I competed last weekend in both dressage and showjumping .. And come Friday afternoon, I could not be less enthusiastic about competing this time. I felt unprepared, exhausted, undertrained, Cavi wasn’t giving me his best… I could have given 100 excuses and just given up. My coach was being very patient but I think he was at his wit’s end.
I don’t like losing, I don’t like not doing my best and when you compete, you put yourself out there to be criticised and judged. What if you are then found lacking?! What if you do badly? What if so and so beats you? What if you crash and burn?
Last weekend, I really had to make myself put all that aside and not to let my head / emotions get the better of me. As much as I wanted to scratch, I made myself just get on. To just get it done. I am competing against myself at the end of the day.
I made myself think positively and not dwell on what had or what could go wrong. I used the mental training tools that I had been given throughout my years of training. On the home screen of my phone, I used this as my wallpaper as a note to self.
On Saturday afternoon as I walked the course, I didn’t trust myself or Cavi but went out and gave it my all. On Sunday morning when the fences went up a little higher and the course got a bit harder, I visualised exactly how I was going to ride that course today, taking into account Cavi could be spooky and take a look at the fences.
Surprise surprise, although we took a rail, there was only one clear round and I was the fastest 4 faulter. For those that know me, I like taking my time around a course, adding extra strides every so often, so that was actually a big accomplishment for me. Not something I actually set out to do as I just wanted to ride him forward into the fences, not actually go out and ride the fastest round but hey! I am not complaining!
So the take home message for me last weekend was to not let my issues take over and get the better of me and to have some faith in not just myself but also my horse