Sometimes Looking Back is Exactly What We Need to Do
So most successful people will tell you “when you want something in life you need to set your sights on it, really visualize your goal and make every step you take in the direction of that goal.” That is absolutely 100% true, however with the sport of Dressage it is also important to stop occasionally and look back. What the show season of 2017 has taught me among the obvious things such as “listen to your reader – it is really embarrassing to go off course when you have a test readerJ” and another good one is “the white dressage surrounds are there for a reason and you are supposed to ride within themJ” All fun aside and most importantly I have learned that it is necessary to stop and look back at how far you have come. It is so easy in Dressage to get caught up in thinking FORWARD. After all, we are always striving to ride forward – ride forward into the connection, ride forward into the transition. It is natural to always be thinking “what do I need to accomplish to get to the next level?” Instead of accomplishing one movement and moving on to the next I think everyone should stop and think back to the first show of the season and be so proud of themselves for where they are now.
Since my lesson with Cesar Torrente, Ferro and I have attended 6 shows, performed 14 tests, including the wonderful Capital City Classic Show and ridden with Karen Pavicic. We have had high marks, we have had low marks, we have had much praise from the judges and clinicians and definitely lots of homework to work on. We even managed to get to a show, warm-up and perform our tests without a reader!! I feel like I can now keep my hands quiet, keep my lower leg even quieter, stay tall in my body and deep in my seat during transitions (which was a tough one with my jumper backgroundJ) All in all a very successful season making wonderful memories with my best friend.
Many of you may not know the struggles Ferro has had over the years. There has, for some time now, seemed to be some niggling discomfort in his body that we could not treat. Recently, Dr. Parsons from Langley performed a neurological test on him and told me that he has some component of neurological disease. I have made the difficult decision to lay Ferro up for a year. Give his body a chance to rest and bring him back to work only when his body is right and he tells me he is not in any discomfort. Ferro is one of the kindest horses I have ever met and I want every chance for him to feel good in his body. Like everyone reading this blog, we all have special connections with our equine partners, situations or circumstances in our lives that give us that special bond, draw us a little closer and as those experiences add up day after day you find yourself looking at your equine partner thinking – he trusts me, he knows me better than I know myself, there is mutual respect between us. Once the relationship gets to that level I feel the only right decisions are the ones that put our special equine partners first. So, although I started this blog to bring together our wonderful horse community through Ferro’s and my travels I will now continue to blog to you all about Ferro’s journey resting and hopefully recovering. I plan to continue improving my dressage skills with a new equine partner and I know when the right one comes along you will all be the first to know!
Now get out there and enjoy the last show of the season next weekend!! Don’t forget to look back if only to remind yourself how far you’ve come. Give your horse a big pat and a lot of treats for all the hard work you both have accomplished and look forward to the next level with a big smile on your face!!