It’s Still Fun!

Here’s an excerpt from my free special report, 3 Secrets to Making Every Ride a Great Ride. To get a copy of this report and also my free Special Report on 5 Tips to Demolish Fear, go to my website and click on the icon in the upper right corner of the About Jane page.
I think Leslie Thorsen from Vermont sums up an attitude of gratitude brilliantly in her article called, “It’s Still Fun.” Here’s what Leslie has to say about the joy of riding and competing.
So, you’ve had your horse at an indoor arena all winter, and you have religiously worked with your trainer. Your horse’s teeth have been floated, your saddle is newly flocked, and you know your test inside and out.
So what do you do when your horse has had the perfect warm up, his back is up, he is on your aids, but as you pass A to ride the perfect centerline, your little darling gallops like a Kentucky Derby horse (and he isn’t even a thoroughbred!)?
You do what any blue-blooded dressage rider would do, you smile and say to yourself “Boy… this sure is fun!” And what you don’t even realize at the time is you have already lost points before you have earned them (error -3).
Continuing on with the day, you help your daughter with her warm up. Right when the ring steward announces to her, “You are on deck”, you detect the slightest lameness on the front right leg. The timing is impeccable! Could this be? Does this seasoned show horse actually now understand the meaning of the words, “You are on deck?” After a winter of complete and utter soundness, my daughter and I were still thinking how much fun we both were having when we had to scratch First level, test four.
And as the beautiful spring day began to unfold, I looked around and saw other riders deal with their expectations for their own horses. A stall mate remarked, “We can’t move up because we can’t get the flying changes.” Yet, I saw an incredible sight. I saw that same rider with a great big smile on her face while she rode a beautiful Second level test. I saw all the preparations for Third level even though they still haven’t found that bridge yet.
Her smile confirmed to me “Yep, she’s still having fun.”
I saw another rider with arthritis to beat the band. Yet, she painstakingly braided and prepared herself and her horse for a perfectly accurate and fabulously ridden Third level test. The joy she receives from this partnership makes her ignore her own pain. And yes, astonishingly enough, I have to admit… she is still having fun!
So, why do we keep coming back for more? With all the money spent on how to get the perfect bend, halt, and impulsion, we could be driving a Maserati, which by the way stops, goes, turns left and turns right the same way every time!! The answer to the question is because maybe your horse didn’t have it in him that day to bring home the blue, or do the flying change, or trot the centerline, but it’s all the other days that came before this one. All those days that developed the very privileged, and yet very humbling relationship we all have with our animals.
And finally, when the day is all said and done, and you are collapsing into your bed from sheer exhaustion, you realize somewhat sleepily to yourself, whether you win, lose, get eliminated, or have to scratch………it’s still fun!!!

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