2014 Shows and What I Learned From Them

Here are the shows Robbye and I attended in 2014:

There may or may not have been some bucking at our first show.

Majestic Farms CT 2/16. This was at Starter, I think. Rob was very nervous and we didn’t place particularly well, although the show jumping round was good, with zero runouts.


Walnut Creek Stables CT 3/30. We completed two rounds here – one at Starter and another at BN. According to their website we placed 8th and 6th, but I can’t believe we finished both show jumping rounds? We probably had runouts.

Old Stone Riding Center CT and Hunter Derby 6/08. This may have been where I lost all of my confidence. We entered the BN CT, had okay dressage, but bombed the SJ when she repeatedly refused at one jump (admittedly, it was a semi-scary one). Julie entered us into a hunter derby, which was fun and we were having a great ride until she repeatedly refused a cross country-like fence. We stayed to school that fence after the show was over and she ended up dumping me. We did go over it successfully, though.


Serenity Valley Farm CT at Twin Towers 6/20. I honestly don’t remember how this show went. We probably were really tense and refused a bunch of crap. I think this was the one where we entered a Novice jumpers class and ended up way over-faced.


New Vocations Charity Horse Show 07/04. This was the show where I realized what I was doing wrong. We ended up with zero ribbons from 2’6″ and 2’9″ series.


Serenity Valley Farm CT and Gambler’s Choice at Twin Towers 10/04. I don’t remember our placings here but I remember being very, very pleased. I tried to make the show as simple as possible for myself – only one dressage test to learn, only one jumping round to learn, and another I could make up. I remember in particular our Gambler’s Choice round was really nice and smooth, though we didn’t place.


Standardbred World Show (jumpers and u/s classes) 10/11. We had two great rounds at 2′ and 2’6″, then half an AMAZING round at 3′. I can’t even describe how amazing this round was. Flowing, forward, effortless. And then she saw a strange jump and screeched to a halt (not typical of her – she usually runs out), and I came off hard. And apparently was scarred by crashing into the jump. We did have a fairly successful Gambler’s Choice round at 2’6″ right after, which I was proud of doing. We had no great successes in the u/s classes, especially since she didn’t want to pick up her right lead.

The year was crappy. I felt like every show I was going for either “complete with a number” or “don’t get last place”. And even those didn’t happen very often.
Typing this now is making me want to cry because I’m realizing that everything I learned this year…I forgot it all again after my fall at the STB World show. I spent nine months struggling with disobedience, runouts, and craziness…then at New Vocations I learned that it’s all up to me. If I’m confident and happy, she’s confident and happy. If I know we can do it, she does it. I can ride through bucks and bolts. I can ride 3′ courses. And if I can’t and I come off…so what. It really doesn’t hurt that much. There’s nothing to lose by riding confidently: forward, and brave.
I need to take what I learned at New Vocations and use it. I used it at SVF and at the STB World show and it worked. I used it to drastically improve our dressage this fall and it worked. What am I doing trying to rebuild what I lost by falling off when I already learned it this year?!
Come on, Annye.

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