… (insert the sound of crickets here.)
Since winning the RAAC class last month and qualifying for the championship show, I knew I needed a game plan to help me prepare for such a big show (there are nearly 1,500 scheduled rides). To keep my worries in check, I have done a couple of things:
- Up until this weekend, I didn't allow myself to think about the size of the show. I worked consciously to NOT be impressed by the number of riders, barns, rings, etc. Focusing on the magnitude of the show would have only engulfed me in worry.
- I didn't talk about the show with anyone (even myself!), especially my colleagues at work. Sure, I made some general comments to my trainer, barn owner, and husband, but the comments were more scheduling in nature. The reason that I didn't talk about it at work was because I didn't want my colleagues to be impressed with the caliber of the show because then they would have had expectations which would have put a lot of pressure on me.
- I kept Speedy's training schedule pretty low key. I let him free graze every afternoon for at least 20 minutes. I didn't bathe him, but I did curry him pretty thoroughly each day. I rode him four consecutive days each week, and gave him the other three days off. Each four day work week had a schedule of sorts where I focused on only one or two things for that day. I didn't ride any of the tests from start to finish, but I did school particular elements.
- I didn't blog about the championship at all, which is why you haven't heard much about the speedy pony lately. For me, talking too much about what is going to happen is like blowing up a balloon; it can only take so much air before it pops. I didn't want there to be too much air in my championship balloon before I even got there! That balloon can pop on Monday morning as I haul myself out of bed, dog-tired, to head to work.
So, here it is, CDS Championship time. I've done my grocery shopping, Speedy has had a hair cut, and the trailer is packed and loaded. I've printed the day sheets (15 pages worth), highlighted my rides (and those of my friends), and worked out a coaching and lesson schedule with Chemaine. I am about as ready as I can be.
Expect some radio silence for the next week or so, but I hope to be back to blogging on Monday morning. Have a great week, and I'll see you soon!