I’m taking it as a win!

With the best of humor I offer you my show diary from this past weekend.

Friday: Follow the Signs.

I awoke with a bad case of the dizzies. This is something that pops up perhaps once in two years with me. A little granule in my inner ear decided to go walk about and my brain did not know which end was up. But I know from past experience that it always improves as the day goes on. So off to the show we go!

On arrival I find that Biasini has hives on both of his shoulders. Well, I always believe in the indigenous adage of “follow the signs” and to me these signs meant it would be best to scratch from riding that day. I still had another day on Saturday. Luckily the vet, who saw Biasini back in January for hives, was at the show to see another horse and tended to Biasini’s hives. By afternoon I was feeling fine so I had a training session with Coach Lou. Biasini is never affected by the hives so he was fine to work .

Saturday: The Slough of Despond.

I had a good sleep and awoke feeling fine . Biasini was without hives and in good spirits. We prepared to show. I also had noticed that someone in the Sunday FEI Freestyle class had scratched so I went to the show office and they put me in. I would have two chances to ride after all.

My goal for my test was to keep Biasini’s balance in an uphill frame. I went in the ring and rode with that as my top priority. I did accomplish some of my goal but we also had some expensive mistakes. On our score sheet I could see that the judge had not much liked our freestyle. Music and choreography are personal preferences and ours were not hers. And we had those mistakes. Fair enough. But I felt myself descend into the Slough of Despond. Was I never going to get this balance thing right? How long have I been working my butt off to improve this? Years ! And still I do not seem to get it! Is it because I am too old? Too incapable?

Well, you can see where I was going with all that! My husband, David, who was there helping me,suggested we go and have dinner at Denny’s on the way home. He knew that would cheer me up. We both ordered Grand Slam plates ( bacon, eggs, sausage, pancakes with syrup or French toast with syrup) . Don’t wrinkle your noses and think this is not ideal food for someone in the middle of a sports competition. Or ideal food for two senior citizens who should be thinking about their cholesterol. To heck with that! I ate mine all up and after all the Grand Slams do include at least two food groups.

Sunday: I’ll take it as a win!

I woke up and resolved to press on and not scratch from my class due to being down in the Slough of Despond and being a hopeless rider. Yup, I was still down in that black hole. But then I saw a text message from Coach Lou. He told me the pirouettes in Saturday’s test had been the best he had ever seen us do in competition! Well that made me feel better! So off to the show we went.

Biasini in pirouette

Midday I was braiding Biasini. I really enjoy braiding as it is a nice quiet time with my horse and I find it relaxing. As I braided it came to me: what the heck is the matter with me? Why should I be in a black hole because of one test ? It is a beautiful day. The sun is shining and the temperature is perfect for riding. I have a talented horse to ride. I have a coach who believes in me and pushes me to do my best. I have a supportive husband, who although he is not financially responsible for the horse side of my life, is tirelessly supportive and comes all day, every day of the show, to assist. The show grounds at White Fences Equestrian could not be nicer and the show is well run and well organized with everything in place to assist the riders in having a good experience. I am so very lucky. At that precise moment I decided that what I was going to do in my test was have fun. Focus and have fun. And that is just what I did. I only made one mistake and I came out of the ring feeling happy with how Biasini and I had done.

We did not win the class. We did not get a fabulous score. The judge did not love everything we did. But it was a distinct improvement over the day before. The young rider who had helped me by coming in the morning and taking Biasini out for a handwalk asked me how I had done. When I told her she replied: “As long as there is improvement from the day before I like to take it as a win.”

She is right. And so….I took it as a win!

Thank you to Carmen Franco (aka Queca) who was at the show to take some photos of Coach Lou and kindly also snapped some moments of Biasini and me.

Rainbow at the end of the day over the White Fences Equestrian Showgrounds.

