And the deciding vote goes to Axel..I mean Simon!!

Inspiration comes from unlikely places sometimes.  With the competition season coming up tensions are running high.  The warm-up arena, to some people, is far more daunting than the competition arena itself.  Everyone in the warm-up arena seems so confident and prepared,  flawless in their preparations.  It’s easy to feel diminished if you compare yourself with the competitors that grace the pages of “Dressage Today”.  With the ever-increasing quality of dressage horse breeding, and the widening gap between those that can compete at the top-level and those whose purse can’t match their ambition, it is important to remember that the beauty of dressage competition is that the competition is with yourself.  Your horse, on his best ride may not have the natural movement to score in the 70% bracket but that does not prevent you from competing him all the way to the Grand Prix.  An honest, less than flashy mover that can earn in the 60%s all the way to Grand Prix is an admirable horse indeed.  Your co-workers and some of your barnmates may not understand this logic and possibly never will.  If you do and your horse does that is all that matters.  

We’ve all heard this rhetoric before and sometimes it is more obvious in other arenas in life than our own.  Watching “Britain’s Got Talent” on YouTube one day I saw a clip from a show that featured a dance group from London named Flawless.  Their obvious determination and focus on themselves is summed up when Simon Cowell asks the leader what the “dream” is and the young dancer confidently replies, “chase the dream, not the competition”.  Seems like a good way to keep your positive energy focused on what’s important, your dressage dream, whether it involves competition or not.  It’s become a mantra for me whenever I fall into the trap of comparing myself  to others.  I guess I’ll take the inspiration from wherever it comes as long as it comes…

Click here to see Flawless on Britain’s got Talent

6 thoughts on “And the deciding vote goes to Axel..I mean Simon!!

  1. Thanks for posting this one! I run across folks all the time, husband included, who don’t understand why I’m not frothing at the mouth to sign up for shows. Been there, done that albeit in the hunter ring. Now I just want to figure out this thing called Dressage…at my own ‘why aren’t I perfect yet’ slow pace.

  2. Well said!!!! You were a “professional student” before you were a professional instructor as I recall you saying of yourself. You are an inspiration and watching your journey has been such a bright spot in my own journey. Cheers!

  3. It is frustrating when non dressage people don’t understand why you can be happy with anything less than first place at a show

    1. I guess it would be inflammatory to point out that that is what makes dressage folks superior {please interpret that friendly not adversarial!}.

      My husband, an avid jock and competitor, thinks I’m being a wimp when I state that I’m competing against myself….he thinks it’s a cop out and than I’m wimping out before I even get in the arena…

      1. I agree! dressage is superior!!! I think it requires a confident person to understand that not everyone “get it” that some horse’s 65% and 4th place is as well earned as Totillas’ 88% depending on the gaits! I try to remind my students that it is true that the average person may not understand the accomplishment and get hung up on the placings, and it usually sounds ridiculous even trying to explain it but the judge knows and the top riders and trainers do too. You don’t want to miss out on the fun because some people don’t get it!!

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