Remember what my main goal for 2017 was? Ah, that’s right: to chill the eff out about being so insanely competitive with myself. So we have our move up horse trial this weekend and I’ve decided to take the “Oh, it’s no big deaaaaaal, it’s fiiiine, not even worriiiieeed, I’ll pack laterrrr…” nonchalant approach. Because if I pretend it’s NBD, my myriad neuroses seem to be able to keep themselves contained.
Normally I’m the queen of pre-show lists. I have lists of lists. Pages of shit to do, when to do it, what to pack, things planned down to the minute, etc. It’s part of what feeds my crazy Type A control freak obsession. This time I’m taking the opposite approach.
My prep this week has been bare minimum. I learned my dressage test on Wednesday and ran through it once (technically we rode it twice last year, so it’s not totally unfamiliar to me) and I’ll run through it another time or two tomorrow. I cleaned up Henry’s tail and gross fetlock hair when I clipped him a couple weeks ago, so I haven’t really touched him at all. He got new shoes yesterday, but that’s about it. My tack will get wiped down tomorrow but I’m not taking it all apart and conditioning it to perfection. I guess I might polish my boots (wearing the brown ones, because so casual) and I’ll pull out my nice helmet. I’m even using my blue “schooling” Majyk Equipe XC boots instead of our fancy “show whites”. So far the only thing I’ve packed is my stud kit, in case it rains. Normally an event takes up every waking thought for at least a week beforehand, but I’ve managed to prevent myself from devoting that much thought to it.
But really, we’re approaching this as one big schooling opportunity. I’m not braiding. I’m not wearing a watch on XC. I’m not even wearing a show coat. These are very weird concepts to me, but I think they’ll help my brain remember that we’re here to get experience, not to compete. The goal is to not fall off and not get eliminated. If I can like… stay chill and not ride like a drunk monkey, that would be a bonus. Aiming high over here. But after a couple years of always feeling lots of pressure, and sometimes crumbling under it, I have to admit it’s pretty liberating.
It’s nice to not be like “I have to get under X in dressage if I want any chance of placing, and I def can’t afford a rail blah blah blah, and I have to get my qualification for X”. I do not give two shits. We can finish dead freaking last… as long as we finish, I’ll be thrilled. Big fat whatevs. We’re just gonna do our best and have fun with it.
That’s how I’m playing it anyway. Gotta somehow make this attitude channel all the way through the weekend. Oh, and if the rain could hold off until after we run XC, that’d be great too.