I do not usually write in my own voice here because it is more fun to be the comic relief that is our horses. Today though I want to give a bit of insight to my mind as I prepare for my first ever equine competition!
The preparation is starting to get to me a bit. When I get nervous about things I start to have dreams about them. A couple of nights ago I had my first dream about the derby I am competing in on the 22nd of March. It started as an innocent dream of things to come but my bravado took over and it ended in a dramatic boost of confidence. Here is the retelling of the dream:
It begins at the show. I am warming up for my dressage test and I have Amanda coaching me through the warm up. “relax your seat. pick the pace. put your heels down. shoulders back.” All of the usual reminders of the little things that slip my mind. Maggie is there too. She is offering ideas and reminders and the whole scene is quite chaotic. Then the steward says that I am next. Cue the butterflies….
Gracie and leave our coaches and venture over to the arena. Thankfully we remember to trot around the arena both ways so Gracie can see the truck. Then out of nowhere the whistle blows and it is TIME! Mostly the dressage test itself a blur, all I really remember is that our canter circles were not the best and that we had some”resistance” to aids. But, we finished and I did not fall off. Good job!
As we head out of the arena I see Maggie and Amanda coming over and they look moderately pleased. I get some feedback from my coaches. “That was OK. This is your first show. That was a good effort for your first time. There is always the next show. We’ll keep working” I know! It sounds like I lost or something! Never mind that we still have to jump!
I take Gracie over to the trailer to cool her down and do all the important horse things between rounds. The whole time I am worried that my dressage is not good enough… so I wait patiently (at the score table) for my score to get posted, After several agonizing minutes…. a 46! Not great but certainly not as awful as Amanda and Maggie made it out to be! AND…. I am in 5th place! I saunter back to the trailer with my score in tow… I am proud of my 46. Now we prep for jumping!
The jumping is even more blurry than the dressage, I have NEVER jumped in any competition so my mind has no clue what it is like. Suffice to say we went clean through both the cross country AND the stadium…. much to my surprise. A cool down and bite of hay for Gracie. Let the waiting begin. Amanda and Maggie have more words of encouragement that to me, seem to say there is always tomorrow…. I am not a tomorrow competitor, I want it now. We wait, and wait, it seems like the faster the competition the longer it takes to tally scores. Maggie and Amanda are seasoned at this waiting thing. I am hovering around the score table while they are at the trailer.
The scores are posted! I “calmly” look at the list and claim my ribbon. Glumly I walk back up to the trailer, head hung in shame. My coaches see me and start giving platitudes about how we finished and there will be other shows, and room for improvement. It really doesn’t help my mood. So, I pull the ribbon from behind my back and them that I got SECOND PLACE!!!! “BOOM!!!!!”
Let’s just hope and pray that it goes this well in real life on March 22.
|From the last Playday. When we were covered in ribbons!|