Did You Ever Believe That You Would Be Where You Are?


Believing in yourself can be hard at times.  While you may have supporters standing with you, there are just as many people who will look at you and place doubt in your mind.  “Is that the best she can do?”  “Why is she still trying?”  Sometimes you can be your own worst enemy and feel like you will never make progress.  It can be hard to turn off those negative voices since they sometimes scream louder than the positive ones.  The voices in my head seem to like to chatter right when it is time for bed…

You can easily lose sight of how far you have come when you look at the journey that still lies ahead or you are bogged down trying to master one particular new skill.  It sometimes takes someone saying something to you to make you appreciate the progress that you have made.  That someone, in this case, would be Ms. C.

After my last preparatory lesson earlier this week, I was getting Ike settled and cleaning my tack.  Ms. C was working on evening barn chores.  I mentioned that at the upcoming show, I would be riding First Level Test 3 for the first time ever.  Yes, that is right, the first time EVER.  She turned to me and asked, “When you started taking riding lessons (back in 2005), did you ever think that you would be where you are now and have had the opportunity to ride with Hilda?!”  I paused for a moment.  No, if you had told me then that I’d have a wall filled with ribbons, that I’d fly to Florida to find a horse, that I’d own a horse like Ike, that I’d get to ride with Hilda Gurney, or that I’d be getting ready to school Second Level dressage, I would have cackled like a crazy lady.

That conversation got me thinking that while I was still a newbie in the world of dressage, I had still come a long way from being a first time dressage rider in 2006.  It is well known that I struggled to progress with Cigar, but much of that was his unwillingness to play nicely.  But, in his own way, he taught me persistence, patience, and how to keep my butt in the saddle.  When he retired, I felt confident enough to purchase a very green, very big 3-year-old horse.  In just a few months shy of 3 years, I can now say that I have successfully shown him at Training Level and First Level.  Not a meteoric rise, but I am proud of what we have accomplished.

With that said, I am looking forward to our second show of the season this weekend.  I can hold my head up high as we head down centerline.  We have done all we can do to get ready for our First Level Test 3 debut.  Here’s hoping we can silent those negative voices again and celebrate our next milestone!



4 thoughts on “Did You Ever Believe That You Would Be Where You Are?

  1. Hey Al!
    It was great to see you Wednesday, even if it was not the best of circumstances. My Aunt Lisa and I would like to come see you ride Saturday. Would you send me your ride times again? Thanks!


  2. What one might think are “baby steps” might be giant leaps for you (and/or your horse). It’s all perspective. Going at your own pace is something to be proud of – you know your limits better than anyone else.

    Congrats and good luck!

  3. Really enjoyed this entry. Congrats on your success, and may it continue! It sounds as though you and Ike are as prepared as you can be.

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