Let's back up. I talked a barnmate into videoing part of my ride yesterday. Then I watched the video and proceeded to berate myself for not riding like a world champion Grand Prix dressuer. Here, I'll even be brave and share the video:
All I could think while I watched the video was how I didn't look like the rider I'm totally not (Charlotte). I look like a jumper learning to dressage on a distracted and sensitive horse, which is exactly what we are.
I can be mad about that. I can tear myself apart and get all up inside my head about how terrible I am. I can rip my mental game to shreds, eliminate any traces of confidence, and hate myself for not being what I can't possibly be.
I can celebrate the fact that after a week stuck in the indoor, I rode my horse outside without lunging him. We had changes of bend and direction at the trot without flailing. We worked through him being distracted by outside influences and we even cantered without theatrics. I had to ride a little defensively, but we got through it, and next time will be better.
Let's be real: there are always going to be things I can do better. That's the essence of being human. I'm not perfect and I'm not going to be. I can be mad about that or I can embrace it.
The person who suffers most from a negative mental attitude is you and the person who benefits most from a positive mental attitude is you. At the end of the day, we get to ride ponies and pet velvety noses and live the dream we all had as little kids, one way or another.
We can celebrate the progress we make without ignoring the progress that we need to make still. I'm definitely still going to hack away at my position and my ride, but I'm not going to be ashamed of how I rode on this day.
I challenge you guys to the same thing I challenged Lindsey and Alyssa: any time you say something negative about your ride, find something positive to pair with it and find someone to keep you accountable to that. Let's give up on useless self-doubt and remember to enjoy the good things about this crazy hobby of ours.