Thursday, March 23, 2017

busy work for idle hands

Idle hands, but certainly not an idle mind. My mind is full right now of all things Loch Moy this weekend. FULL. I'm excited, guys.

task 1: inventory all the navy things!!
What can I say, but that I love horse shows? The 2015 competition season marked the first time in my life that I had the means, ability, and wherewithal to compete to my heart's content - and Isabel was right there in lockstep beside me, rising to every occasion and eating it up like candy.

It might sound sappy or weirdly nostalgic, but we accomplished more than I could have ever dreamed that year. And the way the year ended, and then our inability to return to the same level.... well. Ya know, I'm still sad about that.

task 2: continue shoving all of the food into that damn skinny ottb
All's well that ends well, tho. I'm not necessarily an "everything happens for a reason" kinda gal, but I can be a little existential in moving on with life. A little. lol....

So now there's Charlie. And it turns out I really kinda like this horse. He's a good boy, ya know?

task 3: admit that big fat fluffy dutch braids are probably not gonna happen despite my best intentions, so something's gotta be done about that mane
And I'm really hoping he'll be the horse to get me back to doing all the things a la 2015. Maybe, if we're lucky, he'll like the sport well enough to eventually cart my sorry ass back up to novice. But that's getting a little ahead of the game. That's all for the future.

task 4: do a shitty job pulling said mane, take even shittier pictures of the job, and then kinda panic bc why da fuq does his neck look EVEN SKINNIER post-pull?? #doinitwrong. repeat task 2 ad infinitum.
For now, I'm plenty nervous enough to do the little 18"/2' stadium round (no cross country for us this go-round, gotta at least pretend to school first!). And for now, I'm putting zero pressure on our performance. This weekend we're adopting the endurance motto of "To Complete is To Win."

task 5: nothing soothes the restless mind like persnickety arts and crafts projects, right? also, yes, that's a hot glue gun. #sewingisforsuckers #butonlybcikilledmysewingmachineoops
This is obviously aided by the fact that since we're only doing the combined test (just stadium + dressage), we're kinda automatically out of the ribbons anyway (unless there's enough CT entries.... but that's besides the point). So even if I let my competitive edge get the best of me... there isn't actually anything to compete against.

task 6: embrace the fancy garb to compensate for decidedly not-fancy horse. yasss this'll do!
Except for my goals. Which are, as always, quite simple: Have fun and try our best. Ideally we'll finish with a number and not a letter, but I'm honestly not even committed to that as a goal. Bc for now, I'd rather sacrifice some penalties for something like a circle in stadium if it means Charlie gets a cleaner approach to the jumps.

Really the most important thing is that we can have riding experiences (in the warm up and show rings) that allow Charlie to feel like he did the thing and was a good boy. And that allow for me to build confidence and keep my little dream alive.

task 7: keep my inner mental crazy kitties herded and well contained plz
We'll see what happens. If it goes well you can guarantee that we'll be cracking a celebratory beer or two! And... if it turns into more of a learning experience, well... then maybe we'll have a few extra beers on top haha. With an attitude like that, ya can't lose, right?!? (maybe don't answer that!)

Do you have favorite ways of psyching yourself up for shows? Does it depend on whether you've been competing often or are returning after a long break? Or are riding a seasoned veteran vs rookie green bean? Or maybe you hate horse shows completely and the idea of a competition gives you the heebie jeebies? 

54 comments:

  1. I haven't competed in so long that I don;t know how I'll be thus year! Good luck and have fun. I can't wait to hear all about it.

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    1. Thanks hopefully I'll have lots to report! It's definitely a strange sensation getting back into it haha

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  2. The endurance motto is even better than you noted, "To Finish is to Win". Complete means we get points and it "counts" on our record lol. Finish means you drug your sorry ass across the finish line and did all the miles and who the hell gives a damn if it really counts on paper because by god, there are libations in camp to make all things better even if we are pulled!

