2014 Shows and What I Learned From Them

Here are the shows Robbye and I attended in 2014:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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