I know that a lot of the shows are beginning to open up across the country. That’s so exciting!
If you compete, I also know you’re really happy about this because we’re all ready to get out. And showing is such a great opportunity to see your friends and have fun!
I want to take a few minutes today to just talk about competition a little bit. Here’s the thing.
We always think so much about competition in terms of how we and our horses compare to other people… and how were judged… and the results.
Black and white results are important, of course. I’m not minimizing that at all.
I do want to share a little research with you that I think is insightful. It might also be a little bit surprising to you.
When Dr. Loehr did his original performance research, which was all about performer skills and one’s ability to perform under pressure in any competitive arena… as time went on… he found that if certain athletes did do well, they felt they had to do well again… and again… and again. When their whole purpose was to achieve external results alone, they found themselves on a never-ending wheel of proving themselves. They had to continue to be the best, and never slip-up, at least in their minds!
That’s insatiable, really.
But what further research showed is that when athletes knew their personal values, that is they knew why they competed and they knew what was important to them. They knew they were becoming more as a person. They knew they were enjoying their friends. They knew each competition was an opportunity to put themselves on the line and stretch! Then, they were happier and kept growing personally.
So if we as riders have great challenges and things don’t work out very well in the show pen… we can still know that riding and showing a horse is an awesome gift in our lives. We can get up again and brush ourselves off and keep going and growing.
It really boils down to knowing and appreciating what a tremendous opportunity it is to show a horse beyond the end of the day results.
We can celebrate our friends. We can keep reaching for excellence, keep striving and keep learning.
Whether you win or whether you don’t win… whether you place or you don’t place, you can review your ride and evaluate all by your own scorecard. What did you do well, and what can you do better? What do you need to work on for the next time you show?
Reaching and learning and enjoying continues on forever. It never changes.
Most importantly, because of these fabulous ups and downs, through it all, as a person you are growing… and becoming… and experiencing!
Again, your friends, the horse you’re riding, and all of your adventures… these are what’s remembered and cherished.
That being said, go get ‘em and have a great time! Stay encouraged. Stay focused on your path. Keep reaching and improving. Measure all by your own scorecard.