That is all very exciting.
Or at least, it should be.
|it's what we can do|
|not me riding|
This whole thing is hard for me and that's just what it's going to be. We can (and will) be dressage and show jumping competitors and be quite happy. We don't ever have to do XC for real.
But here's the rub: we all know that pride has no place on a horse's back--they humble us so fast that it would be funny if it wasn't excruciating.
|just keep riding|
I know I'm proud of us. I know that what I did last Sunday was HUGE for my confidence. I know I improved over the year and what I did Sunday was NOT something I could do in June.
It's ground poles. It's a glorified trail ride. If it literally was your first time on a horse, you could probably do it. (Well, probably not on my horse, but a horse.) Go SprinklerBandit! You're the best at something a lesson student who's never ridden before can do just fine.
I was all excited for my first-ever award for being consistently not-horrible at something, and now I'm contemplating not even showing up to get it. Like. "Hi everyone. I'm scared of xc and did it anyways, except over tiny poles."
|high option even with sharks|
But I'm not. I'm right here.
And it's not easy to admit that in public sometimes.
You need to give yourself some credit. Mr. Courage is not easy to jump, a year ago G opted for lunging vs. riding him. You have now trained him to be fun and rideable around a whole course in the ring, you, no one else. Who cares what people who don't know you and don't know your horse thinks, you go out there and get that award. The people doing straight dressage will be impressed with anyone who got out of the sandbox to compete. Most local eventer types have seen enough of your struggle to know that this is a big deal. We all want to you have fun and success, if that is at ground poles that is where we will root you on. If that is at the big dressage show in the spring that is where we will root you on. If that is at a clinic at home that is where we will root you on.ReplyDelete
Thanks. :-/ Needed that.Delete
First, I just want to say you are not alone in these feelings.It's frustrating and embarrassing when you know you ride a nice horse with lots of talent, but you don't use all of that athleticism because you don't know how. Could your horse being doing more with someone else in the irons? Absolutely! All of us adult ammy's know that's true. Many of us see it in action when we ask our friends to ride our horses.ReplyDelete
But you know what? Stop apologizing for riding a nice horse. Stop being embarrassed about conquering your fears. I can climb a 20' ladder no problem because I'm not afraid of heights, but my sister can't. I'm terrified of large spiders, but my sister doesn't think twice about them. The point I'm trying to make is that we all have different fears, we all have different struggles. But regardless of WHAT they are, we work JUST AS HARD to overcome them.
So be proud of your accomplishments, because you worked hard. You 110% deserve that year-end award. The height you jumped doesn't change how much it means to you or how damn hard you fought for it. Display is proudly. You earned it!!
The heights fear is real. Omg. I _can_ climb a 20' ladder, but if there is LITERALLY ANY OTHER WAY, I'd pick that.Delete
Lots of us feel the same way. But I'm crazy jealous you have such an awesome division where you can compete and feel comfortable. I'd be thrilled with a tiny pole division, but we don't have them here, so I'm not competing because 2 ft scares me.ReplyDelete
Be proud. Be excited. You overcame! Everyone's fears are different, you chose to tackle yours! Never say never, as you keep building confidence and dipping your toe in the water it might get more fun, or not, don't worry about where it all may or may not go down the road, that's tomorrow and all we've got is today, so enjoy your award! Great job!ReplyDelete
The only time you can be brave is when you're scared or afraid. Or nervous. And the fact that you ate facing this nervousness makes you a boss! That is something to admire. You might not be proud, but I'm proud of you and for you. Facing fear is not easy and you are doing it piece by piece. You are great!ReplyDelete
(On a side note, I've started lifting and my hub always says you are stronger than you think you are. Same for you. You are stronger and better than you are giving your self credit for. )
Smile! Take courage in your Courage!
This was a BIG DEAL for you, and so it's a BIG DEAL for all of us who support you! We all know the mental game is the hardest part of riding, and getting out there and doing this ground pole division was a huge, HUGE win for you this year. Walk up there and accept that award and BE PROUD that you have come far enough to do this! Even if you never do another XC course again in your life, you've proven to yourself that you have the mental toughness and perseverance to conquer your fears, and that is worth celebrating.ReplyDelete
You're not alone in those feelings of frustration. I was jumping 3' hunters, got Mikey, and became horribly afraid to jump anything, let alone do crossrails or ground poles in a field (I bailed on an intro mini trial that was jumps 6"-1'). In the end, I found a new trainer who wouldn't yell at my fears, but instead worked to build my confidence (and Mikey's), and our confidence in each other through positive experiences. That's really what every AA needs- the trainer that helps you find your own confidence that isn't hinged on anyone else. That also comes from training your difficult horse yourself- something else a good trainer should be able to help an AA do. (I'm not telling you to leave your trainer or anything, just saying that's what I had to do!)ReplyDelete
Give yourself some credit for doing something that scares you. I sure as hell didn't when I was getting Mikey going and it was awful- I wanted to sell him and quit riding. But you know how the brave get brave? By endless, good, solid, POSITIVE learning experiences. Baby horse went to a hunter show and was last in every class, which completely makes me crazy because I'm better than that, and so is he. But the whole thing was about taking him out and making sure he had a good experience so he gains confidence. And you know what? He's becoming quite the brave boy under saddle.
