WELL, WELL, WELL.
I did my first show of the year. First show of 2018 done and completed. AND I DIDN’T BREAK ANYTHING!
*sits back and sips that wine*
We pulled out 3 firsts. We only did the cross-rail division – totally embarrassing, but hey. As Drake says, “started from the bottom and now we’re here”. Seriously, I should consider listening to that while I am waiting to enter the ring next time.
I totally surprised myself. I didn’t get nervous. Not once did my stomach meet the back of my throat. I was semi relaxed. I had 3 great schooling jumps and my 3 over fences rounds weren’t that bad. I was able to focus on details I could never focus on before. I still need a shit ton of work but damn I AM PROUD. I am proud of my nervous self for staying calm. This was my second time doing a course since I started back riding so I am so happy that I was able to do it. And, that I was able to actually focus on the job at hand… slightly… I need to focus more, but that will come – hopefully.
This show was a great starting point for me to work back towards Lows and Mods. Just completing the 3 rounds gave me the feeling that I will be SO ready for the first off property show in April. It also made me think of some show goals that I really need to work on.
These are goals that I can do schooling and showing, but I hope to have them under control sooner than later;
- Breathing. I need to remember to breathe. I even hold my breath when I am just schooling. While I was doing my first over fences rounds I kept getting that panic tunnel vision thing that I do. I like to think it’s because I am focusing but, but I don’t fully feel like that’s it. If I can remember to breathe I feel like I will be 10 times more focused and relaxed. Crazy as it seems, breathing is quite essential to life. And the fact I need to tell myself to do so, is a wonder I haven’t passed out yet.
- Counting strides. I completely forgot to count my strides because I was basically grasping for air each round. I was able to count for one round, but I’m not sure if I was just lucky or what with my striding. I need to get this one under control ASAP. Since strides will affect my placings, there is no room for error here.
- EYE UP. EYE UP. GOOD GOD. I need to get this one under control. I dropped my eye at least 3 times (probably more but I don’t remember) in each round. AND, this is a shocker – every time I dropped my eye we chipped, or had a really awkward spot. I have myself so trained right now to constantly look down at my spot as we are jumping over it, that it is hard to continue to look forward. I really need to re-train my eye to stay up and forward. BUT, before I wasn’t able to think about it, I wasn’t able to remember to do so and now I am. I am able to be like “DAMN IT BETHANY PICK YOUR DAMN EYES UP!”
- Ride those corners. I get nervous of those corners. It’s like I think they are going to swallow me up. I always cut them off once the heart gets pumping. But, we riders know, you need your corners. The corners help set your track and your spot. I have improved with riding my corners, but as this latest show as shown me I still need to work on them.
- Remembering my course. This one actually hasn’t been too bad. There was one show where I completely blanked. So, I circled and hollered at my friend for help… Not a good idea, but my bad! My coach says if you can say your course three times in your head without messing it up, your golden. And I did that at this show and guess what – I remembered.
- Just have fun. It’s not like I am going to the Olympics any time soon. This is my hobby. Something I have loved since I was a little child. It’s not about the ribbons. It’s about having fun and doing something I love and truly enjoy. It’s about making new friends and new memories. Memories I can look back on later in life and be proud of. Horseback riding is something some people wish they were doing and aren’t. I am that person doing it and enjoying it.
With this show under wraps, I am getting that show fever. So sweet baby Jesus don’t let me break anything. I am counting on 2018 to be my year.
❤ The Nervous Equestrian