Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ribbons and trophies: Musing on winnning

Okay, it's time for True Confessions.  This year I was lucky enough to get some above average schooling show scores, in no small part due to the judges seeing Ri's potential and good attitude.  I've submitted them for some year end awards (two GMOs).  I hate waiting for the results! The temptation is to cull through the newsletters and see the likelihood of getting  in the top six ribbons -- but it's kind of unsavory, isn't it?

I've resisted.

One thing that's helped maintain a bit of perspective on the whole business is reading this wonderful post by The Dressage Curmudgeon. She writes about the amateur's elation at winning the coveted blue ribbon...
"It is hard to be objective when you arms are bundled with carrots and leadshanks and shampoo, and you are basking in the glory of kicking the ass of other sweating middle aged women on their sweating middle aged horses..."
-- The Dressage Curmudgeon
This passage made me laugh out loud. Maybe the image of the fifty-something woman bouncing around the ring isn't strictly true--there are a lot of talented juniors and very fit, accomplished riders out there competing. Winning does mean something. I'm just not sure if it means what I want it to mean. Skill is a big part of winning -- but so is the quality of the horse, and the support of a trainer, and just plain  luck (weather, who shows up that day, who's judging).   Truth to tell, I doubt that my accomplishments in the ring merit the grandeur of the ribbons and the trophies.

Doggone it, I want them anyway :-).


  1. Oh, I've been there. *lol* It's always nice to win, especially if you've worked hard for it.

    You and Riley have worked hard, so I'm sending good vibes for some pretty ribbons...and maybe even more!

  2. I don't know what it is about ribbons but I just love them. I know it is silly but I can't help it. I want a big fat ribbon!!! I don't blame my horse when we don't get a ribbon but you can sure bet I am beaming when we get them. I watched a tiny horse show this summer and they had huge ribbons. My eyes got wide and it was all I could do not to go over and drool on them. We might have to attend that show just because of the ribbon size!! Did I just say that aloud? Wait um.... ribbons don't matter, it is all about the experience. Gosh why are you so vain?

  3. I love it, because I can relate too. Something about those blue/red/yellow ribbons that I just can't resist!

  4. As a lowly training level rider who rides a non-warmblood, I frequently show with three or fewer riders in a class which means that we often "win." I often feel embarrassed about the blue ribbons, especially when I am the only rider in the class, but then I reason that at least I am out there doing it and working on "moving" up. It's not exactly my fault that my classes are small, even most of the USDF shows where I ride have small classes. I take the ribbons, smile, thank the show managers, and proudly display the ribbons that mean the most. My local chapter of our GMO (California Dressage Society), a very small chapter, just awarded me the AA High Point Average Winner. I was a bit shocked, but will proudly display the certificate and will quite happily deposit my $100 check. I never brag about my "wins" since 1 out of 1 isn't worth bragging over, but I do feel proud when our scores are nice.


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