We had our IHSA show on Judson's campus
this past weekend and everything went really well. The horses all did great and I think the riders had a good time. For the Judson Team, it was nice to have a show at home where we knew the horses and didn't have to travel. I must also add how nice it was to have our new barn located right beside our arena. It made things so much more convenient.
Saturday was also Scholarship Day at Judson, so we even got to have a number of prospective students come up to the arena for a little while. I think it is really neat that they had the opportunity to see what our program has to offer, as well as, what IHSA has to offer.
As good of a time as we all had this weekend, we are also glad that it is over. Getting ready for a horse show is one of the most stressful things to do. There is just so much that has to be done; horses have to be worked, judge packages put together, horses assigned to each class, programs printed, information packets for each team, and so so much more, half of which I probably don't even know about. It is not all about getting ready for all of the people who are coming, though, it is also about making sure that we as riders are ready to compete. Sometimes we get so caught up in getting ready and trying to ride our best so that we can get enough points, that we are too tense to really DO our best.
I realized this week in class that sometimes I am so worried about winning, or at least placing high, that riding becomes a chore, something that is stressful and that I even at times, almost dread. That isn't what riding is suppose to be about...
Yeah, I want to do well in shows, but I show because I love horses and I love to ride. If I forget that, what is the point?
We did an exercise in class Tuesday that was meant to not only improve our riding, but to remind us why it is that we ride in the first place - because we love it and it is FUN. You know what, I remembered... I remembered what it was like to ride because I love it and because it is fun, and because horses are one of Gods most amazing creations.
I am sure that at this point most of you are probably wondering what this amazing exercise was. Well, it is nothing special really... We simply ran polls using cones since we don't actually have polls. It helped us with controlling our horses. We worked on flying lead changes and it was a time where we could just ride and ride fast. :) It was also a great opportunity for us to grow as a team and just encourage each other to get one more lead change than last time or to run it just a little bit faster. When it didn't go as well as we had hoped or we messed up, we could laugh at our mistake and try again, harder.
This is a lesson that I am going to try my hardest to remember, both when I show or when I am just having a hard day in class. I ride because I love to, because it is fun and something I enjoy. As long as I have a good time and try my hardest it doesn't matter if I win or not because if all I am concerned about is winning, there is no point.