Wanting It To Be Over and Other Unhelpful Things To Think Before A Horse Show

More rattling on about my nerves. Documenting the process. No answers. Someday we’ll all look back on this and laugh? Maybe it will help someone else feel that they are not alone? Although, I don’t wish this on anyone.

As expected, the show went fine. [Bringing in the Year with Blues]

As expected, I was a mess beforehand. [Thoughts on Future Lessons]

For three days.

That is why the Wednesday & Thursday posts – written together on Tuesday – are long, and the Friday post – written on Thursday when the reality of the show was looming – is short. That is also why you got two from the vaults for the weekend.

This was the same time that the horses started going out together. [Release Both Krakens]

It’s possible I was distracted.

I didn’t feel distracted, but at this point would I even notice?

I knew it would go well. Nice horse. Small class. Small show. Home barn. As unthreatening as a show situation could possibly be.

And yet.

That small part that can’t be reached by words curled up in a terrified ball for three days.

I really did say to myself that I wished it was all over.

If one were being generous, one could say that I wished the waiting was all over. But I really just wanted it all to be over. Eventhough I know I will like the actual classes once I get there.


I’ve established that my agitation disappears as soon as I sit in the saddle, and thank powers of sport for that. [The Crux]

Dr. Margaret suggest that when I am nervous, I think about how I will feel when I am riding. See if the positive feeling I have on a horse will lift me up from the mire beforehand. At first, I was concerned that I would contaminate the good feelings with the bad. Tried it. Turns out, doesn’t affect the ride, yay. Does make me more nervous, quel surprise. Visualizing what I’m going to do just makes me more nervous about doing it.

I can’t find a post about it, but memory says I was not quite as bad when I was riding my own horse instead of a lesson horse last year. Before one of the shows with Rodney, I remember lying down for a few minutes after breakfast. Once I got up and got moving, I was fine, or at least way better than here. I had something to do, something I was looking forward to – i.e. getting my horse ready – that took my mind off of the upcoming classes. Stay busy. Think about the horse.


I am alone too much. Without other humans for balance, I start to compare my level of activity and productivity to a platonic ideal of what I would achieve with perfect motivation. Since this is not possible, I am always failing. Not healthy. The fancy new term is emotional co-regulation. As far as I can tell, this is a ten-dollar word for ‘Hang out with friends and get out of your own head.’

Of course, as I said above, this was right when horses started going out together after 2+ months of stall rest, so I may have been at the end of my rope, low on spoons, out of energy bolts, choose your metaphor.


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