I'm just no that into showing anymore... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-25-2014, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: The South Ya'll
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Unhappy I'm just no that into showing anymore...

Hey guys, I've been really down recently and it would mean the world to me if someone would listen and try to help me out. It's kind of a long rant/story but here it goes:
I've been showing my whole life. Everything has always been about showing and improving. I am always out to win and I have a lot of fun. Horse shows are a great place for me to learn and find ways to focus and concentrate under pressure. I have always wanted to be on the circuit constantly and live in an RV. You know, live the life, whether I was eventing or competing in the hunters and jumpers. The past few years I have competed in almost 1-2 AA/A shows a month with various horses. The last year was mostly showing my beloved Crown.
Now I said I have always loved horse shows and I really do, but I have a ton of anxiety. I either kick butt in the ring or embarrass myself. I am not a great rider by any means and I just never felt like I belonged on the AA circuit. People sometimes make fun of my lean OTTB, especially when we were doing the hunters. It's just really discouraging. We would do SO well in a flat class and truly kick the other horse's butts. Then place last. People that picked up the wrong leads place better than me.
I don't hate it, I just can't quite put my finger on it. I love some of the people, but others just make me so angry. I see so many things like drugging and other pressures and it makes me question the entire concept of showing. I don't know if I'm burned out or what, I just don't appreciate them like I used to. I work very hard and nothing comes easy to me, but that's fine and how it has always been. I have more motivation now than ever to be a good rider and keep training Crown to be the best he can be. I just no longer have desire to go to a big show.
Another thing is that I am moving away to college and understandably won't have the time to do the big shows. I feel a guilty relief from that. It will be awesome because Crown will stress if he has to spend the week at a show in a stall and he no longer has to do that. I just want to have fun! There is a small local schooling show with a 2'6" eq class that I want to do just for the heck of it in the fall. I don't know it's all just confusing and I am telling my coach and other students my "I don't have the time/money as a student" but that's no where near the whole story. It is a huge relief from me. I just want to go to teeny laid back shows and try new things. I still want to and will train under my coach, my goals are just not the same.
Sorry this is such a long and useless rant, it's just something I need to talk to people about and see if I'm not crazy. My show days are over and I'm okay with that. I spend so much more time out there now with my horse and do more fun things that I felt guilty about before. I even want to try a trails course!

No, Buddy, you're not a cotton headed ninny muggins. You're just special. http://myhorseisadork.blogspot.com
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-25-2014, 06:37 PM
Green Broke
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Seems pretty simple- take a break from showing. Just have fun with your horse, and do some stuff that you haven't done before.

I showed all through high school, and got a bit overwhelmed towards the end of my senior year. I moved about four hours away for college and took my horse with me, and we decided to take a break from lessons and showing. I really had an opportunity to have fun with my horse and do whatever we wanted without having to prepare for the next show.

Unfortunately, now I'm a year into grad school and would really love to get back into showing. For a number of reasons that's not really practical. I miss my horse show days and sometimes wonder if I'd still be able to do it had I not given it up in the first place, but I'm more happy that I didn't force myself to keep it up. It's not worth spending the money to do it if you're not going to enjoy it, and I sometimes wonder if I would have burned myself out of horses completely had I tried to force it while I was in undergrad. I do plan on picking it up again when I can- taking a break doesn't mean giving up showing forever, and it DEFINITELY doesn't mean giving up horses.
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-25-2014, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Sorry your feeling down Jumper Princess. It does sound like maybe a change would be good for you. You are able to keep your horse and try trail riding which is so laid back and relaxing (mostly). It's time to take some time off competing and just enjoy riding and companionship of your horse.

