From Endurance to Dressage
Just recently, my trainer shared an article about getting the most from your student/trainer relationship. The article covered seven points, most of which I do without even thinking: Ask Questions, Listen Actively, Do Not Talk Back, Try Not to Make the Same Mistake Over and Over, Work Hard, and Bring Your Best Every Day.
Frankly, I could have written that article myself. These are all things that I encourage my own 5th grade students to do. The one point that gave me reason to pause though was this one: Have Some Defined Goals.
I have goals of course, but it embarrasses me to say them out loud. I don't even share most of them here on my blog, and it horrifies me to even think about sharing them my trainer. But why is that?
As I thought about it, I realized that for me, voicing my goals aloud sets myself up for public failure. I want to make it to at least Fourth Level, but that doesn't appear to be happening. I want to show at least marginally successfully at Second Level. Also not happening. Walking around making my as of yet unrealized and may never be hopes and dreams known just seems like a surefire way to look like a loser. After all, I might not be good enough to achieve any of them.
Chemaine told me something just recently that made me feel good about the path I am heading down (even if it doesn't help me achieve my goals). She said, "it's easy to look good on a naturally talented, well trained-horse, but it's a much harder thing to do on an average horse." I am paraphrasing of course, but what I think she meant was that just riding a fancy horse and being successful doesn't make you a good rider. On the other hand, a rider who makes an average horse look good has to be talented.
I need to give this idea of sharing my goals with my trainer some thought. But first, maybe I need to know more clearly what they are. Winning the lottery and buying one of Carl Hester's horses probably shouldn't be one of them.
"rider who makes an average horse look good is talented"
5/11/2017 12:57:16 pm
Thanks, Mia. :0)
I feel the same way -- when I set a goal and don't hit it, I feel like a failure (which is clearly a problem with ME, but that's another story). To combat this, I've set up a "bucket list" of goals that I hope to maybe, one day, accomplish. That way when I'm not making concrete forward progress toward them, I don't feel bad about myself, and I can tell my trainer (and friends) about them with the caveat "I don't care if it takes 20 years to get there!"
5/11/2017 12:57:51 pm
That's a good to look at it for sure. :0)
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
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Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
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