Jack of All Trades, Master of Fun



Some might say that taking my event pony to a western pleasure show is not conducive to improving and finding success in our chosen sport. The ideals of eventing and those of western pleasure are essentially complete opposites. Hopping from discipline to discipline could be seen as counter-productive, and even detrimental to our training as eventers. Thankfully my trainer doesn't think so and is fully supportive of the venture, though if she were more the 'serious competitor' type, she might've frowned upon my plans to debut in the western show pen next week.

But, you know what?

Dino's unending versatility and willingness to do whatever crazy thing I can think up for us to try is one of the traits I value most in him. I can literally compete this pony in the jumpers in the morning, give a lead line lesson on him in the afternoon, take him out hunting the next day, and then jog him around in a shank bit and western saddle the day after that. We may not be lighting the world on fire on the cross country course or in the dressage court, but we can do just about EVERYTHING just well enough to not totally embarrass ourselves.

And after last year's show season (and let's be real, the majority of 2015's season too) full of tears and frustration, getting out there and having fun doing whatever I feel like doing with my pony is doing my soul a world of good. So far I'm enjoying my show season in 2017 much, much more than I did last year, and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I took the pressure off of Dino and I to run BN. While my ultimate goal is still to get back to that level, and beyond if we can, if we don't do it this year, that's okay. We've been extremely competitive at Elementary this year, and it's the first time since I started eventing that I feel like I can go to a horse trial with the expectation of winning instead of surviving.

And riding in a neon blue side pull. Because we can.
I ride and show because it's fun, and because I freakin' love ponies, and fun is one thing that's become top priority this year. We're still plugging along, taking lessons, working hard, and staying on the receiving end of my trainer's firm and caring nudges towards Better Than We Were Before, but I'm letting go of the pressure I've put on myself to be competing seriously at the level that I think I "should" be riding.

Instead, I'm embracing Dino's incredible versatility with open arms, and at his age I think it's important to enjoy him to the fullest possible extent while he's still healthy, sound, and happy in his work. I don't know how much longer he's going to be able to compete for me, and each day with him is precious. If enjoying Dino into his golden years means putting serious competition aspirations aside in favor of doing whatever sounds like fun, then that's what I'm going to do.

I'm having a hell of a time playing cow pony (and event pony, and hunt pony, and dressage pony...) with my best buddy, and I think he is too.




Comments

  1. 100% agree. You have a kickass pony and there are so many ways to enjoy him.

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  2. Love it. Totally agreed that I show bc it's fun. And that I won't ever shy away from putting the hard work in, and I know you feel similarly. But that doesn't mean taking it so seriously that we miss the forest for the trees. Bc ultimately it's about enjoying the partnership!

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  3. I love your attitude. I think you should do all the things you want to do and who cares about the rest.

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  4. Time with our horses should be fun above all else. I think it's awesome that you're getting out and trying all the things. Stan has already done it all, Q, too. And I dream of putting Griffin on cattle some day.

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  5. Embrace his (and your!) versatility. The best kind of horses are the ones that are game for a little bit of everything.

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  6. Completely 100% agree says the person who hasn't ridden her pretty damn competitive jumper with a saddle or bridle in like... a week and a half. Sometimes you need to play!

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  7. Best post ever, and just the reminder I needed . Having a pony that can legit go out and do a bit of anything is such a treat! So glad you're both having such a fun summer!

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  8. Having fun with your horse is the WHOLE DAMN POINT!

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  9. I agree completely that it's all about having fun and it's part of why I have my pony. Now I just need to make more time to do just that haha

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  10. Fun is what it's all about! :)

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  11. Yes yes yes! For me it's all about having fun and enjoying my pony boy. :) As a bonus, Dino looks really cute in that western wear.

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  12. Love it! I've always wanted to be this rider, and specifically sought out a "pony with a sense of humor" but I have been so focused on Dressage. Maybe we need to play too!

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  13. There's so much more out there than just horse shows. I'm glad you're trying all these different things and having so much fun!

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  14. I think it's great that your pony is so versatile!!

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  15. There is no point in having horses if you don't enjoy it!

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