Wednesday, October 28, 2009

First Horse Show

Well, I did it!  Rode in my first horse show this past weekend.  The goal I'd set for myself last winter, a result of childhood dreams and years on the rail watching our daughter had left me wondering how it would feel to be on the inside looking out. 

Sure looked easy enough.  Yet this past year's experience of learning how to ride correctly revealed that it wasn't as easy as it appeared.  Added to that, the great robber of joy - lack of confidence - well all I can say is that I'm sure I've been a challenge to both my horse and trainer.

Didn't sleep much the night before the show and was sure nervous that morning.  What helped me was the familiarity of being at many shows in the past as part of the support team.  I knew the drill and it was pretty easy to not focus on the fact that it was ME who was going to be out there riding.  A good suggestion for anybody wanting to ride in their first show would be to become familiar with the routine first.  And an set of extra hands are always welcome.

It was cold out and Champ was fresh so I asked Hero Trainer to ride him first.  As I watched her dealing with his frisky attitude, I kept telling my husband, "Oh No....I can't ride THAT!!!"  My husband kept telling me I'd be ok.

And he was right, as soon as I got on a great calm came over me and confidence, my new-found friend, took the upper hand.  Trust me, this is a LONG way from where I was a year ago.

I rode every Western walk/jog class I could, starting with the first class of the day.  I found myself grinning ear to ear because I was really enjoying myself.  It's said that smiles are infectious.  Must be true because after a few rounds in the ring, I noticed that people in the stands were also smiling.  I kinda got a kick out of that and it made me smile even more.

When I was out there I thought about all the things that had put me in the ring that day.  I never rode this show to 'win'.  Why was I out there? 

I thought about my dreams as a child and this past year's goal; my friends who wanted to return to riding but were tentative (one of them right there on the rail cheering me on); my husband, the guy who years ago threatened to divorce if me if I bought a horse, who had insisted on washing the truck and trailer the night before this show in the dark because he said I shouldn't go to my first horse show in a dirty rig; our daughter, home from college for this event to support me and the horse she loved but trusted to be in my care; Hero Trainer, who gave me the gift of confidence; and all of you who might happen to come upon this blog, hoping it will inspire you to climb back on or never get off.

So in my zone of thoughts it was with much surprise that I placed in seven of ten classes.   That was a nice 'extra' I sure didn't expect.  And I choked up a little when I heard my family and friends cheer each time they announced my name. 

Hero Trainer has called today and wants me to ride at the next show in November.  Our barn will there together and it will be fun to ride and be with friends.  I'll show again and see where this road leads me, but my goal for 2009 has been met and my mind is flying....what will my 2010 goal be?  Well some big changes are coming for this 50+ rider as 2010 arrives so thank you for dropping in and hope you'll stay tuned!  :)


  1. I am so impressed.

    You GO GIRL!!!!!

    Good onya!

  2. Fabulous! Big congratulations! 10 classes? Wow, you made the most of that show. Good for you.

  3. Nice to meet you, and congratulations!

    I did not grow up with horses and got my first 2 at age 54. It's an adventure, that's for sure.

  4. Absolutely .. congratulations! You really are making the most of the whole experience! I love horse shows!!

  5. Congrats! Love to see goals met!

  6. Glad I found you! I finally pursued my childhood dream of taking riding lessons this spring. Unfortunately, in June my horse spooked and I fell and fractured my wrist. I will be signing up again next week for January lessons. I know I'll be apprehensive at first, but I can't give up. I will be 63 in November. I'll be checking in with you often!

  7. You should be soo proud of yourself,,, I am on the far side of 50,, have always had horses,, but since I was young have not applied myself,, like you,,with age comes doubts and fears, families, etc. Now I am riding a gelding that was born on our farm,, I raised,, and I am finding that it is ok to ride when I feel like it,, or just take him out to graze the ditch,, or just walk into the pasture and "hang around" the horses & donkey's. I found that I was putting to much pressure on myself to get out there everyday and do "serious" riding. BUT,,, I long to join up with some fellow Nebraskans and go to some trail rides. I follow, and envy the fun and friendship they have at their rides. I will do it one of these days,, I just know I will!!! You keep having fun,, and I will be following your adventure!! Jennifer

  8. You are a huge inspiration to so many! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  9. Happy Tears for your accomplishments! This is so awesome, and YOU are such an inspiration to so many people, ME being one of them! I just love the ear to ear grin you have in the photo of you and Champ! THANK YOU FOR YOUR BLOG!