Fun

Horse camping this weekend- and it will be cold in NH- but I’m excited anyway. I love spending time with Jigs. Just knowing he will be outside the tent grazing is comforting.

I’ve never been high on shows or judged events. My self-esteem gets tangled up in what others think and it makes me too anxious. Then the whole self-doubt thing starts and the spiral continues. I already know I don’t have a great seat and am quite clumsy.

But last weekend we attended a local (one mile away from the barn, you can’t get closer than that unless the event is at your barn), fundraiser fun show. I was pleasantly surprised by how well Jigs and I did. Turns out he seemed to enjoy pole bending and barrels. My guess is he did them before. He knew the pattern anyway.

And while we didn’t place in all events, (though the 6th in Pole Bending was a pleasant surprise), we BOTH had fun. Isn’t that what it is all about?

It is important to me that Jigs has fun too. If he doesn’t enjoy what he is doing, I won’t enjoy it either.

Now that doesn’t mean that you don’t train your horse to do what you need him to do. That would be foolish and dangerous. But when you choose the activities you do with your horse, you should consider what you both enjoy doing.

Maybe that was what surprised me about Saturday. Jigs absolutely HATES ring work. He sulks when we work in the ring and I have to push him to move forward. It makes it miserable for both of us.

But at the show, he was ears forward, eager, and responsive. He even stood ringside watching the other horses perform.  I swear he learned what to do from watching them.  When it was our turn my quiet, bombproof, almost lazy little gelding came out of the shoot quicker than I’ve ever seen him work in the ring at home and moved through each event easily.

We both had a blast.

Now the competition this weekend is more about finesse than speed. Even though we worked all Summer on side passing, it hasn’t clicked for us yet (My fault, not his).  We won’t place, but that is okay. My goal is simple- improve our scores over the last ride and have fun.

If  it is not fun for us, it’s not worth doing.

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