Monday, August 15, 2011
Best Show Ever!
Last Saturday we showed at the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show in the Pre-Preliminary division. Granted, 3' or thereabouts may be small potatoes to some, but to this re-rider it was the Holy Grail of jump heights and I had to pull on my Big Girl knickers in a big way to attempt. We've done a LOT of work (grids, courses, clinics, THERAPY) to get comfortable here, and I think we've finally achieved a point where I don't go into the ring thinking, "Golly, those look ENORMOUS."
I did my pre-show homework. While polishing my boots I visualized successful courses. I replayed a mental movie of my last lesson, where I'd been relaxed, soft in my elbows, and our jumping efforts had gone well. Before I went to bed I wrote down a few things to make certain I was not using negative thinking. For example, instead of worrying if there would be a triple bar, I'd write down "Successfully jumped triple bar during lesson." I wrote down everything I needed and then made sure it was in the car. Then I set my alarm for 15 minutes earlier than I thought I needed to in order to give myself extra time to deal with those little emergencies that crop up. (Good thing my daughter wasn't showing; I need an extra half an hour when she shows and I was low on rack time this week.)
The morning was perfect. It was slightly overcast, so not too hot. I had extra time to fiddle fart around and relax over a latte and some breakfast. I did a final check through of everything -- show clothes, boots, helmet, check book....Crap!! Tip-toed quietly back upstairs to get check book and then headed out to show. Arrived before my trainer, had time to memorize the first two courses (all 3 would have taxed my mental processes WAAAAAYYYY too much. Keep in mind this is progress, as I've just recently graduated from actually drawing my courses in a mini-notebook.)
My tendency to over-think things has a very common ancillary effect -- I micro-manage her and nitpick as we approach a fence, causing her to focus her attention back on me and not her job. Which means we miss distances,
which at the very least makes her work harder and/or causes dropped rails.
Thank you. I did wonder if you noticed that.
Yes, Sug, I did. My point here is that for the first time ever, I did not micromanage or nitpick or get stiff elbows (mostly) on Saturday. And we had beautiful rounds. We had consistent (for the most part) rhythm with good distances (90% of the time). You were relaxed, I was (for me) relaxed, and I thought we had the most harmonious show experience we've ever had. Kinda like we shared the same brain. It was amazing. And wonderful. And fun. I didn't get in your way and you were relaxed and happy and able to do your job to the best of your ability.
True. I often wonder about that. I do not attempt to do your job. Why is it you try to do mine?
Ummm, because I'm a Type A control freak, Sug. That's what we do. Ceding control or sharing it with others is a big step for someone like me.
Pfffffffffttttttttttt. Get over yourself. I'd like a peppermint now, please. And an Oreo. An Oreo would be nice. I was really very good. A reward of some kind is in order.
Yes, Sug, you deserve a bag of peppermints. And an Oreo. Just the one.
Dover Saddlery (Thank You, Dover!), a pretty glass jar just perfect for holding peppermints, and a VERY snazzy new cooler! It was tremendously cool to have my picture taken with her while she was sporting her spiffy new duds and wearing her big tri-color ribbon. I've always wanted to be like those riders I see in photos in the Chronicle of the Horse, posing with their Championship coolers. Thanks to my wonderful Sainted Bay Mare, I am now able to cross one more thing off the bucket list.
You're welcome. May I have another Oreo? The fried ones are quite good. And a massage? I worked very hard. A massage would feel very nice...