Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2012: A perfect year to throw out perfectionism

2012 was a good year competition-wise. As someone who tends toward the middle of the pack (no "thrill of victory," no "agony of defeat"), Ri and I are basking in what was, for us, a pretty good year. We won some year end awards from two GMOs, for one thing--more on that later. I'm happy, but I'm realistic about our performances. Ri is a lovely, kind horse, and judges saw it and rewarded it. I'm a lucky girl to have him, and the view from his back is worth a million bucks.  Four years ago, when he was on stall rest and needed unrelenting  care, I had no idea if he would even be sound for riding, much less competing. The real victory is that he is happy, and rideable, and healthy.  So this is all good.

Let yourself be happy: Taking the good advice 
Here is a shout-out to Kevin Donnelly. I'm relaying his sage advice to all of you perfectionist dressagey types. Hey, Kevin, you may not remember me, but we used to board together at a barn when I first moved to PA. Harv and I were competing, and one weekend we came away with blue ribbons and even edged out an area professional for a First Level victory at a recognized show. You congratulated me, and I was quick to explain how some of the more competitive riders had difficult horses or bad rides.

You said something that stuck with me:

"You should enjoy the highs to the fullest, because with horses, you're don't know how long you're going to stay there, and you need the highs to get you through the lows." 

Thanks Kevin. I'm going to follow this advice this year :-).


  1. Sneaked a look at the awards list. Congratulations! You will have to go far to beat those results, but Riley's up to it. All you need is faith and your continued dedication.

    Kevin's comment is so perfect. I've been at both ends and the highs have always carried me through when things were not going so well.

  2. Fantastic advice.

    My horse has developed an allergic cough, which can make riding challenging and will probably prevent us from showing again. The not showing part is okay with me, but I do worry about his longevity as a riding horse. The advice rings close to home as I remember so many of our good times and hope that there will be many more (without knowing what the future holds).

  3. When you think about it, it all comes right down to the partnership you built with your equine partner. Kevin is correct; every ride is a learning opportunity and some rides teach us more than others (;o)

    And I loved your comment about the view from Ri's back. I look through my Huey's ears and enjoy every moment, too, even when he's not being the most obedient of fellows. We are all lucky to be able to do what we do.

  4. Great advice... It is so nice to read about you and Riley doing well consisitently...considering his health was a big question mark for you earlier on.


Hi Guys, Your comments are valued and appreciated -- until recently I never rejected a post. Please note that I reserve the right to reject an anonymous post.