    I've been mentally psyching myself to show for the first time ever and confront all fears for, oh, you know, the last year lol. Reading your conquests with Izzie was honest to goodness my biggest inspiration for realizing I need to get over my fear because you made it sound SO FUN - both the competition and all the little things you work on leading up to it. Annnd, here we are. Buying trailers, shopping for trucks, browsing trainer options, auditing clinics, picking the closest show venues, etc. Realizing the logical "it's okay as long as you do your best and come out healthy and sound" and reminding myself of that often has helped my mindset chill out to the point of being [mostly] ready to do the damn thing....and I'm super excited.

    Best to you and Charlie on Sunday, we'll be there cheering you on!

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    1. I think that's my favorite thing about this blogging community. Discovering all the bloggers who manage to make their horsey dreams a reality despite different backgrounds and different resources and different goals has been really inspiring to me too. It's what made me realize that I *could* get a trailer and become master of my own training program. That I *could* go out and do all the fun things that were appealing to me, and actually bring along my friends too! Auper exciting is exactly the word for it haha and I can't wait to see things get rolling with Grif too!!!

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  3. Ugh, I so wish I didn't live so far away - I'd love to come support you guys, but I'll totally be there in spirit! Wishing you lots of luck and fun this weekend :D

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    1. Thanks!! We will definitely make a meetup happen this year one way or another!!!

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  4. You might be the arts and crafts queen--hot glue gun?!! hahaha! Seriously, have fun living the dream!

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    1. Dude glue guns are the truth lol. Thanks!!

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  5. Good luck! I mostly keep reminding myself to breathe and maintain a sense of humor. I haven't made it through a dressage test without laughing yet, so it must be working. :)

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    1. Omg yes. A sense of humor is so critical!!

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  6. Good luck and have fun!!! My typical psyching up process has always been to just have fun, stay on my horse and finish what I set out to do. Anything beyond that is just a bonus. You two are going to do great!

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    1. Definitely agreed! Some days I'm "setting out to do" bigger or more specific things but we gotta start somewhere!

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  7. Good luck!!! I love shows too. I tend to set my goals for the show reasonable (don't fall off, have less rails than the last show, etc) and then just have fun otherwise!

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    1. God shows really are the best haha. Esp when we manage to stay on the horse!!!

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  8. Love the stock tie & the kitty gif is ace 😻

    Sounds like you're all set for a fun filled weekend 👍

    I haven't competed since I moved to the mainland (yikes is that 7 years ago already?! Where does the time go!) but when I did my only goal for the day was always just to have fun and keep myself relaxed so as to keep beasty relaxed for maximum enjoyment for all.

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    1. Relaxation and maximum enjoyment : sounds like a philosophy I can get behind!!

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  9. Kick Harder, Think Less! (Best of luck to you this weekend, I cant' wait to hear about it)

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    1. omg for real!!!! i'll be repeating this to myself throughout the whole jump course, i promise!!!!

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    2. I need to tattoo this on my body somewhere! FANTASTIC! :D

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  10. For me the "psyching myself up" is more "chilling out". My tack room will look like your beautiful pile 'o navy, my entry will be in, everything will be clean, trailer hitched and ready to roll, test memorized, directions queued up on my phone.. all so I can get to the show and JUST RIDE and hopefully have fun somewhere along the way! You guys will do GREAT, I wish I could be there!! <3

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    1. yup planning things out ahead of time and keeping my thoughts organized definitely helps me feel prepared too! wish you could be there this weekend too but we will hopefully have many opportunities ahead of us!

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  11. I love all those navy things!
    I tend to psych the hell out of myself like the night before a show - usually convinced I forgot something. But once I am actually at the grounds, I (hopefully) calm down and generally do pretty okay mentally once I am actually there.
    Good luck and have fun! You guys are going to do fantastic!!!

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    1. ugh i hate feeling like we've forgotten something. since we travel so much for lessons and whatnot i've generally got a fairly standard routine.... but it still happens.

