Hey hi hello loves!
3 months later and I have officially gotten my first horse show as a bionic woman (read: metal-fused collarbone awesomeness) under my belt! Pretty neat, huh? I just wanted to take some time today to reflect on coming back and how the show went, as well as give some shoutouts to the people that were there this weekend!
First off, an apology for a) not posting regularly and b) for everyone who was on the brunt end of my riding-withdrawl attitude. It’s no secret that I get extremely grumpy and ansty when I can’t ride, and these past few months have been no exception. As for not posting, I have been busy working at a new job, getting my bartending certification, attending concerts and spending time with friends, and suffering my way through physical therapy. Some of those may seem trivial, but for someone that did not heed her parents’ advice to travel after graduating, I tend to enjoy the moments I can get away to their maximum potential.
Anywho, this past weekend found me competing Chocco Star for the first time, and to say it was a bit of a time crunch is QUITE the understatement. For both Thursday and Friday, I was faced with the challenge of somehow getting from my job, a solid 20-25 minutes away, to the barn and into the ring by 3:30, a mere 30 minutes after I finished my shift. Thursday found me rushing into the warm up ring, jumping three fences, and learning the course seconds before I stepped inside. Apparently this hurried method works for me: I ended up being the only clear round and winning my class! Friday was similar, but I was too slow in the jump off and ended up lower in the standings…which was entirely my fault.
Saturday and Sunday featured a very special guest, aka my boyfriend, who came up for moral support and to spend the weekend with me. Thankfully I didn’t make a complete fool of myself, and after a similar ride to Friday on Saturday I managed to kick it into high gear and shave off about four seconds on my jump off time by Sunday, giving me enough points to end up Reserve Champion! Not too shabby for my first show back, and it definitely gave me a ton of confidence in my new partnership with Chocco, whom I fall a little more in love with daily.
Coming back to riding has honestly been wonderful, minus the cringe-worthy realization that I lost a ton of leg strength and that my position still gets a little wonky from time to time. I’ve taken a new approach to riding, and instead on just zeroing-in on what I do wrong in a course or an exercise, I have been trying to focus instead on what went well, and how I can replicate that as well as fix the other mistakes I made. By putting a more positive spin on my mental focus I have been able to keep my nerves and anxiety in check, which has made me much more calm in the saddle. Having the support of my trainers, parents, boyfriend, and friends as well has made this journey much easier than I was expecting, and I literally cannot thank everyone enough for being so patient and also giving me a swift kick to the arse when I get a little stuck. (Sometimes you need it!)
That’s all for me today, and I’ll see you next week!