With Alvin Ailey
101. Academy Equitation – Walk, Trot & Canter – Adult, 1st of 4.
102. Academy Showmanship – Walk, Trot & Canter – Adult, 2nd of 4.
115. Academy Walk, Trot & Canter Championship, 7th of 11.
Thank you to the Wamble family for the ride on Alvin the Awesome.
Pro Photos: Doug Shiflet Photography > 2015 Southeastern Charity > Sat ACA > class numbers above. Blue helmet (only helmet), black horse. Alvin was also in:
099A – Driving. Winner
111 – Aca Equitation WT 9-10
112 – Aca Showmanship WT 9-10. Winner
116 – Aca WT Championship
The Spinning Plate Theory
My nerves are all about the run-up to a class. Once I’m in the ring, I cease to be nervous. I may be a hot mess, but I’m not nervous.
I was less eaten up with dread at this show. Of course, I was still stressed. Who isn’t? I still hate the waiting. Who doesn’t? But I felt more as if my ‘butterflies were flying in formation’, per Jimmy Wofford.
So what happened?
In the first class at my previous show, I aimed too high and fell into a flopping heap [Report]. This was partly out of arrogance. Academy? Pffft. I got this. Mainly, it was from trying to recreate the lovely feeling I had in recent lessons, wherein I maintained a solid position while Alvin trucked along in fine style. Turns out I can’t achieve elegant horse AND elegant rider on demand. Not yet.
First off, I vowed to respect the division and my competition. If I choose to play on a given field, I should take seriously the parameters of said field.
Second, I worried about my position and let Alvin worry about himself. This is why one rides a school horse in a training wheels division.
In a lesson, I can keep three or four plates spinning at once, five on a good day. No joy comes from suddenly deciding that six plates will be required for competition. Subconsciously, I know this will not be possible. Anxiety ensues. At a show. I need to concentrate on keeping one or two plates successfully aloft. In dressage terms: train at level X+1, show at level X. In jumping terms: just because you can jump one 4′ fence, at home, with a following breeze, doesn’t mean you are ready to show over a 4′ course. Current thinking is that my excessive nerves came from knowing that I was about to be floundering out of my depth.
Before my classes on Saturday, I thought about keeping my hands up. One plate. I can handle that.
Photos by g with Nikon