Wednesday 29 March 2017

Feeling Weird and Embracing It

I don't even know how to describe it...I guess we'll just say I'm feeling weird about riding and life right now. I've mentioned things in real life have felt a bit off kilter this winter, so maybe that's affecting barn life too? I don't know.

I'm still super motivated to ride, excited for my lessons, and definitely going to try to get to all the clinics and shows I can this year. I'm making progress toward my goals. So, objectively, I'm doing all right.

Really, though, I'm struggling a lot with being pretty harsh on myself as a rider, as well as having faith in the pony holding up her end of the deal on any given day. Don't get me wrong, any time at the barn is still enjoyable and time well spent, and I look forward to hanging out with the Midge after work every day. It's just that the doubts about us both and the direction we're taking have crept in over the winter and I'm feeling a little lost and a little like we're failing. I need to change it up a bit, and luckily my attitude is something I can make conscious choices to change.

So, for now, our goal of not having any immediate goals stands.
I spoke too soon. B has immediate goals and an intense focus on her dinner bucket of grain being prepared.

We're going to be fairly busy in the near future. A 2 phase show this weekend, and hopefully a xc school while we're there, then eventing camp in the interior of the province the third week of April, then our first proper event of the season May 6/7. Somewhere in the middle of all that is a local hunter jumper show I'd like to find time for.

I'm going to try something new and do my very best to not worry about anything show related (beyond what time to meet at the pub) No worrying about move ups  or even improving from the time before. I'm not going to consider anything that happens or doesn't happen at shows this year as a benchmark for success or reflection of progress. With this winter being what it was, and me feeling the way I do, I just really feel like we need to instead use shows as an excuse to just go have fun. I can worry to the point of being miserable, and I tend to overlook the positives and focus on the things that could have gone better (partly because omg guys, its a show and people might be there and they might watch me doing things badly! The judge might hate us! The internet might creep our scores and get judgey! The horror ;)
B: "I'm cool. Everyone knows the camera adds 100lbs. Where's dinner?" 

This year, I don't want to worry about consequences if I get her to a crappy distance, or focus on the inevitable lost marks in left lead canter because its still not as straight as it could be. I want my biggest worry to be remembering the test or course, with the rest of the time spent enjoying the atmosphere, cheering on barnmates, and catching up with friends.   I'm thinking Starter (2'3") for the events, 2'6" jumpers at the show, and quite possibly the beginner group at the clinic/camp. First level dressage. Zero expectations. I'm curious as to whether consciously attempting to remove the anxiety, goals, and ideals will transfer through to Ms B and in turn make her have more fun. I'm willing to bet it will. Wish me luck with this  - not being 100% focused on doing my absolute best goes entirely against my (impossibly difficult) standards for myself ;)



  1. I love your attitude here! It's so easy to drive ourselves mad with worries or fears of failing or whatever. Ugh. So easy. But I'm like you - trying to make a purposeful choice in my mindset to focus on the positives and just make it a good fun time, whatever may happen. Sounds like you've got a lot to look forward to!!!

  2. Sounds like a great way to approach shows and that's going to be my goal too. That and surviving the fire breathing dragon pony and trying to get her to chill and have fun as well ;)

  3. Good luck! Recognizing your current mindset is the first necessary step to doing something about it. I hope you have fun with your pony this year! Everything else can come second

  4. Personal life stuff can absolutely bleed into your riding life! I definitely admire your attitude and determination to take things at your own pace and try your best to have fun. :)

  5. The thought of shows looming in the distance definitely makes me uneasy

  6. :( I live in the weird zone. I hope your days get better. Hug your pony!

  7. I like how your approaching this weirdness that you are experiencing.

  8. Learning to let go and be gentle on yourself is hard but also fake it until you make it!