I actually don’t know if I want to show dressage anymore…

So since I started riding the Schoolmaster my trainer has been telling me to bring him to a show. I still have one score left that I need for my GMO Bronze Medals. I just need a single score above 60% at training level test 4. My trainer and everyone else who has seen my ride the Schoolmaster all think that I would have not an issue at all getting that score on him. I would have to agree after watching video of the two of us. So why am I not chomping at the bit to get out there?

I don’t really know.

All I have wanted for the past 10 years of my life is to show 3rd level dressage. Now that it is a realistic possibility in the next few years, I am no longer dreaming about it. Weird right?

Something changed in me. I finally feel like maybe I am a decent rider after all. I have seen other people ride the Schoolmaster and he does not give them things unless they ask the right way. That leads me to believe that I have to be doing the right thing to get what I am getting, which is a pretty cool feeling.

Whenever I was at a show in the past and people started talking about levels, etc I would sort of shrink away because I didn’t think I could ever be good enough to even rate in their eyes. I would tell myself that it is much more impressive to break 60% at training level on a dozen horses in 8 years then be able to go through the levels on one well trained horses. I was always so jealous of those people who rode fancy horses and starting doing fancy things right away. I would tell myself that if I ever had the chance to ride a fancy horse I would be able to do all those things too because I had good basics. The thing is, I only half believed it. I just always thought of myself as not a very good rider. For some reason it is really freaking me out to actually be able to do upper level movements. It is almost like I don’t think I deserve to be experience them or something.

So for the past several months my trainer has wanted me to start going out and collecting scores, but for some reason the knowledge that I can do it makes it go much lower on my priority list to actually go out and do it.

I think part of the issue is also that I wouldn’t know what level to go to. My sitting trot is atrocious. Getting that one training level score is going to be easy, but what do I do from there? Ride my crappy sitting trot at second? Hope that the rules change at first so I can post? Stay at training level and go for an award and be that jerky rider who is consistantly in the 70%s?

I also have such a bad taste in my mouth from riding recognized last year that I don’t know if I want to do that again. Are scores from schooling shows going to be enough for me? All of these things have been swirling around my head and making me not want to even think about showing. Add to that the fact that all the issues with modern dressage today and I just need a break from entering at A.

So the close date for the last show of the year just past and I was able to put showing off for this year. I am still not really sure why I didn’t want to go out and show in dressage again in 2010. I guess I will see how I feel over the winter before I decide what I want to do in 2011. A lot can change in a winter…


10 thoughts on “I actually don’t know if I want to show dressage anymore…

  1. Having goals, and meeting them, can be fun, and competitions are one way of setting benchmarks for those goals. Are you the kind of person that would be proud of a more prestigious award, or would you be more satisfied knowing that it didn’t cost you an arm and a leg to get there? On the other hand, riding well, taking lessons, improving your skills, and doing fun horse-related things that aren’t competitive can also be fun. All depends on what you decide will make you happy, at the end of the day. The world is your oyster!

  2. Do the damn show and get your 1 score. Not getting it is like having quitting school when you only need 1 more class to graduate. You didn’t miss the closing date of the last show, just the last show that we normally go to. And you still may be able to enter that show if you call them; the closing date was today. You’ll regret not getting your bronze – maybe not today, but you will.

    After that, what you decide is totally wide open. If you have a shitty sitting trot, well, that gives you something to work towards – there’s your goal. Showing is definitely NOT the end-all, be-all, but you liked showing. Maybe you just need to get back into the ring to realize it. Or maybe you do need a break. Hey, there are new tests next year – and you can post at 1st level. Have you ever shown 1st level? Start there. Who says just b/c the horse can do 3rd that you need to.

  3. It’s your decision but I think if you don’t get your medal now when it’s a possibility with this horse you will regret it. You’ve worked so hard for this and now you’re not going to take your shot. So if you have a bad sitting trot so what, you can work on that over the winter. Don’t doubt yourself about forging ahead, you’re a good rider and deep down you really do like dressage and competition. Good luck with whatever you decide.

  4. Amen to everything PJs Mom said. You ended your show season this spring on a bad note, which I’m sure has been eating at you, even if it’s subconsciously. And you only need one more score, which it sounds like you could get easily!

    Think of it like falling off – you always have to get back on and give it another go. Getting back on doesn’t mean you have to do it forever, it just means getting past that bad moment so you can move on. I don’t think you’ll know if you want to keep showing dressage or not unless you end on a better note. The only way to know if you still enjoy it is to try it. And if you still don’t, then go do something different that you will enjoy.

  5. I agree with getting the last score finish the medal. Then take some time to reevaluate. I showed for my entire life so when I realized that I didn’t really want to anymore it took a long time to deal with that. Take the winter to try some new stuff and decide if you want to go to a new discipline, trail ride for fun, or stay with dressage. Maybe you will want to do all of that.

  6. Amen PJSMON! 😉

    Get the Bronze girlfriend. You have worked too hard for too long not to, and you KNOW you’ll be pissed later on if you don’t get it.

    Now really- think about it. Just HOW many riders out there can accomplish that, up against what you’ve been up against??? HMMMM???

    go for it!! SHOW and get the Bronze you’ve worked SO hard for. THEN take the winter and have some FUN with horses and go from there! It’s a great big world, with tons to do in it.

    Smooches to Gen!

  7. I agree with the others. I think you should go for that bronze medal.

    You have worked so hard to get to this point, I think you owe it to yourself to finish it 😉

    After that part is over, you will have all winter to think about where you want to go from here. If you decide to continue, that is great….if you decide to pursue a change, that is great too (I LOVE your blog and will follow it no matter what you are doing)!

    The nice thing about the horse world is that there are so many ways to spend time with horses — some strongly competitive, some mildly competitive, and some not. I truly think that if a person loves horses, they will find something that will make them happy.

    Even if you decide you want to head into a completely different direction, having those medals will still be an accomplishment you can be proud of.

    I haven’t shown horses in quite a few years, but I still have some of my ribbons back from the days when I did my first shows. I hang on to them because I am proud of them. They bring me some good memories. I worked hard for them. Even though I don’t miss my show days, I wouldn’t part with the ribbons I DID win for anything. Most of them were won on horses I did not own….and I remember those horses every I look at them. I remember what they taught me.

    For you to get those medals would be a nice tribute to Gennyral, and X, and Phoenix, and the schoolmaster. Each of those horses have contributed to the place that you are now and that is a wonderful thing 🙂

  8. I definitely agree with getting your last score!! You will definitely be kicking yourself later. And just because you say you have a horrible sitting trot, does that mean you will always have a horrible sitting trot? No. So no excuses!! I had a horrible sitting trot until i realized that i couldnt post on jingle bell because it made her too nervous. At first it was very ugly, but after a few months I am a lot better! And you are right, a lot can change in the winter. And I agree at going to first level next. It will be less overwhelming for you. And if you do really well at first level you dont have to stay at first level all year. Just switch it up and have fun!
    So many people would kill for the opportunity you have (me included!!) But if you get your score and then decide you still dont want to show, there are plenty of other things out there. So good luck and have fun!!

  9. I must agree with the rest. You’ve worked so hard to get there and are so darn close, I think you should go for it.
    Even if you don’t think you reallly want it now at some point down the road you’ll probably regret not following through.

    I know for me, I can get tired of the struggle and think I really want to give up but if I did, I’d not like myself much. Sometimes it’s hard to push through the other side but I’m always glad when I did.

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