Saddle Seat Wednesday
I lost. Then I won.
ASHAA Fun Show
B & W Stables
Hartselle AL, USA
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Academy Showmanship WTC Adult with Sultan’s Miracle Man, 3rd of 3
Academy Equitation WTC Adult with Sultan’s Miracle Man, 1st of 3
Thank you to Courtney Huguley for the marvelous Sam.
Error One: Gravitational Vortex
I adore Sam, but he’s not one to do more work than required. I’ve known this from day one [Sam I Am]. He gradually relaxes his frame, pulling the rider forward as he goes. He gradually slows down, pulling the rider into expending more and more effort. He’s sneaky about it, so one must be vigilant.
At the show, we warmed up full of vim & vigor. Inside. In the shade. When we went out in the sun for our first class, Sam eased down a gear. I got sucked in. The ringside advisory committee reminded me to sit back. When I tried to pull us out of the downward spiral, Sam knew that my responses were limited while we were within the show ring. We discussed the situation in the break between classes.
Me: Excuse me, Sir, I politely request that you shoulder your half of the load.
Sam: Well, if you put it that way.
We went back in and sparkled.
Error Two: Sartorial Choices
I wore the wrong shirt. When Greg started driving, I bought coordinating short-sleeved shirts for us to wear. Mine is hot pink. His is green. I forgot this. Cast ‘locate shirt.’ It is a driving shirt? Check. The extra material luffed in the breeze, looking unkempt and rounding the shoulders I was trying so hard to hold back.
Also, I put on the wrong top undergarment; one for daily wear and lessons, not my special show undergarment [Ladies Only, Thank You].This was not a visually suitable choice. Apparently.
Clearly, a good shirt (and bra) will not cover up bad riding. But since I am strong on technical but weak on artistic merit [Boot Camp 2015,2], a sloppy outfit does not help the elegant, effortless image I am supposed to be projecting.
As I said in the report for this show last year,
Energetic? Dynamic? Entertaining? All day long.
Still? Pleasant? Harmonious? Never in my life.
[Show Report B&W 2015 #2]
I win. I lose. I don’t know why.
All of the above is hindsight. At the time, I thought I was knocking it out of the park. I can’t fix what I can’t sense. Well, I might not be able to fix it anyway, but sensing errors in real-time is the first step. Yes, I have had success [ProAm 2016], but I lack consistency. I can go from winning all classes one day, to no ribbon 24 hours later [NEGA 2016].
It’s possible that I do not possess the ineffable quality necessary for equitation stardom, particulary Southern equitation stardom. Either I never had it or I lost it along the way. [Three Reasons I Suck At Equitation]
Or I am impatient. Not from a sense of entitlement. I operate from a sense that if I was working harder/wasn’t screwing up so badly, I’d have it by now. For any given value of “it.” But, that is too big a topic for the end of a post.
Oh well, I shall see what I can do with what I have and where it gets me. For now, if I want to show, I must equitate.
Bring on the next class!
Thank you for reading,