The girls are all going better and better. This intensive training time is so wonderful, because “better” can be frustrating when it comes with one lesson a month. But “better” is incredibly satisfying when it’s day after day. Dressage riders are often thought of as perfectionists. And while that might be true, I am very aware of the detriments of perfectionism. Seeking perfection is a waste of time – you won’t ever find it and you’ll always be unsatisfied. “Better” is what we should be after. Even the very top riders are seeking better. It’s just that their better is pushing an 8 into a 9 or a 9 towards a 10. 10 means excellent, not perfect.
Comparison is another killjoy, like perfectionism, which often haunts dressage riders. Your horse may be going ok, but look at that lady with her amazing horse. Or your horse is injured, and it’s so frustrating to watch others do what you can’t. But having these 5 mares here at different stages of training and ranges of abilities is actually giving me good perspective, instead of comparison. Feeling D’Arcy, at 4 years old, make progress by getting over her fear of the blue chairs next to the arena 😲, and getting a little straighter in the canter to the right is a big win. Feeling Blush understand better today how to push through her back for a stronger medium canter instead of quickening is a big win. And feeling an international quality trot on Flow is also a big win. I don’t expect Darcy to feel like Flow yet. And I don’t expect Flow to go like Verdades yet, her new neighbor and love 😍. (Yet!)
My mom and Emme Johnston, my former assistant trainer, arrived today for a few days. It’s so fun to have them here, and of course, my kids are beyond happy to see their Oma. There is a USEF Developing Clinic at Havensafe today through Wednesday. Charlotte Bredahl was just named as the new developing coach. She is taking over from Debbie McDonald, who is now the Olympic coach (or technical advisor, as they insist on calling it 🙄) There are some seriously nice horses and amazing riders in the clinic. It’s inspiring, and I’m so glad Charlotte and Debbie are in these positions. They are both such good horsewomen, excellent teachers and just the nicest people. My mom made the comment today that it was so nice to see so many women at the top in these coaching positions. While I agree with her, I hadn’t actually thought of that, because I think it just seems obvious rather than exceptional, that these two would be who USEF would pick for these positions.
More tomorrow on my lessons.