TM’s first dressage show – Part 3

I was walking towards the barn when my riding buddy drove in to feed everyone dinner. She could clearly see that I was upset about my ride and tried to give me a boost of confidence. Her kind words were enough to at least get me to braid TM and act as though I was still showing. Deep down I knew that I had no confidence left and that it was never a good idea to show a green horse when the ride isn’t 100%, but I kept telling myself that I would be fine. As I left the barn on my way to get my truck I started to panic again. I sent out SOS text messages to a ton of people telling them I needed help because I was freaking out.
By the time I got my truck I was in a full blown panic. As I was driving home the Young Rider called me. Just hearing her calm voice was enough to make me voice all the doubts I had been having in my head. As I cried hysterically she was the rock that I needed. Just voicing my fear that I wasn’t good enough to be showing helped me feel better. By the time we got off the phone I had realized several things. One of which was the fact that I was afraid that I would never get to show again. Another was that I couldn’t handle TM when I was alone. Both those fears were acknowledged and absolved by the Young Rider. It wasn’t long before I started to pack my truck. I knew I was rattled, but I also knew that being rattled was much better than being shaken to the core.
Just as I finished getting the truck packed and ready to go my trainer sent me a text. She knew one of my big fears about this show was the fact that I was going alone so she decided to alleviate it. She told me that she would be at the barn by 6:45 to help me load because not only was I going to show, but TM and I were going to be great. I had started to relax after talking to the Young Rider, but reading my trainers reassurance had me feeling like I may actually be able to handle going to a show. My trainer and I both agreed that if I was still upset in the morning I wouldn’t show because it wasn’t fair to TM, but if I woke up feeling okay I had to go to the show and have no excuses.
To Be Continued…

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One thought on “TM’s first dressage show – Part 3

  1. I’ve been reading your blog for more than a year and I wonder if you’ve ever read any sports psychology books. Since I was showing without a trainer or coach (the woman I rode with turned into the Coach from H*ll and I preferred she NOT be on the rail undermining my confidence), I scoured blogs and websites and found a book called “On the Sweet Spot” by Dr. Richard Keefe. It’s a book about golf, but the psychology of “psyching yourself up” before competition is the same regardless of sport or discipline.

    As one of the blurbs on the back states, “Athletes know that sport is all about the mind.” You need to get your mind focused on the POSITIVE and not frazzled with the “what if” or “I can’t.” It’s ignoring what is basically the small stuff that takes your mind away from the goal or “takes your eye off the prize.” Google “sports psychology” and see what comes up. You’re defeating yourself with the negative talk–and we have ALL been there.

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