There is something so sweet about seeing my student progress into competition. Now if you follow me, it’s never about winning! It’s always about doing the best you can and working as a team with your horse.
This 11 year old kiddo had her very first actual competition this weekend! I teach my students that even if you have a whoops, you finish the pattern. Well, Miss Maggie had a whoops on Poles and missed her first weave. No big deal! Keep riding!!! She did! She got a no time yet was happy with her run. Moving forward! On barrels, she forgot to sit for the first barrel. Now this horse is 19, but not automatic. He needs to be ridden. Like, sit, look up and pull. Not hard, but if you are out of position, he won’t turn. They made a half lap and she came back, turn the first, pushed to second and third to make a nice pattern! I was so proud of her for loving on Splash and telling me exactly what happened! Zero anger, disappointment, and total love to the horse that tried! Her last two events were great! Placing 6th in straight away barrels and 5th in the “odd event” out of 13 in her age group!!! Honestly, I didn’t care if she placed. It was all about being correct, riding the horse and not loosing her cool. She did just that!!!
When he got a little upset about the fourth even, she didn’t fight him. I had her stop, step off then we went back to the warm up area. Then had a talk of love and confidence. She mounted back up and went in easy for the last event.
One thing about playdays is that you don’t know what you will see. Normally it’s kids every where. Keeping calm, cool and collect as well as taking care of your horse is the main goal. Not getting angry, not working them into the ground and taking care to cool them down between each event is how I teach. I’m so stinkin proud of this kid for remembering her training and taking care of the horse before her own needs! Splash is 19. He loves to go. But he is very in-tune with this kid. I’m proud of them both! To put up with four events vs one is a lot for a barrel horse. But he did it!!! He worked great for Maggie! I’m so glad we have the first one under our belt, as a team, and look forward to these two moving forward!!!!!! Watch out world, Maggie is up and coming! She is ready to run some barrels and poles!
So back to my lesson program. I want these kids to be confident when competing. I want them working as a team with their horse. I want them to understand that their horse is a huge part of the whole ordeal. With out the horse, you can’t compete! I also want them to have Grace, forgiveness, and be competitive but humble. That is my program folks! Its not all about winning!