A Glimmer of normal…

So normally during a snow day I am pouring over dressage tests, looking at show schedules, and just generally being the ribbon crazy lady that I am. Yesterday I woke up and instead of making it a total horsey day I did other things. I keep saying that I am not going to stress about why I am not in the show or riding frame of mind, but yet I keep stressing about it! Now the good thing is that it is still January, so I have tons of time (show season doesn’t get started until April) to get excited. I think I have decided that yes, I do want to show this year. I have been given an amazing gift of a well trained horse that I am not only allowed, but encouraged, to bring to shows. This was the thing I had dreamed of happening since I started with dressage and yet I am hardly riding. I did one thing yesterday though that gave me a little bit of hope that the old me is waiting to come back out.

I spent a good half hour checking out the new ribbons on the Hodges Badges website! That little bit of hope was just what I needed to get organized about what I need to do if I want to make showing this year a reality. It is a long list of things that need to happen, but I feel good that I am giving myself tangible goals instead of whining about my riding or lack there of.

Here are the things I need to do in order to make 2011 a good show year…

1) Look at the new dressage tests. No really. I printed them all out, but I have not looked at any of them!!

2) Pick a level and a test that I am going to do this year (I am only going to be doing one test per show)

3) Learn the test. Like really learn it. I want to never need a reader this year.

4) Start working out again. I am beyond out of shape. Only riding one day a week and not running is no where near enough. I need to be fit enough to ride a 30 minute warm up and 6 minute test without being out of breath. Period.

5) Get a show grounds plan together. I am not going to be able to show a lot this year, so I want to show smart.

6) Get my fellow Saturday lessons students on board to show too so we can go as a barn. I want us to be a group and I want to make sure that every show is FUN!

7) Video tape myself riding the test before a show. I want to have a realistic view of a score before I head in to the show ring.

8) Start leasing the School Master again. There is only one way to really improve your riding, and that is by riding!


9 thoughts on “A Glimmer of normal…

  1. I’m glad you stopped worrying about why you were stressed about not wanting to ride. It’s difficult to focus on horse goals when it’s snowing and freezing and you can only get to the barn sporatically. As soon as we have a warm(er) day, I’m sure you’ll get even more motivated.

  2. Before the winter circuits were born people used to give their horses the winter off. This had the added benefit of giving the riders time off. Until this winter (working a green horse) I have always given my horses at least a month and sometimes two starting a little before Christmas. I was always eager to get started again after that break. Maybe you just need to let your self have some time off and don’t worry about it.

  3. Yay! It is nice to see you getting excited about shows again. I hope it’s a fun season for you!

    I ordered myself the test booklets direct from USEF, they were only $5 a piece and shipping one or two of them was $2.50… Not a bad price to keep an extra copy kicking around the trailer for last-minute test-checking!

  4. I think these are excellent goals, and it sounds like you are getting back into a good frame of mind. I have no goals yet for this year because my life is up in the air, but I’m looking forward to the warmer weather regardless!

  5. Yay! I am very glad to see you are thinking about showing again 🙂 Also a barn in my area is having an unmounted clinic titled “Meet the new 2011 dressage tests”. I think it will be a great opportunity to really learn the tests. You should see if there is anything like that or in your area. But I think your goals are great and I am feeling inspired to set some for myself too!

  6. I like your goals!

    Maybe try to change how you look at showing? Since you have the chance to show the schoolmaster, instead of thinking about ribbons, think about learning and advancement? If the horse knows it already, why not take the chance to try to progress up the levels as much as you can, forgetting all shots at ribbons, but looking at what you can learn and how you can challenge yourself?

    I look at shows as a checkpoint to see how my training is going, and if my self-assessment seems in line with what judges think. Really, I value the comments more than any kind of ribbon, as they give me an outsider’s perspective of holes my trainer may be blind to from familiarity. I want to get my medals, so I do want 60% or higher on test 3 for the levels as I go, but I also have no intention of lingering in a level just for an award. I have an amazing horse who, while learning everything with me, is a natural – so I’m going to enjoy and base our level movement upon what he’s ready for and what I’m ready for. He’s already more advanced than I am…

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