When you spend hundreds of hours to prepare for 10 minutes of competition those hundreds of hours have to be more important than the end result.
Tonight is my second to last jump lesson before our first BN competition in 3 (and a half) years. Nerves have been slowly creeping in and, along with them, purely irrational thoughts. (because the first rain KY has had in MONTHS definitely means that I have to have a full set of shoes, drilled and tapped for studs, put on my barefoot horse)
So I was sitting at work,
doing work things stalking the Team Challenge entry list, and then I read the above quote. Ahead of all the last minute show prep, I figured I would look back on the last 6 months of prep and all that we have accomplished.
Basically, since April, May and I have been committed to our weekly jump lessons. If I am in the state, I am at the barn on Tuesday nights. There are some things that don’t make it into my blog posts a lot. Like all the times that I asked Mandy to make an oxer smaller or hesitated before a course.
The modifications that happened to ensure that I could give my horse the ride she deserved. Like making this small-ish oxer EVEN SMALLER to that I would ride forward to it.
In fact, this felt scary, and you can see me PLANTING my hands on my neck strap because that was as much as I could get myself to do.
But I kept showing up. I kept doing my homework. I kept working to rewire my brain. A few months later, and we have the photo above.
And then, we had this;
And then we had this:
Fear and anxiety are still there. Every. Ride. But it gets better with every good ride I get under my belt. It gets better as Mandy keeps filling my toolbox and confidence bucket, ride after ride.
Would it be great to come home with some satin from Team Challenge? Hell yes. Does it really matter? No. Not really. What really matters are these videos above. The changes in my riding AND in my horse for the better. I can confidently say that the hours leading up to October 19th and 20th are worth WAY MORE to me than the results of this singular show.