me down? Well, I'm a perfectionist, and I get frustrated when I can't manage it just right.
So now that I've vented on failing my mare, I will focus my energy positively. I will trail ride more, even in the rain. If time limits us, I will take Bear for walks in hand (I'll get fit too!). I will remember horses need time to develop as much as they need good training. And I will definitely still find other bloggers out there who have bad days at horse shows every once in a while!