Things I’ve Learned This Show Season
This show season has been a whirlwind ride and I’ve learned quite a lot. I started my year off with a lot of changes – mostly my horse change. We began leasing Jim in February and purchased him in May. Our shows went from end of April to our last 2 dressage shows coming up next month. Needless to say, we didn’t have a ton of time to get used to Jim and figure out his buttons before we jumped right in!
At the beginning of the season, Jim and I hadn’t quite figured each other out yet. I was becoming more confident again and he was learning the life of a show pony. We had varying levels of ribbons, mostly toward the bottom, as I figured myself out. We did have some great highlights though and started achieving, especially on our home turf. That first blue when I went third, first and first and then went on to win ground poles will forever be one of my favorite accomplishments.
The last off property show we competed in was earlier this month. While I still have a lot to work on, our turnaround was pretty fantastic. We scored first in equitation (which had been our nemesis all year and yes, this is all on me) and two seconds in pleasure and discipline. Year end scores are still being calculated, but I think we may have taken some reserve championships. (We’ll find out soon!)
Our experiences at shows changed completely. While I’m still nervous in the warm up ring, I’ve started settling down in the show ring. I’m not quite the level of anxiety I was at the beginning of the year. I’ve started trusting Jim more to take care of me and be my partner.
And while I was learning him, my husband was too. This was his first year really competing now that we had a horse he could ride too. Although he would try and disagree – he’s too hard on himself – he did amazing. He was the first one to score a blue ribbon on Jim out of the two of us and I am so proud of them. It’s been great to watch him accomplish his own goals and go so far. The funniest moment of the show season was definitely a show in July. I had to repeatedly tell him he had won first in one of his classes! He didn’t believe it! I’m very lucky to have the best show partner I could have in Tom. We are always there for one another.
Going forward into our last two shows and the winter, I know things I’ll need to work on. But I also feel incredibly lucky and accomplished. I have a lot to be thankful for, especially my amazing trainers who know just when and how to push me. Hard work, great trainers and a lot of sweat and tears are worth it. Because out of all of that work comes beauty and success.