No refusals, no running out of control, a bonus that you had a cooperative horse? It sounds like you had a super positive experience at the derby. Enjoy your year end award, you earned it!
A trainer change was absolutely critical to getting to this point. I am actually quite happy with where we're at for the present. :-) In fairness, we have had a grand total of 2 jumping lessons this year. I'm a big fan of the jump trainer, but I have to haul to get there and that entails borrowing a rig.Delete
Then you're well on your way! Jumping lessons or not :-P enjoy your award. I expect pictures!Delete
i really hope you go and get your award!!ReplyDelete
There are PLENTY of people who are not comfortable outside the ring, and they haven't even had any bad experiences to go on. It is perfectly OK to feel the way you feel. If you decide you never want to jump outside the ring, that is more than OK. You don't HAVE to do anything in riding. Courage will be none the wiser. Riding a talented but quirky beast is a challenge at the best of times. You don't have to feel less than because of that.ReplyDelete
There is a woman at my barn who is a badass Eq rider and did the Big Eq stuff in her day. We were laughing because she thinks me jumping Boca over logs is terrifying. I laugh because the thought of jumping 3' makes me want to sh*t my pants! Different comfort zones - and that is OK!
FWIW, there is a thread on COTH right now by a dressage rider who threw up from nerves before she did a poles class at a schooling show. And this woman can ride 1-tempis.
Go. People who put on show series and host year end awards put a lot of work and effort into that. I know the emotions that you're feeling, but you need to be proud of what you accomplished AND show up and say "Thanks for hosting! Thanks for this award! I'm excited!"ReplyDelete
That's what keeps local show series running at the end of the day.
Why does it matter that you're not an XC maniac? There's no more prestige attached to eventing than there is to dressage or jumpers or endurance or anything else - you don't have to be a neck-or-nothing eventer to be a wonderful horsewoman and a good rider. Even though it's ground poles, it represents a huge step for you and Courage. Accept it or not, as you like, but know that you did get out there and do something scary. Bravery is being afraid to do something but doing it anyway. And bravery is one of the qualities I admire most in people - it's huge.ReplyDelete
And yknow, if you hate XC, you don't have to event. Even derbies. It's okay to decide that this isn't the horse sport you love and then pursue something you do love. Jumpers are awesome. Dressage riders are awesome. Even hunters are awesome! And ground pole derby riders are awesome too. :) It's okay to dabble, it's okay to do other things ...whatever you want to do with this horse you've brought so far.
You are awesome. Don't beat yourself up for doing something that scares you, and don't be afraid to say you did well at it.
This. This is what I was coming to say, but Lindsay said it better. No one says you have to event. If you don't enjoy it, if it terrifies you, why do it? I don't understand why you feel like this is something you must do. It's supposed to be fun! Horses are too expensive to not have fun, be it playing in the sand box or trail riding or just enjoying your horse and not competing. There's no shame in any of that.Delete
And PLEASE GET YOUR AWARD! ;) And big congrats!
Go for the free food and socializing. The awards don't really matter, but just being out there in the community does. My GMO gave me an award the first year I did 3rd Level for getting over a 50%. I was mortified, but I went anyway and had a good time schmoozing and dancing at the banquet. And nobody else cared that I should be a lot better than a 50%.ReplyDelete
For what it's worth, I think it's super awesome that you even went to a Derby. It's not something I could do, I got lost trying to help my friend on a walk through of the XC course. That was on my own two feet, not even on a horse!
I hope you go and get your award! A year ago I was randomly afraid of riding outdoors at all. I was terrified for no reason. I had to push myself and it was very challenging (and the effort required was embarrassing). But I perservered and so did you! I got pictures on my horse in a field - with no saddle! Go get your award :) celebrate the shit out of yourself and your horse. Sometimes the hugest obstacles look the smallest to outside eyes.ReplyDelete
I can also relate to your XC anxiety. Taking a step back it's always easier for me to see how big certain accomplishments have been for me.ReplyDelete
I understand your feelings but you should not feel bad about anything. You do you. Anyone that feels otherwise can go stuff it.
