Monday, August 17, 2009

Past Reminisces and Future Goals

I posted a comment on a discussion page on Barnmice (great horsey social site, BTW!), and I started thinking....just how long has it been since I have been involved in recognized competition? I remembered my last show was in late 1994.

Then I subtracted that from the current year, and OMG!!!!!!! 15 years?!?!?! Now, to be fair, I have shown in a few recognized shows over the years since I was serious about competing my own horse; catch rides for students, one REALLY cute New Forest Pony that I showed for an acquaintance down in Wellington, and a few schooling shows over the years with clients' horses, but I have not thought about consistency, or awards, etc. in 15 years!

And the real crime is that when I was showing all those years ago, I never gave awards or certificates, or medals, or such, much thought. I briefly gave thought to the Bronze medal from USDF (two scores above 60% at each level 1st -3rd) and achieved all the scores except the third level scores. I was ready for the third level competitions, and then I got a bit disenfranchised over a perceived injustice (not to me directly, but involving a third party), and so I lost the desire--it was also just around the same time that I quit showing and concentrated on furthering MY education and training in dressage.

For the past fifteen years I have concentrated on MY learning to ride and train horses up to the highest levels of dressage, and giving lessons and clinics to students, so any ambition for showing and the medals and awards just went by the wayside.

Well, now I am re-thinking this whole showing thing. Thing is, I do miss it. I have a lovely horse, Bogart--the one in the picture (in my mind, he is perfect), but he is 24 years old. He is in great shape, and doing all the elements of the training scale through second level and into third.

He is my schoolmaster for those students who don't have horses of their own, or need to feel a particular thing on a horse that is already trained so they can transfer that to their own horse, or those who need/want to work on their position (he is a wonderful longe horse, as well), and that is part of the reason that I haven't really considered this earlier.

I actually had a thought that I might start looking for a new horse, and then scratched that idea (or, well, put it on a back burner), since that takes a LOT of time and money in itself (that I could use for lessons and showing).

So my plan now is to ride Bogart more regularly myself, and start taking clinics with Michael Poulin again, and get his opinion as to the show-worthiness of my old man.

I will show him through the levels as long as he is happy and sound, and it is not too much for him, and then I can take my time in looking for something younger and with more upwards potential (ahem, I mean, time).

So, I think this is a good plan--I am also looking on the USDF Website for the next scheduled Certified Instructor Testing. I went through the whole series of Workshops in 1999-2000, but they never offered the testing at the end.

I also audited the USDF L program way back in 1993-1994, and (of course hindsight being 20/20) should have gone through as a participant(!!) as they haven't offered another program here in Florida since then.

I know, I know, they have offered it in other parts of the country, but the way it is set up it would be WAY too expensive to go through because it is over 5 or six weekends, and the travel expense alone would kill me. Same with the Instructor Certification. Jeez, now I sound like I am whining.....sorry.
Sooooo, showing here I (we) come! First opportunity, Sept. 19-20, Wellington.......

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