It’s been a busy few weeks in regards to personal realisations. A week and a half ago I decided to go big and ride Jack at the Royal Three Counties Show. I had been taking lots of baby steps to get there and thought I was ready. I say thought as I realise now that I really wasn’t.
Mentally, I amazed myself. My breathing techniques worked, my acceptance of a few things helped and in general, I was fairly calm. I walked the course and again was surprised by how ok I was. A few competitors commented how nice it was to see me back in the saddle which meant a lot too. (It is 8 years ago that I competed at that level. )
I cantered into the arena and realised how grossly under prepared I was. To minimise details of the disaster, let’s just say, I retired at fence 3.
But, what I have realised is that I have really grown up. I went through all the expected “I am useless”, “I will never ride again” scenarios and had I written a blog the day after it would have a very different title. However, in these situations I somehow had the maturity to step back and look honestly at what happened. At the time, not even a decent quote would help, nor even the thought of quitting not being something I would teach my son. Now, I can see where it went wrong.
I practiced until I got it right and that, quite simply, is not enough. I practiced until I was ready to jump the course and there was a possibility that it would go well. I practiced at home in a safe, known environment and it went well. But, we all know that a show is a very different situation. I had never practiced in a county sized show arena, I had not practiced jumping when Jack was slightly distracted by audiences, I had not practiced when it mattered. I need to practice until I am ready not until I get it right.
So, off to Hickstead and Southerly was, quite rightly, back on board.
She did a great job and just, sadly, had one fence down. It was enough to go back in for phase two though (as there had only been 3 clears). And therefore, fan girl could launch….. the exceptional show rider, Robert Walker, was judging and so would be riding Jack! I was so excited, honoured, happy, nervous …… totally smitten…… and I was not disappointed.
A little taster for you all to enjoyhttps://howveryhorsey.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/img_0464.mov