You should go get the award. You earned it. It means something to you. I'm proud of my mule when she does cross-rails. That's the level she's at. At least you don't compete against 8-12 year old children and steal ribbons away from them. Like I do.ReplyDelete
You're being a little hard on yourself and sucking the joy out of your accomplishment. Any level you get to you will always think you should be at the next level or riding better at your current level. Enjoy your moment. Even in the short time I've been reading your blog you both have improved so much and your horse seems rideable and happy. This is an accomplishment in itself.ReplyDelete
Aimee, this post makes me sad. I look at that sexy horse of yours and know all of the hard work you have poured into him and you and it shows. He is very talented. But he is also quite difficult. That is nice that someone else could go out there on a different (easy) horse and do ground poles. But you have taken this sassy creature and did the things. Even things that bring lots of anxiety. And you still got it done, every time. I am as excited to watch you show him as I am to go show my own horse. You deserve that award and you should be proud of it, because I know I am. Plus, maybe we can snag a seat next to the dessert table (like I did last year) and have a grand ol' time at the award banquet.ReplyDelete
Definitely the dessert table.
I agree with everyone else. Go. Get your award. You still accomplished more than the person who didn't even try it - AND, you did it with the demons in your head.ReplyDelete
Just last week, my mom shared a post with me, and I'm going to share the quote with you now:
"You were never created to live depressed, defeated, guilty, condemned, ashamed, or unworthy. You were created to be victorious!"
Shout down those demons and go claim your prize!!
Go get that award! You earned it. I know the mind game, when we won a cross rail hunter class this summer by virtue of being the only ones without a refusal or major error I was embarrassed for winning a ribbon (and a division reserve hi point somehow) when it was mostly kids or very green horses that we 'beat'. My negative brain was like "please let's not celebrate how bad I suck, ok?" There were 'legit' riders from the barn winning tough classes over big fences. At the end of it all though, I choose to view it as an accomplishment - I put a lot of hard work into getting there and pony did her best. I think you'll find the only person being hard on you is yourself - everyone else is legit excited for you! Congrats :)ReplyDelete
Your progress truly is something to be proud of. And as you reminded me not long ago, the nerves will take the time it takes, and no amount of "should" feelings will change it. One man's ground poles is another man's Training level; there will always be people who go higher than you, so enjoy as much as you can each step of the way.ReplyDelete
I'm with everyone else - go get your award! So what that it's over ground poles. YOU DID IT. It's a big deal for you and that's enough. You don't need to compare yourself or your horse to anyone else, no matter how tempting it is. So yeah... go get that prize. I hope it's a big honkin' neck ribbon and some cool Thing!ReplyDelete
Stop. Stop with the self doubt. Be proud of where you've come from and be proud of how far you've come. We all have fears and issues that we work through at our own pace. We're all so obsessed with progress that we forget we're ammy's riding (usually) just one horse. If you want to jump 3' then you will (again just look at how far you've come). There's no rush. There's no time lines except the one's you set yourself. It doesn't matter what everyone else is doing. Just keep working towards your goals no matter what. You can do it! Go get that award and be proud of it.ReplyDelete
I can't say it any more eloquently than people already have but I'm throwing my hat in the ring. Be proud of what you've accomplished, go get your year end award! You deserve and no one should be allowed to say otherwise. We don't know everyone's individual struggles and as much as it is a competition, it's also not. Everyone needs to overcome their own problems and we should take pride in doing so, no matter how "easy" they appear to everyone else.ReplyDelete
Go get your award. Because you earned it and you deserve it. You worked your tail off and accomplished something that feels huge to you and Courage, and it is huge. Well done.ReplyDelete
Go get your award. Because people (especially young people and/or beginners) need to see that all awards are valued. If all they see is high level riders claiming awards they'll begin to believe their low level awards don't matter and that's sad.
Go get your award. Because free food, great friends, and desserts make for a good time. Cheer for those who also won. Let others cheer for you. Revel in the camaraderie of horse people celebrating a job well done.
Go get your award. It'll give you a visual reminder of how far you've come next time accomplishments seem rough or far away. You'll look at the many steps done well so far and maybe find the oomph to dig in and keep going.
Go get your award. If for nothing else than hose showing is expensive and darn it you deserve satiny proof of a job well done.
Girl, you're a badass. You're, like, one of my biggest inspirations. And I'm gonna be supes pissed if you pass up on satin.ReplyDelete