Anxiety Dreams, A Sure Sign That Show Season Has Started

On My Mind, Miscellaneous Thoughts


Why can’t dreams be happy, pleasant, bunny-filled romps in fields of clover?

Dreamscape. Checking scores/test sheet after an Intro A ride. I was second out of 2. Wasn’t terribly upset, so must have been a decent ride. One of the scores on the sheet is a 3. For a canter circle. In a walk-trot test. Not clear how this was managed.

I walk over to politely point this out to the secretary/scorers. Misplace the test. Rifle through sheets of paper to find it. Scoring booth is manned by small children. Clamber out of their way. Misplace test. Rifle. Personnel at the secretary’s desk changes several times. Repeatedly find and lose test. Never have test and secretary to hand at the same time.

I finally tell a representative of the management what happened. Doesn’t believe me. Who would? She thinks I’m a loon. A whiny loon taking up her time with nonsense. I get a condescending lecture on accepting and learning from low scores. Others chime in. I know about low scores. I’ve gotten low scores. I’m talking about a MISTAKE, you idiots.

Now I have to find the stupid test to show them I am not making it up. Being a dream, of course I can’t.

I realize I ought to get ready for my next test. I asked the woman at the desk for my ride time. She informs me, smugly, that I ride at 12:38. It is 12:35. I have four minutes. Apparently I don’t math in my dreams either.

I go flying out of the scoring trailer over to my stall. The tack is lined up on the side wall of the stall. I undress rapidly while I yelling for my ground person to tack up. I’m shedding clothes in public for all to see; at this point I don’t care. My ring is *right* over there, and I *might* have just enough time to make this happen.

This – naturally – is at a show where my mother – who lives several states away – decides to come watch as a surprise.


I was so happy to wake up.

What happens in your horse show anxiety dreams? You have these? Tell me I’m not the only one.

[Horse Dreams]
[Horse Dreams, Follow-Up]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

11 thoughts on “Anxiety Dreams, A Sure Sign That Show Season Has Started

  1. I don’t show, but I dream about riding or sort of saga with a horse in it Every. Single. Night. That’s been going on for years. I guess I must have horses on my mind just a wee bit?

  2. We traveled a lot so my anxiety dreams were usually about luggage. Either the train, plane or bus was leaving and I had too much to pack, rooms full of stuff, or I was packed but had too much to carry. You and I were going somewhere with either too much stuff or too little time. Alternate dreams were of the train, plane or bus leaving us stranded with our luggage on its way without us.

    There was a solid basis for this in real life. When you were almost two, we stopped in Las Vegas briefly and you stayed at a day-care center with your two stuffed dogs while we explored the town. When we gathered you up, we could only find one dog, not the other dog. The day-caregivers insisted that we had brought only one dog. As we pulled away, you sat in you little car seat and, in a very matter of fact voice, said “Bye-bye, Other Doggie”. You were so cool about it! I believe you still have Snoopie, the first dog.

    The other time I remember was when we left your new purse on the bus at Port Authority in New York City. You were about 5?, 6? Of course, we went back to see if we could find the bus . Of course, we couldn’t find the bus, much less the purse. You we sooooo upset! I was sooooo upset!

    Such stuff is what dreams are made of!

  3. debandtoby: These aren’t the night before. These are just random nights when I could be dreaming about anything.

    rontaru: Saga? Stories? Same horse? Different horses? Does it carry over from night to night a la Perils of Pauline? Fascinating.

    Mom: I still have Doggie. Don’t carry a purse. Not sure which lesson to take from that.

    Emma: 🙂

      1. I only carry a purse because I need somewhere to keep my epipen and emergency asthma inhaler. And if I got a smart phone I could carry less than what I do. Only I can’t seem to figure out how to deal with those things…they hate me…

  4. My horse dreams are usually sagas. Places I’ve trail ridden before, sometimes places from waaaay back in my childhood, when I was very young. Sometimes I recognize the place I’m riding, other times I just get a “feel” that I’ve been there or seen it somewhere before. Sometimes I’m riding alone, other times with friends I’ve ridden with in the past. I’m always riding one of our horses, but not always one of my horses, specifically. So I might be riding my horse or one of my hubby’s horses. What I find most fascinating is the horses that have passed on show up frequently in these dreams. And while I rode my hubby’s Arab only occasionally in all the years we had him, I do find I ride him often in my dreams. Not sure why. (He had LOTS of personality, so maybe that’s why he shows up so often?) Sometimes the whole focus of the dream is about riding, other times it’s like the horses are just an accessory in the dream, like background, more or less. Kind of like in real life: I’ve had horses in my back yard for so long, they’re always just a normal part of the fabric of my every day life. I’m sure you can relate. Another interesting thing I’ve noticed about my riding dreams is that there’s never any … struggle. We always ride seamlessly as a team. Always. So that’s pretty encouraging, but definitely not a reflection of my reality the last nine years. (That’s how long previous horse has been gone.) For several decades I had that “perfect” horse who was my heart horse. We spent thousands of hours together, rode countless miles together. I think deep down I’ll always be “searching” for the connection I had with her, and that connection continues to elude me. Still. Ironically, I often FEEL that connection when I ride any of the horses in my dreams, which means I usually wake feeling …. encouraged? I dunno. Hard to explain I guess. Interestingly enough, I never ride my husband’s buckskin in my dreams. In reality, I’ve only ridden him maybe all of three times in the fifteen years we’ve had him. So most of my dreams do mimic reality and in them, I find I’m often doing things I have done in the past or still do regularly now. Oh, and FWIW, I never dream about schooling. Ever. Only trail riding … and much of what I did in my past was pretty … insane. (Picture: Man From Snowy River) I find that fun. It gives me an opportunity to revisit things I know I’ll never do again in my lifetime. Interestingly enough, the body remembers and in my dreams it FEELS just like the real life experience.

    1. When I have a dream in which I’m physically active, I always wake up feeling like I’d done that much ILR – just as sore as well as tired. *sigh* And sometimes I get really angry at someone, only to realize that the cause of the anger was in a dream….

  5. I have dreams where I am justifiably FURIOUS and no one can understand why. For example, random strangers show up at my barn, mess with my horses, and don’t see why I am upset about it. I wake up exhausted.

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