Plans. They are a funny thing. I like lists. I like goals. I have to have something to work for or toward. I like showing. But this year has been so different. Different in a really good way. Different then I had imagined. I went back to read my begining of the year plans that I posted the first of the year. It was interesting that there were plans that I had forgot were plans and yet I still feel like I have accomplished more this year than any other previous. We competed far less, we lessoned far more. We did not one clinic. We focused a lot on the dressagey stuffs but are jumping far better than ever before or even than I thought would be this year.
I think I had almost resigned myself to the idea that Steady was just going to be a bat out of hell in stadium and a ball of nerves in dressage. And though I felt that was my reality I was not comfortable with it. In years past I have been so competition focused. I thought that "everyone" else competes all the time and 'everyone' else does multiple recognized events, that that is what I want to do. I want to be awesome like 'them'. I think I have realized that I want to be awesome like us. What ever that may mean, what ever we are doing lets just do it awesome. I found this year that I am getting far more pleasure from an awesome lesson than I do bringing home a ribbon from a recognized horse trial. I mean yes I love to 'win'(winning to me is ending up in the ribbons) but it just has lost is draw for me. I am getting far more out of building this amazing horse one step at a time. And honestly I could do that without ever showing again. Buuuuut don't think I have gone all that extreme. I will still show and I do still love to have that as a carrot on a stick. I even still plan to compete at least 1-2 more times this year.
I have had to cut back, a lot. Much more than I had anticipated because of bringing along my daughter and Lily. They have shown far more than I have and done several other things. I knew it would change things I just didn't realize how much. But I have strangely been ok with it.
I mean when watching these two do this how can I complain?
Honestly though the only things I have sacrificed are more shows. But I have still progressed with my horse, enjoyed riding, gone trail riding, done dressage lessons, jump lessons, XC schooled. I just don't feel deprived. In some ways it take so much pressure off. It has eliminated those extreme ups and downs that come along with deadlines(show dates), will we be ready, will he be sound, show day mountains and valleys, terrible dressage test(down), killer cross country(up), wacked out stadium(down), still ending in the ribbons(up). I just seem more balanced.
In looking at my 2013 plans I was surprised to see most of the things I wrote down were about shows. I have only done two schooling shows this year, one that was a disaster and the other that was awesome but I have yet to move up to Novice like I had planned. But I have learned one thing in my riding this year that has been absolutely life changing. It is the key to all of Steady's progress. It has completely changed him as a horse and me as a rider. One thing, I never thought one simple thing could be so life changing in a sport I have done my entire life. And for this one thing I would trade in all the showing. It has changed me, it has changed my horse and it has made us communicate more than I ever imagined. And for those reasons I don't feel the least bit deprived this year but the opposite. I feel completely satisfied and happy. And what more could one ask for than that?