48 Comments Add yours

  1. Definitely a win! You two look gorgeous together! 🐎💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Ribana.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff Rab says:

    That is a win! You should celebrate with another trip to Denny’s for a Grand Slam breakfast!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Haha! We should do that. We also have a local cafe that does a mean breakfast with the best grits in town. I love grits and have them as often as possible because up at home there are no grits. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jeff Rab says:

        Lol…Grits! Definitely a southern U.S. thing!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Did you end up needing the rubber reins?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Haha! No the weather was fine all weekend. Thanks for asking Gayle.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. dprastka says:

    I checked and thought I’d left a comment, and realized I didn’t, what a wonderful post. I felt like I spent the weekend with you, from a not so great start for both you and Biasini to a MUCH better finish. What I Love the most is how you decided to just have FUN, it’s sooooo much work and I know how hard these competitions are especially at your level. The criticism we need to learn but can be depressing too. I like how when you relieved the pressure you actually performed a bit better! YAY! LOVE all your photos, rainbows and all! ❤️🐴🐎❤️
    P.S. I love Biasini’s brow band on his bridle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      That is great that you felt like you lived it with me. I Love Biasini’s browband too. I got it at a tack shop at home. The owner helped me choose the size and then we came to the browband. She brought out a big velvet covered roll with crystals on it. We looked them over and chose three different colors and then she helped me decide what order to put them in on the browband. Then she asked it my horse was a chestnut. I said yes. She knew I had only recently bought him and I had him at Belinda Trussell’s farm. ” Did you buy Biasini?” she asked. “Yes” I said. ” I love that horse.” she said ” Whenever Belinda was riding him at a show I would leave our shop and go to the ring to watch him. ” So that made my day! Honestly it was as good as shopping at Tiffany’s!😊

      Like

      1. dprastka says:

        Awe, what an amazing story about your brow band and all the BEAUTIFUL crystals! That made my day! You two are so special, what a beautiful team. ❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          Thank you Diana!😃

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent attitude, good for you! From that photo, the pirouette looks very graceful indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Robert. Biasini has a talent for the pirouettes as he is able to ‘sit’ well. So if I prepare him and ride it right he does very wel.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Well done Anne and the double rainbow says well done on both days! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Xenia! It is a tough sport and I am competing at a high level. However I am lucky to be able to do it at my age and stage. Thanks to Biasini as the equalizer.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. An interesting look at a weekend in competition, Anne. I’m glad you pushed through and made it out the other end! Such beautiful shots of you and Biasini in action.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Terri! Queca Franco does take great shots and I’m lucky she was there to take some of me and Biasini.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes it is surely a win, as the day went as by your wish. Enjoyed reading the post as it a true experience were others can also take a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I hope that others can take heart from my experience. Thank you Subbashini 💕

      Like

  9. O.D. says:

    Well done Anne! Perfect rainbow too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Judy says:

    Definitely a win!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. sandyjwhite says:

    Way to go. A win for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. sandyjwhite says:

        You are welcome, Anne.

        Like

  12. Linda Book says:

    “Taking it as a win”! Indeed you should and I will too. To never fall short of your best is a very worthy goal. Mistakes, failure, carelessness, loss of focus, are all things that bring us down but these are also things that show us where we need to improve. Failure is a better teacher than success. It is a visible and unequivocal marker from which we can grow and “do better”. “Good Job” feels great and it has its place but we “learn better” when we have to reassess our actions to “get better”,.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this comment Linda. It is so true and much appreciated!!!

      Like

  13. This is wonderful news! Your achievement is an inspiration to us all. It can be difficult to keep one’s focus when one is in a competition. All we can ask of ourselves is improvement. You did it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this supportive comment. It is not easy and in dressage the judges comments are usually critical and it can be a downer. But as you say improvement is all we can ask of ourselves.😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  14. kunstkitchen says:

    Keep on keepin’ on! You look like you belong there with beautiful Biasini!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for the encouragement. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Your trophy shone brightly in the sky for everyone to see. Well done 🏆🎖🌈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Oh my! that is a wonderful comment! Thank you Susie!

      Like

  16. Robyn says:

    I agree, that’s a big win! Great job, Anne!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. cagedunn says:

    These skills you are learning are also being practiced every day by the people who coach you, by the people who are the best in the field. Greatness isn’t achieved by getting it right, but by persistently learning how it feels right.
    Every single progression toward better is a moment of elation, a win – and we don’t get that feeling unless we’re willing to learn the skills and practice them continuously.
    Congratulations to both of you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Cage. Your comment puts it into a good perspective. Progress not perfection! 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Yes, you won. And what a lovely, rainbow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Gbolabo! Much appreciated !

      Like

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