I have never shown a horse in my life except at friends farms for fun. I have never been an overly competitive person. I excelled at sports and gymnastics in high school. But horse riding was just for me and my friends. We had so much fun. I am hoping you will too.
Lots of luck!
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Last edited by Vernette; 07-25-2014 at 06:39 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-25-2014, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
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I wasn't big in to showing but when we did, we did well. Like you, I didn't like what I was seeing, mainly angry riders taking it out on their horses because they were out of the ribbons. Just this past weekend, because a horse rolled the #2 barrel, the rider wailed on it as soon as they were thro the gate for at least 5 min. Small wonder her horse was reluctant to enter the arena.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-25-2014, 09:22 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Take a much needed break. Once your refreshed you can actually start to look forward to your comeback show!
I'm 15 and in January, I'll be doing my first ever show. I don't expect to win, I don't even WANT to win. I just wasn't to have a good time with my horse and experience new things. It's a fairly small show but still there are people who are set on winning an I feel it's not right. Small shows should be about having fun, meeting new people and expanding your knowledge, not take all or lose all. That's my suggestion, small shows.
Take the time to have fun and really get to know your horse. They're always talking to you, you just have to listen.

Hope that helped or encouraged or whatever I'm terrible at advice.
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-26-2014, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Thanks y'all so much for the kind word, I appreciate them so much. I do think I might do a small show occasionally with the sole purpose of having fun and trying new things. I think I still will take occasional lessons with my coach. He will understand. But I'm still trying to work over the guilt of Crown never living up to his full potential. This horse could eventually be a competitive 1.20 jumper with the right rider and I feel like I am just holding him back. I don't really know if that's just residual competitiveness or what, but that hits me hard in every lesson. We are always improving, but I am just not good enough for him. I want to go have fun but not feel like I am giving up on showing big. Do you think I'm just giving up? I know people go through much more emotional problems than this I'm not sure why it's affecting me so much...

No, Buddy, you're not a cotton headed ninny muggins. You're just special. http://myhorseisadork.blogspot.com
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-26-2014, 07:32 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
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I agree with what everyone else has posted--sounds like you need a break. Nothing wrong with that.

In regards to your last post, I'm not sure I understand. Giving up? What, exactly, would you be giving up? I didn't read any end goal. It sounds like you're just thinking too much (: Horses should be fun, and you shouldn't spend any of your time doing anything that doesn't make you happy.
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-27-2014, 04:45 PM
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1-2 rated shows a month is a grueling schedule, especially if you've been doing it your whole life! Take a break!! Try a new discipline or go to smaller shows or just take a break from horses altogether if that's what you'd rather do. You need to do what's best for you and if showing isn't fun anymore, don't do it.

But first... make sure you're taking a break because you're truly burnt out. Not because you feel insecure, you have sour grapes, you're unhappy with your horse, you don't like someone at the barn, etc. IMO those things shouldn't keep you from what you truly want to do, IF that's what you actually want to do, and a lot of those things are fixable. The only cure for burn out is a break.
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-30-2014, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Thanks again everyone for the wonderful support, I am feeling much better about the whole situation. I think besides the occasional "fun" show, I am okay with not showing. The only thing I have to do now is tell my coach... He should be understanding. He knows that a full time college student can't keep up a show schedule.

No, Buddy, you're not a cotton headed ninny muggins. You're just special. http://myhorseisadork.blogspot.com
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-31-2014, 03:53 PM
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Why not just be honest....

Trainer, I need a break, and am taking a break from competitive showing, period.

If you chose to elaborate...I'm going to college now and need to concentrate on my studies so I can get that great education so I can get a great job to afford my passion of horses.

Can't be more honest than that...and it is what you are doing.

Down time, rest, relax for both you and your mount.
Learn to enjoy simpler things, quiet time at the barn.
When you are ready to you will again search out the show ring.

Personally, I showed and got fed-up with what I also saw done to the animals and the attitude of some competitors of win at all cost.
Soured me to showing after a while.
Now if I show I do it so educated eyes can watch and make comment in where I need improving in my abilities. {I do respectfully ask to see the judges card}
I ride for me, not anyone else...to improve me...
Ribbons, I truly don't need them.

Enjoy your time with your best friend!!

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