Be forewarned, I am having a moment…It is 5:30 am on a Sunday morning and I didn’t sleep well.
I will post on yesterday’s show ASAP, but I wanted to get something out first. Contrary to what this post might lead you to believe this weekends show was much better. I am about to launch in to a full on pitty party for one with lots of irrational anger involved. I am struggling at the moment. You see, at this moment I HATE dressage. HATE IT.
I think the reason I hate it so much is because I am just no good at it at all.
I suck at dressage. I always have, and I am starting to think that I just always will. I have been riding dressage for over a decade and I am still terrible at it. Like TERRIBLE. I start to get delusional and think that I am getting better at it, but then reality comes knocking and I realize that I just as terrible now as I once started. Except now I know how terrible I am which makes things even worse.
When I first started I didn’t know a shoulder in from a half pass. Now I do, but am still not able to execute them well.
I wanted to riding training level this year. FREAKING TRAINING LEVEL. I didn’t think I was reaching for the moon. Over a decade in to dressage and I can’t even manage training level. That is truly just pathetic. It makes me sick to even think about it. I know people who are in a similar situation, but they don’t really work at it. They claim to ride dressage, but don’t take lessons, read books, go to clinics or show. They are allowed to be a decade in and not yet at training level. I have done all of the above and more. I have spent countless hours and dollars trying to get better.
I think this year I finally realized that I am just no good at it. I know that everyone says “dressage is a journey, not a destination” but if a person had any skill at all their journey wouldn’t take them 10+ years to get to training level! Not when they have been consistently working at it.
I cannot even tell you all the things I have given up to pursue my love of riding. I used to love dressage. I could watch tests for hours, dreaming that someday I would be able to do that myself. Reality is that I wont be able to. Are there sucky riders out there at high levels? Of course, but they have something I don’t…enough money to make it happen.
I suck at being focused, a necessity for dressage. I have worked so hard at it though. I could understand not getting better when I was only working on my dressage in lessons, but since riding Lucky I have been so incredibly focused. I make Lucky work even when I would rather be going for a hack. I work hard between my lessons. I have to face the facts though, Lucky is a difficult horse for me to ride. She is improving leaps and bounds, but I am getting worse.
I find Lucky to be a very challenging horse to ride. We just don’t click naturally. Over the past two years we have been able to gain chemistry, but it has taken time.
I have worked so, so hard to improve my riding. I want something to show for it. I have nothing to show for it though. I am getting worse. Each horse that I have ridden since Gen got hurt has had its own set of challenges. People are not going to let you lease a perfectly trained horse for not a lot of money, they are going to let you lease something unbroken, or injured, or green.
I started to think about it and I got really mad. At first I got mad at myself for being a bad rider. I knew dressage was impossible for me, yet I had to try and take on the challenge anyway. What the hell was I thinking? This is something that I can NEVER be good at. I sucked at it when I started and I will continue to suck at dressage forever. Then I got mad about all the money and time I have put in to so many horses for the past 6 years and I started to get mad at Gen.
This is all his fault. Gen loved me enough to hide my shitty riding. He would cover for me. If things had worked out the way that they were supposed to I would be showing 3rd level by now. We were going to do training level in 2006, in fact we did one show and we did well, and then he broke. Why did he have to break? He was being an idiot in his field. He didn’t need to be such a show off! He was running around way too fast and he hurt himself and he is never going to be all the way better.
It is his fault I can’t afford a well trained horse. It is his fault that I have to make time for two horses. It is his fault that I am getting worse. When I rode him I was getting better, but now I can’t ride him and IT IS ALL HIS FAULT FOR GETTING HURT.
I love loved Lexi, and Phoenix and Lucky, but not the same way that I love Gen. It is like some kind of joke that I found a horse that was so easy for me ride only to have that taken away. If I was always terrible at dressage I think it would be easier for me to walk away. Gen teased me that maybe I could do it, so realizing that I just can’t is just…frustrating.
I know Gen didn’t mean to hurt himself. I know that it was my choice to save him and keep him, and that is a choice I don’t regret at all. I just hate that this is how it is all turning out. I don’t remember my dreams very often, but I have a stupid reoccurring one where Gen miraculously gets better and he helps me earn my USDF bronze medal. I have always wanted a fairy tale ending, the kind of story that people want to read in a book.
I know that is naive, childish even. But sometimes I am just not a very rational person. Take now for example. I am in full on temper tantrum mode.
I am going to end this pity party and be grateful for all that I do have, even if talent at riding is not something I posses. Tomorrow I will write up the show, which was better than expected, and start to figure what the hell Lucky and I can do since clearly it isn’t dressage.