Monday, June 19, 2017

Silver Medal

Rijkens has allowed me to realize several life goals, including earning my United Stated Dressage Federation Bronze and Silver medals.  On April 29 2017 at the Shoofly Farm CDI HDS open show Rijkens earned my final score for our silver medal.

The local dressage community has been very congratulatory toward me on this accomplishment.  One well wisher, an "L" graduate and grand prix rider, added a warning to not be in a rush toward my gold medal, but to enjoy the moment, the learning experience and the journey.  She mentioned that she too often sees people surging straight from their silver on toward gold.  I appreciate and agree with her perspective, and even felt backwardly complimented that she thought I might even be capable of zooming toward that lofty goal.

A discovery I've made in dressage, as in anything academic, is the more you learn, the more you know you actually don't know.  Yes I've gotten a few rides down centerline at Prix St Georges, but I am far from being where I want to be in competently riding correct collection and engagement for the FEI levels.  I couldn't rush headlong toward my gold, even if that is something I want; I lack the experience at the PSG level yet to move onward.

The good news is I have a perfect horse to allow me that additional experience in the FEI ring.  Rijkens has been called "almost a really good horse" by someone whose opinion matters.  Meaning: he isn't necessarily a perfect specimen, but what he is capable of he does really well and occasionally shows brilliance.  Rijkens is a very good small tour horse, earning his adult amateur our bronze and silver medals, and qualifying this year (2017) for local SWDC championships with me at PSG and for USDF Region 9 open championships at Intermediaire 1 with our trainer.

For now I will continue striving in the Prix St Georges, with our eyes on I1 possibly next season.  I've now ridden the PSG in all of four weekend shows, so eight rides.  As my friend suggested, I am in no hurry to rush toward the big tour.  Admittedly I want to ride it one day, but for now my focus is on improving my ride in the small tour and learning all I can with the capable and wonderful horse that I have at the moment.