Arrogant Whine, the Opposite of a Humble Brag

It’s hard to complain about good fortune, but I’ll give it a go.

I wanted to be able to take Rodney places [Dubious Future]. I can now take Rodney places [Weekend Voyages]. Great. Wonderful. Terrific. I can’t ride him once I get there.

It’s showing Milton all over again. Yes, I am showing my horse. Great. Wonderful. Terrific. I had hoped to be doing more than bad walk-trot at the smallest of competitions [Wild Horse Goes Walk-Trot, For This I Cleaned My Tack?].

Load a horse on a trailer. Go somewhere. Have a lesson. Ride in a show. People do this all the time. I used to do this all the time. That was before I met these two.

I feel as if I am stuck in a benign version of The Monkey’s Paw. I’m getting exactly what I asked for but not at all what I had in mind.

Is it the rider? Undoubtedly. I wish I could wave a wand and become bolder. Is it the horse? Also, yes. With both of them, every step of progress has to be chipped out of granite. Does it matter? No. We have to work with the strengths and weaknesses of the team we have.

I’m not asking for overnight success. I know lessons can be frustrating and shows can go badly. I just want to be able to try: lessons, clinics, a Training Level dressage test, a local jumper show, maybe even a backyard event. I want to see hope and smell daylight. I want to get my foot on the bottom rung of the ladder. Right now, I’m wandering around in a dark basement wondering if I left the ladder in the garage.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Categories: Horse Shows, Horses, Riding

5 replies »

  1. You always seemed bold to me. 🙂 I went thru a phase with Priney (my little mare) when I went to shows and events and didn’t win a thing. Sometimes it felt like I was going backwards. Then I went to a show and and got a ribbon in every class – OK, a couple were 5ths, but it was a ribbon – and my only reserve championship without even riding in the last class of the division. We probably looked funny, 4’10” me on my 13.2 hand mare against all the tall riders on their 15 or 16 hand horses, but we proved we could compete on an even basis. Of course I got sun poisoning and had to rely on you and Kathie to get Priney home safe and was sick for days, but I just looked at that reserve champ ribbon and felt good. And thanks to you, we won a 2nd in our last event, our last competition ever.
    Persevere. You underestimate yourself. I’m looking forward to seeing all the blues you and Milton win.

  2. Yeah, that. I read/hear stuff all the time about how “It takes as long as it takes.” Right. That wisdom usually gets bestowed upon us by someone who has reached the summit no less than a gazillion times. Have they just made better choices? Maybe. But that possibility doesn’t always make me feel any better when I’m stuck. Being patient is hard. Probably one of the hardest lessons I’ve ever had to learn. But when my horse holds that mirror up, patience is likely the one thing I struggle most to learn in this life. So when I set my focus on the destination, I usually end up feeling lost, stuck, frustrated and disappointed. But when I relax and just try to enjoy the journey, the tension and doubt fade and the idea of it taking as long as it takes not only sounds about right, it sounds like it might even be the most important part of the process.

  3. Thank you both. Why is is so hard to hear positive voices and so hard to forget negative ones? Because I don’t have to wonder what people might be saying about my choices. They have been generous in telling me. Sigh. Moving on.

    • It’s hard because we want what we want and we are so heavily invested in our wants, needs and goals with our horses. I would venture to guess that most of us go through life with this lovely visualization of riding our horses as though we stepped right out of a movie. Nothing wrong with that, unless it begins to feel like the fantasy will never line up with the reality of our experience. The question is, how do we keep that end-goal in our mind/heart without becoming utterly frustrated with the mundane process of getting there? I don’t know. What I DO know is that this is a common conundrum …. from those who are willing to admit they’re struggling with it. Some days I’m truly overjoyed with what feels like major piddly progress, and other days I want to
      groan with inner frustration. (And often do.) I think the point I’m trying to make is that if you didn’t have aspirations then none of this would even cross your mind. Find the sweet spot somewhere between the wants and the reality, embrace it, but don’t let that become your whole story. 🙂

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