How to Handle Negativity in the Show Ring
Ugh! Don’t you hate when you're having a bad day and you just want someone to just help uplift your spirit with some positive news?
Or even while your competing and it went horribly wrong...you just want someone to help you find at least something that went right? Very seldom do I see this ever happening and the choice is left up to us what we personally are going to set ourselves apart from the crowd. These bad days are such important trials and tribulations to our journey. Though they may not seem like that to you...once you look back on them you often can find the message. How can I be better? Or what can I do to help myself prepare for these days?
Lavender Eucalyptus blowing out of my defuser and a hot cup of coffee in my hand. Wish these were portable because I would be one calm hippie cowgirl if you ask me.
Daily we always find the bad juju and feed on such negative energy to where we become the people that we really don’t want to be. Look back at all the times this had happened. All that anger and frustration?! Was it worth it? Life is so short. Live it to your fullest.
I personally struggle with this getting caught up in drama I really don’t want to be apart. But I find it. Feed off it. Then I have released the Kraken.
When you begin competing
in the equine world, whether that be English, Western or Dressage you find the competition to be very bitter and unruly. Why? Because everyone, including your own brain, wants to see you fail in some way. They may not say it to your face. Everyone is there for one reason. To win.
I personally thrive and seek competition! I live for it. I was a competitive swimmer for 18 years of my life and 5 years on horseback. I look up to those better than me not because they just have the skills... they necessarily have done something to inspire and light a fire underneath me to want to reach that level and beyond!
My first gymkhana did not go as well as I planned. Ronnie was beyond hyper ignoring every cue I gave her. It was hot. I was sweaty and smelly and ready to throw up every time I entered the arena. She shot past every turn by 20 feet. I had no breaks. We almost fell. And at the end of the day, she and I were so tired she fought with me getting back into the trailer. But what I failed to keep in mind was we did not die, we sent some personal records, she was excited to do her job, and we scored 2nd in every event. Yes, it was far from perfect. Yes, I told people she was a training horse because I was afraid they were all silently judging me. BUT WE DID IT! Now every time I enter the show ring I give myself one personal goal.
Just this last weekend we competed at a Gymkhana in Fullerton, CA. Ronnie had two and a half weeks off barrels and poles due to a sore shoulder. (story to come) My sister was able to compete with me. Before we got on I had asked her to make a goal so we can have a fun day. We both made the goal to go ball to the wall, give everything we both had, and try not to fall off. All I can say is...nailed it!
Competition can be brutal. You will have more bad days weigh out the good. But if you are like me and want to emerge from the ashes...find some positive people to be around! I have such a great support system with my family and friends. They can always find the fun in these all day events.
Trust me it is hard to not get fed up with the drama, intimidating looks from other riders or even the sassy comments they make. But remember the real reason your there...to kick some butt! Keep your heads high and feet off the ground. No one said chasing a dream was easy.
See you next time, Sydney