I have so many mixed feelings and emotions when I think back on the 2016 show season. It started off so horribly, with lots of tears and tough rides… but I found a strength within myself that I didn’t know I had. Together, with support from all sides, Miles and I succeeded.
In the spring I joined several local hunter/jumper associations because I thought Miles and I would pick up right where we had left off and conquer the 2’6″ hunter ring! By the first show in May, my confidence was shattered and I had hit rock bottom. I kicked myself for spending money on memberships when it was painfully obvious that I had severely overestimated myself. But we trucked along, and with lots of help, we improved. I got my confidence back and we finished the season winning a class against the pro’s. I submitted my results to the Thoroughbred Incentive Program because it was free, and why not?
But really, that was the end of that. I checked standings for the show series we had attended all summer and was shocked to find out we placed 4th overall for the year! Thrilled, I RSVP’d to the banquet, and thought well… I guess I should check standings for the other associations I joined. Lo and behold I had placed in BOTH. Never would I have thought that would be the case. My final tally for year-end awards included:
4th Place, Showtime Series Low Thoroughbred Hunter: I was the second-highest placing amateur or junior rider in the 2’6″ division.
3rd Place, Ohio Hunter Jumper Association Thoroughbred Hunter: I was the highest placing 2’6″ horse (2’6″ and 3′ were combined).
Reserve Champion, Tri-State Horse Show Association Thoroughbred Hunter: Again, I was the highest placing 2’6″ horse (2’6″ and 3′ were combined).
These are by far my best year-end placings since my time as a junior in 4-H, more than 10 years ago. These placings are mostly a reflection of my dedication — I didn’t place consistently (or well) most of the year, but I didn’t give up. I kept working and kept going to shows. Most of all though, I continued to improve with my final show being my best show and boosting us to these placings. I learned so much about riding and life last year, and I’m so grateful for all of the love and support I received from family, friends and the blogging community.