Western Dressage

Rusty and I are back at it with the Western Dressage. Our first virtual show is done and over. Reading through the comments on our test was a test of my pride verses humility, willingness to learn and improve.
Shoulders dropped, bend not clear, strung out. It can be hard to read the critiques.
Not that it was all bad or that there wasn’t good in there too. Forward and balanced, nice lengthening, softness and relaxation shown. Those were more fun to read. The comments are always to the point, well thought out, and really quite fun to read.
Clinging to either the good or the bad completely wont do us any good though. They both need to be taken into consideration and worked on as a whole.
I could offer up all sorts of excuses for the bad. It was icy and slick, Rusty had hardly been ridden (and who’s fault is that?) but they don’t change anything. We need to keep at it and work to get better.
That is the fun part!
Once upon a time, long long ago, I knew a lady. She had recently broken her arm badly in a riding accident. The scars from surgery showed clearly down the length of her arm as I talked to her that day. Her husband was recovering from a heart attack brought on by a horse he was riding rearing up and going over backwards on him. He was lucky to be alive, saved by a life flight to Denver.
I was on my way to a riding lesson. We were lucky to have a trainer of that quality willing to make the drive down to our little town to give lessons all day. It was exciting and I couldn’t wait.
I told this lady about it as we made the usual horse talk. She should get signed up for the next time and get some lessons too! It was so much fun and an opportunity not to be missed.
I’ll never forget the look she gave me. I had offended her dreadfully.
I thought SHE needed riding lessons!? (her actual words) How dare I imply that she didn’t know how to ride.
Had I invited her to the lessons because I thought she didn’t know how to ride?
To be honest, I had, at least partially. She, and her husband, and children were likely to get killed at the rate they were going.
That wasn’t all of it though. I hadn’t meant to insult her. I was off to take lessons too. I wasn’t saying in anyway that I was better than her. All the good riders I knew were taking advantage of the chance at lessons.
Because of her pride she missed out on a wonderful learning opportunity. Without humility we lose the chance to improve. It can be hard swallowing our pride and admitting that we make mistakes, that we are human, that we might not be perfect.
I am doing my best not to follow in her footsteps.
We made mistakes, fairly big ones, on our test. Instead of getting upset and embarrassed about our mistakes, or offended that anyone would think we weren’t perfect, I am going to try  to accept them, take note of them, and remember them  to work on for next time.
That’s the fun of competing, finding out what needs work and where we can improve for next time!

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