Returning to the show ring
So in 2010 Dallas and I didn't show at all, in 2011 we only did a few 4H shows, this year we're planning on getting back into more serious and competitive showing, hoping to do USEF the season after this.
I'm hoping to take him to about 9 shows, and get us back in shape. We were very competitive and always in the top ribbons, then family stuff got in the way. Parents divorcing, trouble with my dad and restraining orders. Well now my dad has passed away from liver failure do to his addiction to alcohol and drugs at age 45 and I'm ready to move on with my life. Now I'm trying to build myself and Dallas back up to where we were. I look at pictures of us in like 2009 and it drives me nuts, because we're out of practice and have to work to get back to where we were 3 years ago. But I'm just thankful for the chance to have another shot at competing.
Basically I feel like I'm going home returning to showing, but I'm also a lot more nervous than I used to be. Afraid I've lost my touch. lol. Any advice for returning to the show ring?
First, congrats on being strong and moving forward, it sounds like you have had a rough go :-(
My advice, having also just returned to the show ring (in my case a ten year absence while being pit crew for my children as they grew) was to watch some shows via youtube to see current trends in dress, style of movement, etc., then prepare as much as possible for the show by riding as if I was showing - practice perfectly. Then when I went in the ring I had to assume that confidence I used to have, even though I wasn't really feeling it. Head held high, big smile to the judge, working on body position, etc...
I didn't have high expectations, but we did pretty well and have since gotten back in the groove - I know you will too :-)
You were only gone two years, so not much has changed. Just keep focusing what you are working towards & how much you missed it. Enjoy the rush of looking forward to competing.
Thanks for the advice!
I've been going and watching friend's show when I can. Every time I watch one of them I wish I was showing Dallas. lol. We've been working hard getting back into shape, hopefully my nerves will go away. I used to have nerves of steel about shows, now I get jittery at the thought of competing again.
@ My Little Hunter, we have been through very similar situations. My dad passed away after along battle with alcohol as well. I stopped riding for 2 years, and then started riding again just for fun. I am hoping to take my mare to some fun shows this summer. Good luck, have faith and believe in yourself! I sent you a friend request. ;)
It's nice to know I'm not the only one who's had to deal with this kind of thing. I never stopped riding, but I stopped competing. Dallas and I were the team to beat, and now it's like starting over. lol.
You can definitely do it after 2 years! I didn't compete seriously for a good 6 years and I came back stronger then ever. If I can do it, anyone can! The key is not to look back but to keep moving forward. Don't put any pressure or expectations on yourself because of what you used to be able to do. Instead of focusing on being behind focus on small goals for yourself. Think of your first couple of shows as just "practice" and don't worry if other people are watching. I'm with you, I used to have nerves of steel and found myself very anxious in the show ring at first. The more I showed the more focused I got. I very rarely get anxious before a round now. It just took time and practice. You will get there! Make sure to post lots of pics! ;)
What's really getting at me too is I won't have my girl who's I've shown with since I was little there to help me. I recently moved to NY, so now I don't know anyone except a few of the girls at my new barn. lol.
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