Absolutely no confidence.. Venting.
Okay, just before I get my little vent going, please, don't attack me. I don't need it I know I probably sound ridiculous to some people, but please, I just need a vent. Not an extreme argument or extreme opinion. Thanks for listening to my little rant:-)
I've been working with my horse for the past three years. When I first purchased him, he was the definition of "green" and "psycho". Spooked at literally everything, did not have a right lead, couldn't be in an arena with other horses (would buck you off if they came head on, too close, or to the side of him), did not jump, and was timid with everything he did. The lady we bought him from had him alone at her house, and she was scared of him, since he is big (17.3) and crazy. She turned him into a brat. If he threw a fit, she would get off and put him away since she was alone and did not want to be hurt.
Now, with constant hard work, determination, blood, tears, and sweat, we have FINALLY become what I thought to be a good team. He now will jump anything in front of him, automatic perfect lead changes, has a perfect slow rhythm, and for the most part, listens to me. We know each other's quirks, and each others limits. We have accumulated about 200+ points in novice, youth, and open hunter over fence and hunt seat equitation events. We have been top 3 in the nation in youth & limited jumping, and limited equitation over fences. We have also won the congress in youth jumping, and finalist in novice youth hunter hack.
Yes, we have won a lot. Yes, we have gotten "a lot" of points so to say. But in complete honestly, most of the points were accumulated out of state, competing with my own barn. Yes, occasionally we will have a good show and do well in my state (Florida) which, from what I've heard and seen, has some of the toughest AQHA hunter competition in the nation. I am friends with all that I compete with, and love them all, and they have all worked very hard for their accomplishments, much like I have.
However, for the past 6 months or so, I've been having what I "think" are really nice rides (even pace, nailing spots, perfect leads, etc.) and not getting pinned in the top 5. I know I probably sound like a sore loser, but to work so hard with a horse for 3 years, and not be able to do well at a regular horse show?! It's frustrating! My trainer honestly, never tells me anything anymore. I ask his wife (who used to give me lessons, but stopped due to the amount of work she has to do) about my problems, so she gave me a couple lessons, and told me my horse wasn't jumping "round" enough. So, I started doing everything she told me to do. He got rounder. But does it effect my placings? Nope. I still continue to completely suck in the placings.
Now I don't know if I'm a horrible rider, if my horse is ugly, or if the judges are just plain ******ed, but I need to find out, and I need to find out soon, because I'm reaching my breaking point. I am absolutely done working so hard for nothing. At this point of my anger, I'm willing to do what it takes. Whether it is getting a new horse, sending him to another trainer, or completely stopping all together (which I'm not wanting to do at all), I want to be able to compete with the best. I feel like, I'm a good enough rider to where I can go to the world show and be able to ride with "the best in the so called AQHYA world". I can get on any horse, and ride it as well as mine, I can do full courses without stirrups the same as if I had them, and I generally do or try to do everything my trainer tells me to do (if he decides to tell me something). Yes, I do make mistakes like everyone does, not saying I'm perfect, but I really do work very hard, and it feels like its for nothing.
I do not want to change trainers.. My trainers are literally like my second parents. I've known them since I was in first grade (their daughter is basically my sister), they've taught me everything I know, and I have traveled everywhere with them. I love them like they're my own family. But, I feel like for the amount of money my family is paying them, I should be getting the instruction I deserve. I show to them that I AM serious about my riding (considering I'm the only one whos out there 6 days a week whether I'm riding or not). I just don't know what to do. I'm just so done and fed up with everything, and I'm at my breaking point.
Thanks for listening to my completely ridiculous rant, sorry it was so long!:?
Your accomplishments are impressive, for what it's worth. I don't show and am not competitive by nature, but I can see how frustrating that would be. Would it be too easy if I just said somehting like, "It's probably a fluke and will pass in the spring."?
Pat yourself on the back for bringing this horse around. I would have run away.
Can you just allow yourself to enjoy the amazing turnaround that this horse has made with you? You've done an awesome job with him, & the fact of not placing in shows doesn't matter at all!
It's about the relationship between you & your horse. Please just enjoy your continued private wins with him, & don't allow fallible human judges to ruin your partnership!
^^^ Northern pretty much nailed it.
It sounds to me like you performed a miracle on a seemingly hopeless horse. How much more accomplishment do you need? I think you need to take a break from showing and just chill out. There is so much more to horse ownership than riding, and it sounds like you may have lost sight of what drew you to horses in the first place. Go out and enjoy your horse's company, and don't worry about competing.
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