To the Reserve Champion

I had the honor to judge the Arabian Youth Nationals this past week, and it was so much fun! The judges I had the honor to judge with were excellent, and fun, I met many new people, and got to watch some very nice horses. I am writing this because there was a class we judged that was so good it was exciting to be the judge.
The sad part of it to me was the rider who was second left the horse show feeling lack and regret for being second, instead of pride and happiness for doing an absolutely beautiful job. The class was so good that any of the top 6 could have won, and we would not have been wrong. Being the judge it is our job to put them in the order we think is best. That does not mean we think they are doing a bad job, it is just we must put them in an order. The test had an option of transitions and the winner chose to do the harder option beautifully, so that made her the winner, it did not turn the others into losers.
I hope to share this because I had a very parallel path in my life. I actually won a big class, and then I turned showing into what I win, as opposed to how much fun it was, or what I learned. I was never good enough for myself, which over time made things very hard, even though I had much success on the outside, I never really felt it on the inside.
I want to help anyone who might want to learn from my experience to avoid the pain I self inflicted, and the time I wasted not having a good time. I am not saying I do not enjoy winning, I am just saying that you must learn to support yourself, and enjoy what you do for reasons that are good for you. Winning is the icing on the cake, and you must like the cake enough to enjoy it without icing. Changing the recipe, growing and learning gets you to the icing, yet without the cake, the icing is not that fun either.
Keep doing your best, and love yourself in the right way, so you can grow and enjoy the journey.

Real life story:
We just finished our last class of the show, and our reserve champion can cruising over to our box (not appropriate w/o the Steward) The other Judge and I were happy to see her and my fellow judge actually shook her hand and I told her how beautifully she rode, and then we saw she was vibrating with unhappiness. That so made me sad. I wanted to hug her and get her to feel as proud of herself as we did, yet she only saw the lack of not winning. She was a winner even though she was second. At that point the Steward came and had to shoo her off.
I want all of mankind to learn to be nicer to ourselves, we can still compete and ride and have the journey we choose, let’s just do it in a kinder way for ourselves. This does not come from the outside or other people, it has to come from inside. No outside power has enough power make you feel good about you. It is an inside job, so please work on yourself in a loving way. It will make the journey magical. I can tell you from personal experience!
Love on!!
Be careful out there.

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To Be Appropriate

I was judging this weekend and had a very nice time. There were some issues with the opinion of the course design on Sunday. I had helped with the designing of the courses for the ring I was judging. The ring was almost square and it was not very long. The equipment was beautiful and many jumps, which added a challenge for where to put them. Trying to do a nice job for everyone involved, I plowed forward with doing the best job I could.
Turns out there was one very strong person who decided “these courses are crap”. My intention was certainly not that, so I was taken aback when she jumped into my booth, as I was judging and informed me she was going to redo the courses.
There could have been a number of different ways to accomplish the same outcome that would have been easier or more appropriate than how she barged in and took over. I questioned myself as to why it felt so awful for the 20 minutes I stewed over it. I was doing the best I knew at the time, I was asked to help, and I did. I came to the decision that if I wasn’t the course designer, it wasn’t my fault when people had trouble, good for me.
So why do people get so emotional and uncaring as to what the other person might feel? We are really all working to produce a good horse show, Take a few seconds especially when the juices are running hard and fast to stop take a breath, and think of the big picture. Will this be important in one year? Five years? How can I express myself to respect the other person? Together there will be a solution, let’s work together.
That is my “rant today, and I hope you get the idea that there is a lesson in everything, and it is our job to process it for ourselves. Have a great one. I leave you with a quote from one of my favorites, enjoy.

Start telling a better-feeling story about the things that are important to you. Do not write your story like a factual documentary, weighing all the pros and cons of your experience, but instead tell the uplifting, fanciful, magical story of the wonder of your own life and watch what happens. It will feel like magic as your life begins to transform right before yours eyes, but it is not by magic. It is by the power of the Laws of the Universe and your deliberate alignment with those Laws. —Abraham

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Triple Crown This Year?

I think it is so exciting that California Chrome has a shot at the Triple Crown this year.
The story of his owners and trainer, just adds to the magic should he win it. The horse world is a place for dreams to come true, or be broken a million different ways. The planning and completing of horse dreams is the stuff that gets us horse people up in the morning. The winners in the lime light are role models for all of us, yet those who are not in the lime light work as hard or harder for what they dream. People call it luck, yet it is the determination and dedication of all the minute details that leads to a champion. Set backs come and are overcome, optimism must remain during the down times, and the daily checklist of things to be done for this end, is never-ending.
So what is it that makes a person put his blood sweat and tears into a horse? Why is it for some people as important as breathing? Love, challenge, the competition? I think for those in the horse world for “life” it is the love of the animal and the bond that is shared from man to horse. Any discipline, sport, or activity with a horse gives the person emotional support that is special and not understood by non-horse people. It is something I am glad to have been born with, and will love them til I am done here. Go California Chrome!!

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