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Trotting right along

Brave Horse I: the Good

After a shitastic day 1 of showing, wherein I completely forgot how to ride and fucked my horse, we moved on to day 2. I was hoping for a better a day, and in some ways I (finally) did get that, but it took a while to get there.

Trotting right along

Show Day 2

I came out the following day determined to do better. My first set of jumping rounds went much better, and I got Miles over the quarter line single oxer without issue. While the rounds weren’t necessarily great (I was mostly in survival mode), I rode much better.

We came back in the afternoon for Equitation. The flat was fine – I didn’t place, but I rode pretty well – so I was happy with that. In the schooling ring, as I was warming up for jumping, I made the same mistake as the day before. I didn’t see a distance to an oxer, so I picked Miles to an impossibly short distance. He tried to jump it (from practically underneath the jump), but couldn’t – he landed on top of the jump, broke a pole in half and I rolled off his shoulder.

Yep, I was officially “that rider” at the show.

I was so angry with myself. Luckily Miles was fine (thank goodness), and I mounted back up, jumped a jump and promptly went into the show ring. And Miles was amazing. Absolutely no hesitation about jumping anything, he listened perfectly and our first course was fairly decent. Our second round was the best of the show – I finally LOOKED UP and kept my leg on.

Lessons Learned

While this certainly wasn’t the horse show I wanted to have or expected to have, I did learn a lot. It reminded me how important my support system is and that I don’t want to go to shows by myself – because even if I have a terrible day, I find joy in watching my friends succeed. This show proved to me how far my confidence in Miles has come, and how mentally tough I am now. Yeah, I still pulled out my amateur card and had a pro get on and ride, but I never gave up. I kept getting back on and didn’t psych myself out… and I didn’t ask to move down in fence height.

Finally, the show brought out exactly what I need to work on: trusting my horse on long approaches. I need to NOT PULL, and use my body to communicate a smaller distance. And most importantly, if I don’t see a distance, I just need to keep galloping and trust my horse. He’s smart enough and seasoned enough to pick a spot at this height when I need help.


Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

15 thoughts on “Brave Horse I: the Good

  1. GOOD JOB sticking with it and not having a total mental breakdown!! Tracy from a year or two ago wouldn’t have been able to handle falling off and then getting back on and showing and doing her best. BUT YOU DID! Really proud of the mental toughness you showed here. 🙂

  2. Miles shows his gold status for sure! I love when they can forgive us of our mistakes and go in and just do the thing. (Ramone did the same, I rode straight into a long approach oxer……. and after they rebuilt it he just went back to it and jumped it like i never rode him straight into it knocking the whole thing over)

  3. Kudos to you for sticking with it and being able to look back at the show and find the silver lining and lessons learned.

  4. Yea…. The day I can figure out how to not pull will be the day pigs fly. Probably. Seriously tho way to go and glad you were able to stay tough and create a good ride no matter what!

  5. But pulling is my FAVORITE! And you know, if you back it up with tons of leg, it usually works out 😉
    I’m joking, don’t do that! But anyway, good for you for not only getting back on, but getting back on and owning those last two courses! Way to finish strong. I’m so impressed with how far you and Miles have come. You may have had a bumpy start this time, but you’re still so far ahead of last year this time.

  6. Hugs for the bad and a huge congrats for the good! You and Miles both deserve gold stars for going in and doing well after warmup troubles like that. Not pulling is hard, but you have a great horse to place your trust in! 🙂

  7. Hey girl- it happens to all of us! That makes two bloggers to fall off in warmup this summer. Bet you’re glad you also aren’t the one who was A) riding a pony or B) not jumping anything whatsoever

  8. Hi! I’m new to your blog, but I’m already rooting for you and Miles! Horse shows are SO HARD. Every time i show I am reminded how incredibly different it is from riding at home, and even the smallest successes are a big deal- so good for you! Sounds like even after a confidence shaking episode you were able to pull it together, go into the ring, and lay down a nice round. That is HUGE! Great job!

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