30 Day Blog Challenge Day 7- My First Horse Show
Wow, it’s already day number 7 in my 30-day blogging challenge! This is 7 days down, 23 more to go! By the time I am done with this challenge, you will all know so much more about me and my horses as well as my strengths, and my weaknesses. I wanted to offer a little more to you about myself, and thanks to me reading the incredible blog She Moved To Texas, I found her 30-day blogging challenge and decided to emulate what she had done. It’s interesting to note, she just recently changed the layout of her blog, and it is really nice! I loved the way she shared 30 days of looking into her life, so I wanted to do the same, with a few twists in some of the topics.
Getting Ready For A Horse Show
I remember planning for my very first horse show. I was so excited. I had my first official ‘horse’. And I say this, because if you remember back to my first post in this blogging challenge, I shared with you my first ever horse was a miniature mule. But after I outgrew him, my dad traded up and I got my first horse, Duchess. I have no idea what breed she was. And I have never owned a horse that was so difficult to catch. That could have been because I was 13 years old.
And after I had been riding her for about 6 months, I begged my parents to compete in my first show. They begrudgingly caved in, and said I could go. I felt like I could fly I was so excited!
I worked with her as much as I could, which was only about two times a week. I didn’t have a trainer, or even a riding arena to ride in. I didn’t have an English bridle, or even a saddle pad. And I had bought my riding helmet from a garage sale. It was a Calliente (I think) riding helmet that was tan. My mom had bought me a pair of Cadet rubber riding boots, and a pair of Breeks breeches that were pretty much a canary yellow. And an interesting fact, you can still buy them on eBay, but I wouldn’t recommend them. My riding coat was a grey pinstripe jacket I had bought at Goodwill for $1.00.
So basically, I was a hot mess. And let’s not forget about Duchess…
She was white (sort of) but she had more of a yellow cast too her. This was before I had found out about whitening shampoo’s, and cornstarch. But I thought she looked beautiful. It’s funny how our mind allows us to imagine something so different from what we are projecting out into the world, don’t you think?
But I honestly thought I was ready to go to a show. This was probably due to me riding alone for so long, and not being around other horse and rider combinations. Because if I had been, I would have realized I was in no way ready to go to a show.
But thankfully this was just a schooling show. Unfortunately, when we arrived to the fancy barn, I had no choice but to face the reality. I had no business being there. I literally felt my heart fall into my stomach.
A Valuable Lesson Learned
But my dad made it clear, we had come all this way, I would be riding in the 1 class I had entered. After I tacked up Duchess while my dad paid for me, I made my way to the indoor arena. And I must say, I am so glad he made me do it. Yes, I was out of my league, and yes, I was had the most hideous turnout of any rider there. But I had an incredibly safe horse that did whatever I asked of her, including taking her out of her pasture where she had lived for who knows how long and forcing her to compete. And she was quiet, even though she had probably never been to a show.
But more importantly was the look on my dad’s face when we were in that class. I will never forget the look on his face. It wasn’t of embarrassment, or shame. It was pride. I had never seen my father smile like I did when we walked, trotted, and cantered past him where he was watching on the fence. He was so proud of me for wanting this so bad, and doing it. Even though it was the most awful horse show experience I have ever had, it was also my most favorite. Because I learned from my father that even if I didn’t have the best of the best, I gave it my best and I didn’t give up.
It Is What It Is
Duchess and I didn’t place in that class (I know, shocker.) But after we took Duchess back to her pasture, my dad took me to a tack store in town and bought my first “new” piece of English riding equipment, a brand-new helmet. It was so beautiful, and I still have it.
Thankfully I think that experience has stayed with me through the years, which motivates me to understand how important it is to prepare for every show, even if it is a schooling show. But also, to be realistic about my abilities, as well as that of my horse. So yes, it was a horrible first show, but the lessons I learned is something that I use every day in life; In order to be successful, you will have to fail. And overcoming your failures will make you successful.
So if you fail at a horse show, or anything for that matter, shake it off, and do it again. You will get better, believe me, I’ve been there! And to my dad….thanks dad, for believing in me and showing me how to believe in myself.