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  12. My basic philosophy for show preparation is "try not to think about it" haha! It really depends on what kind of show I'm at and with which horse. Basically all shows feel like no big deal with Moe and Gina- they're reliable, seasoned pros who don't *usually* have shenanigans. I get a bit more nervous with very green horses, because who knows what they're going to do?!

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    1. i feel like charlie was born a wizened old veteran, somehow haha. but yea in a way i'm maybe some sort of hybrid of the 'try not to think about it' while still 'planning everything.' is that even possible? idk. or i try to only think of good things. positive visualizing ftw!

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  13. Good luck this weekend!! I love your attitude. :)

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  14. I get so much anxiety just watching other people prep for horse shows. I haven't done them with either of mine but then again, that isn't the goal so far

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    1. yea that's totally fair. showing definitely is not everyone's cup o tea!

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  15. So excited for you! Fingers crossed that it goes well!

    I'm working on my spring chores -- just got the truck back from the shop (3K in repairs, ugh, but that got me a new starter, a new flywheel, a new oil pan, a new manifold thing, and some other new bleckity schmeckity) -- diesel guy says it is honestly quite a good truck that just had some deferred maintenance (which we knew) and that's been cleaned up now so that we are, in his opinion, ready to hit the road. AND it has a valid inspection sticker on it too so we're even legal. Horse is cogginsed and I'm waiting on paperwork to come back for that. It's almost time to send off our entry to the No Frills (in April) and await the terror of Horse Camping and Actual Competitive Ride That Isn't 4H. Have we done enough? Are we doing enough? We're going to die. My horse will be an ass in public. He doesn't really tie that well. He's not fit enough. I'm too fat. I'm too old. Everyone is going to laugh at us. Yeah... put me in the heebie jeebie camp, over here. I can irrationally fret about a thing I haven't even sent off the form for yet. :) But I'm gonna go anyway!

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    1. aww heebie jeebies are the worst, as are irrational frets and worries.... i'm sure you guys will be great too tho!

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  16. Sweet stock tie! And that kitten gif is mesmerizing with cuteness. You are gunna kill it out there!

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  17. Just got way too distracted by kittens. Something about a horse show...?

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    1. no horse shows, just kittens. forever. kittens always.

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  18. I feel like I constantly swing back and forth between excited and wanting to throw up when it comes to horse shows. Prepping for our first real run of the season I can't help but psych myself out a bit 😬.

    Can't wait to hear how it goes!

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    1. yea i definitely feel ya, i've been calling it "excitednervous" lol.... trying very hard to stay more on the excited side... but yea it's a balance. usually for me, the more routine or mundane something can feel, the better i feel, which is why i prefer to show often enough that it doesn't feel like a big deal

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  19. I mostly need to talk myself down off the ledge before shows :) Have great weekend!

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    1. ha i know that feeling too!! it can be stressful!

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  20. I'm jealous you get to go to a show. I can't wait to get back to showing. If it every stops raining maybe we could even have a lesson or some training too.

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    1. yea i hear ya... that's basically how i felt the entirety of this past year since may 2016, since it's actually been that long since i've done an event.

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  21. Good luck and have fun! Digging your craft project (and also the kitty GIF, haha)

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    1. lol thanks! gotta keep myself occupied!

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  22. Good luck!!!! Also love the pattern on that stock tie!!!

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    1. thanks! there's actually more to come on that stock tie - hopefully in the next week or so!!

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  23. So excited for you

    And oh my god, that stock tie and your CURLS!!

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    1. lol thanks! i'm excited too! and our very own custom stock tie only helps :D

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  24. Good luck! Have fun!!!! Love the tie and jacket combo!

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  25. I hope you kill it at your goals. :)

    Looking forward to the recap!

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  26. I get the heebie jeebies. And I've never shown before. My debut is gong to be glorious.
    Your glue gun skills are very effective.
    Sweeping up kitties gif is pretty much my everything right now.

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  27. Good luck!! Looking forward to reading about it!

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  28. Have FUN. Period. If you aren't riding for satin, there is no push to do things just to finish, make it good and have fun while doing it. Good luck!

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