Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tough Going

     Sometimes you go to a horse show and nothing seems to go right.  To make matters worse, the judge isn't placing you well, or even worse you can't even get a ribbon!  You get discouraged and maybe just quit trying so hard.  Believe it or not, sometimes this isn't a bad thing because when you start to relax, your horse gives a big sigh, so to speak too, and the two of you may just start working better together.
     Often, that's when things begin to turn around.  Horses start showing better, riders ride a little better, and maybe the other horses in the ring start to tire and suddenly you're back in the game.
     My advice is not to get upset or angry when the equine gods throw you a tough show.  Just keep showing and see how things turn out.  Worse comes to worse: you can have a great schooling experience. 
     When a show is going against you, use your time in the ring to practice being relaxed and not trying "too hard".  Wait for the transitions just a little longer, work on making your horse life his shoulders and collect up a little more and work deeper in the corners than you might have and, ride a longer route into the line-up.
     I believe that staying positive (but realistic) is the key to success.  If you need a new horse, move on!  If you and your horse just need to improve though. then get to work - whenever an opportunity presents itself. 
     If you have a good horse, don't lose confidence in him or yourself just because the equine gods aren't smiling on a particular performance.  Take things in stride (pun intended!) and soon things will improve.  It may take a show or two but it does turn around!  Talk to you next week, JD.

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