Monday, March 23, 2015

Circuit Awards

For some reason, this year Thermal felt more productive but not more successful in terms of ribbons.  Prair was without a doubt a better Hunter than she was last year, though it's questionable as to whether I was a better rider or not given the whole took-a-break-for-a-baby thing. 

All in all though, we still held on to a couple of Circuit awards.  For the second half of the circuit we snagged a championship in our Eq (lol) and an Reserve in one of our Hunter divisions (I forget which one).

Our Eq points were enough to win the Grand Circuit Championship which is pretty cool, so Prair gets at least one more HUGE tri-color to pin on our wall. 

To be honest I go back and forth on how excited I am about an unrated Eq championship.  On one hand, neato burrito -  even at the baby level, the horses and riders (for the most part) at Thermal are more competitive than what we see at home and it's an accomplishment.  Frankly just getting to the ring is an accomplishment....

On the other hand, I feel like it isn't that impressive or noteworthy to be (what feels like) the only one who hangs in the baby leagues for long enough to rack up enough points for a win.  It seems like more people show one or two weeks and then move up to something bigger. 

So in a way, the award almost feels like a participation ribbon for not progressing.

Cynical I know, but that's my current read.  I love the ribbons and the circuit award coolers are usually pretty snazzy, but it makes me feel like we should be doing more.

That sentiment is probably more of a reflection on my competitive mindset than anything.  If I'm not winning (or rather, doing "well"), I am (understandably) frustrated. 

However, when we do win - Instead of enjoying the accomplishment I feel like we should be doing more, or worry that we're sandbagging.

In a way, it's nice to hear the vet say she wants us to hang at 2'6".  At least then I feel like I have permission to hold steady for a bit and not beat myself up about moving back up to our former 2'9" or even 3' height. 

In the end all of our work is more correct and more relaxed than it was last year, which if anything should make this award mean more, not less.


  1. I think you should get a tricolor just for the improved work! That's an awesome achievement! Congratulations on doing so well. :)

    bonita of A Riding Habit

  2. Ribbons denote improvement & are rewards for patience, perseverance and hard work (imo) - if you guys haven't earned them on that front then no one has!
    Plus there is nothing wrong with perfecting rounds & eq at 2ft6 before moving up to new heights or going back to old heights as the case may be. You'll both be better for it and more confident. Sounds like a win-win to me

  3. I think you definitely make some valid points, and I can understand that you're frustrated. But, look on the bright side: Prair was sound enough to prepare for Thermal, stayed sound throughout the show, and is staying sound after much so that you guys are cleared to hang at 2'6". I think that's definitely something to smile about! And hey, another tricolor isn't too shabby either :)

  4. Congratulations! I think it's a great accomplishment. You did what was best for your horse and I think you should be proud of that. Plus, you earned it! The competition at that caliber of shows is no joke, I had to move my old OTTB gelding down to the 2'6" jumpers when he told me he just couldn't do the 3'6"s any more and we were still in good competition at that level.

    Hope you will post pictures of the new tricolor and cooler!

  5. congratulations!! and yes, i agree that your perspective is mildly cynical haha. but i see where you're coming from on wanting to challenge yourself more. Prairie is doing so well tho - it'll come when she's ready!!! in the meantime, no harm in sitting back and enjoying it :)

  6. Yeah you should be ashamed of that giant tricolor. It probably needs to live at my house. :-P

    Kidding, obviously. Between the baby (you) and lameness (P), I think you guys are doing awesome!

  7. I would still be stoked. A lot of us hang out in the 'baby' divisions for a long time *without* success. You both have legitimate reasons to sit tight this year.

  8. Pff I would be so proud! I can promise you that I can't go out there and do that!!

  9. 1) Ribbons and coolers are pretty and they make us happy. 2) You are doing what's right for you and your horse right now, no need to push either of you to do "more" just because you feel like that's what everybody else is doing. For all the people who are showing at 3' there are about ten times as many who can't do what you did, either because of their own or their horses limitations. So be proud of yourself and your horse! You earned those ribbons girl.

  10. You have to ride well and your horse has to have a good day to be able to get those kinds of ribbons... regardless of what height you're at.

  11. Congrats!!! Ribbons and coolers for the win!!


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