I’ve long said, it’s all about the journey. Some people get fixated on the destination, too much to enjoy the scenery (or learning) along the way. If it’s only about the destination, what happens if you get to your destination and it’s not what you expected? or you decide on a different destination halfway along your travels? does that mean all the previous miles you’ve traveled amounts to naught? Not for me. Jen, what the heck does this have to do with riding and horses?
Horses and riding is very much a learning journey and the more we learn, the better horseman (or woman) we become, and that’s got to be good for the horse, and I’m all about that!
Courses I’ve completed have enlightened me, made me a better rider, and made me a better coach and trainer, and I continue to seek out new learning opportunities to improve my knowledge and skill. The old adage is true when it comes to horses – the more you learn, the more you realize there’s more to learn! I have benefited enormously from the generosity of other trainers that understand the importance of sharing knowledge with each other so that we improve as a collective, regardless of discipline.
Sometimes the journey requires you to step out of your comfort zone. Recently I did just that, attending just my second open rated dressage show. I’m not ashamed to admit I get very nervous with the unfamiliar – ask my husband, I avoid new technology as much as possible! lol However, to grow as a rider and trainer, I had to put myself out there to see “how I stacked up” against “the names”!
And I kind of jumped in the deep end – 4 horses, my first ever Level 3 ride, my first ever show with my Level 3 horse! Yep, I was nervous! But I’m so glad I pushed through and did it, I hit several goals:
- I got all my scores for my USDF Bronze Medal
- All horses got their first Regional Championship qualification score
As a complete bonus, I won my first Level 3 ride convincingly, which also achieved the Level 3 high point champion for the show, my client having her first open rated show achieved great scores resulting in 2 firsts and 2 seconds, and a huge boost to her confidence, and I got a boost to my confidence knowing that my training system is on the right track.
This journey we are on is a journey of discovery, not for ribbons and awards but for what is right for the horse. Sometimes it can be a lonely journey, just you and the horse trying to figure things out, so often trainers and riders guarding their training secrets. But that doesn’t help anyone. My barn doors are open, for people to come watch a lesson, watch me ride or just chat and troubleshoot. There’s no secrets here and no pride.
In an effort to “pay it forward”, I’m planning numerous workshops and at each one I will offer 1 rider a scholarship position. A rider I admire said recently: When we all improve [as an individual], we all improve [as a collective].
Here is the first workshop and sponsorship opportunity – Laterals Workshop