Having chosen the slow, intentional path to learning the art of dressage, one expects good days and poor but with an overall progression toward harmony and influence over one's horses.
At least that's how I'm trying to keep perspective after two unsatisfactory scores at our most recent one day show. At 59.4 I was just shy of getting my final second level bronze qualifying score, and when I received a 47 from a different judge at the same show I couldn't help but feel disappointment.
To gain further perspective I began thinking about disappointment versus perseverance. While it's true my goals include an element of prize riding, that is not the ultimate objective. I contemplated my personal dressage odyssey that has serendipitously overlapped with some pretty awesome and amazing people and horses, and realized that a couple of bad scores shall not deter.
My trainer Karen Brown, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude and whose experience and knowledge I benefit from on an almost daily basis, just celebrated her tenth year anniversary of being cancer free. Beautiful Windy Knoll Farm, where Delphi and I spent this past Saturday in idyllic surroundings, was 1/4 mile from being burned to the ground by the recent Texas wildfires but by the efforts of local and volunteer firefighters was spared. My gentle and trustworthy mare obediently travels with me to shows, clinics and trail rides and is my daily partner, teacher, and co-scholar.
Yes, 47% on a second level test sheet with not receiving my qualifying score stings. Yet with so much to be thankful for I decided this weekend to graciously accept the red and blue ribbons on behalf of my "white horse" and march ever gratefully forward toward harmony and understanding.
Delphi and me at our first show in 2005: