I suppose I should have felt heartless scampering off to a horse show so soon after our terrible day [Sad News]. I didn’t. I mostly felt relieved to not be sitting at home staring at the walls. When Chief Minion wasn’t at work, he brooded alone. He prefers to – as inexplicable as this is to me. I was still sad. I was going to be sad wherever I was. I kept playing back images from Friday. I couldn’t help it. It was like having a constant scream in my head that I tried to ignore. I didn’t cry. I don’t think I had any tears left. When I got gloomy, I’d wallow for awhile and then go off to take pictures or go watch the horse show.
So, I’m glad I went, eventhough I failed to cover myself with glory.
Update: (I forgot this bit.) The Dixie Cup Spring Classic, May 1-3, 2014, Georgia International Horse Park, Conyers, GA. I rode Saturday afternoon in the Academy division. Last year: Show Report.
301 SHOWMANSHIP WTC – ADULT – Second of 2
Maggie had hopped about in her previous class. There was some thought that she might be wound up. As it turned out, she behaved just fine. A bit strong, but that’s normal for her. However, when I am thinking about the horse rather than myself, particularly if I’m trying to keep the lid on, I revert to hunter. [Boot Camp Battle]
302 EQUITATION WTC – ADULT – Second of 2
Now that I knew my horse was with me, I tried to sit up/sit back. I really did. The trotting and cantering phases lasted longer than in the first class. I assume because the judge had a harder time distinguishing between us. I still lost, but at least I gave the winner more of a run.
317 WALK-TROT-CANTER EQUITATION CH – Fifth of 5
It would be comforting to blame my poor performance on the distractions of the weekend. Alas, I cannot. I suffered an excess of zeal rather than a lack. For example, on the last trot pass, I cranked Maggie up and we flew down the long side of the arena. I felt mighty spiffy. From the outside, however, it is possible that we looked alarming rather than exciting.
Even the most dynamic Saddlebred gait is a contained fire. I get the fire. Not so good at the contained.
Three last places. My first show without a victory pass.
Casey McBride Photography
The Dixie Cup > MAY 03, SATURDAY > AFTERNOON. I haven’t looked. Given the number and ferocity of corrections yelled at me from the sidelines, I don’t dare.
For the first third of the drive, my inner child stomped her feet, stuck out her tongue, and said, ‘I never really wanted to ride Saddlebreds in the first place. So there. Nyeh!’ Turns out my inner child is a brat.
That sequed smoothly into
I can’t ride saddle seat ->
I can’t ride any seat ->
All those trot ribbons were a fluke ->
Why go to the next show? I’ll just screw up again ->
I’m a horrible human being.
At The Barn
My coach has a theory. When I got to the barn, she told me she had been thinking about my rides. ‘I’ll bet you have’ says I to myself. I flinched in dread of what she had to say. She reassured me that it wasn’t bad, that it might even make sense to me:
“Our canter is different than yours.”
The saddle seat canter is very gathered. I know this. I can do this in lessons. However, she posits that as soon as I storm into a show ring, my eyes glaze over and I’m looking for the next jump. Apparently, I look perfectly capable, I can clearly ride, it’s just that my position is not at all correct – for saddle seat.
It changes the interior landscape to think, ‘I can’t do X because I’m good at Y.’ versus, ‘I can’t do X because I’m a raging incompetent.’