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!
Be careful out there.