This happens to everyone
I have two friends navigating the same challenge but in totally different disciplines.
One rides reining horses, and the other shows pleasure horses.
They both love to show and have been progressing well, and their results in the arena are beginning to show it, too.
But the wheels fell off in the show pen in the past three weeks.
One was angry that she had worked so hard only to get that kind of result, and the other felt humiliated and discouraged.
Raise your hand if you can relate.
Okay, you can put your hand down now!
This video discusses my thoughts on their situations and what to do next.
My first response as a friend was to listen. I asked lots of questions to get the story facts, as well as the story they were telling themselves about the situation and why things turned out that way.
I felt their pain, and I’ve been there many times, too. We try so hard. We’ve invested a lot of energy; things go well – until they don’t – in a big way. It’s a huge letdown and can be very discouraging.
My first thought is that no one escapes this kind of pain. No one. When I was heavily showing a few years back, I shed tears when I missed the finals by a half point in a big show or, on the other side, did so poorly I felt embarrassed. I used to ask God why He had to make it so hard! LOL.
The critical thing to remember for you and me is when it doesn’t turn out well, after we poured our heart into it, know that somehow, somewhere, things went awry.
Yes, but that doesn’t mean anything more than it’s time to be a detective and figure it out. It was never a reflection on if you or I had what it took or if we would ever be successful again.
If we think, “I’m just a poor rider. This will always keep happening because I don’t have what it takes,” that’s shame and damaging to our hearts and confidence. And untrue!
But if we think, “That went to heck in a handbasket, let me figure out if it was my riding, my focus, my horse’s preparation, the cows, the plastic bag that flew across the arena, or something else nefarious?”
Bottom line. Is it something I can control? If so, study and practice the lesson and go for it again. If it’s out of my control, let it go.
I know that sounds easier said than done, but the difference between the two perspectives is massive.
One keeps you searching and learning and builds inner strength; the other gives your brain the message, “You know, you really should hang it up.” With the second one, there’s little room for a bright future because the brain believes everything we tell it.
So, know the bottom will always drop out from time to time. Give yourself some time to grieve the moment. But be a watchdog for those inner thoughts that degrade you.
Let me know what you think – and always be kind to yourself no matter what.