Lessons Learned: ‘Perfect Practice Makes Perfect’

As George Morris says, “perfect practice makes perfect.” So why not practice showing? Ainsley Jacobs makes a case for the schooling show.

Working on that dressage! Photo by P.TEN Marketing

Adult amateur event blogger Ainsley Jacobs has been chronicling how she finds the takeaway lesson from the good, the bad and the ugly in her equestrian experience. Her horse JJ has been rehabbing from a ligament injury for a few months, so during his layoff time Ainsley is revisiting earlier lessons in her experience. Today’s story is from June of 2015.

Go With It Farm‘s second farm show of the year took place on a beautiful summer day, and JJ and I were proud to be a part of it!

We did both a Beginner Novice CT and a Novice CT once again, with the Beginner Novice jump round serving as a warm-up for the Novice round.

Dressage went well, and the judge scored a little more “realistically” this time, leaving us with a 37.50 for Beginner Novice B and a 34.78 for Novice A. I love how JJ is really learning to engage his hind end more lately! He’s so cool, I am having so much fun learning with him!

By the time our jumping rounds were called, it was getting pretty hot out. JJ gave me a perfect Beginner Novice round, but once the jumps went up, it was a little harder for him. He still tried his heart out, but the heat got the best of him and we knocked three rails which added 12 penalties to our overall score.

Tired but still trying. Photo by P.TEN Marketing

At first, I was pretty upset. He’s usually such a careful jumper, and he’s so incredibly talented… knocking rails sucks! But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was happy that he still jumped everything, didn’t refuse, and carried me safely through a course that was a little higher than we were used to. And for that, I was grateful.


As George H. Morris says, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice does.” Why do you take lessons? So you can become a better, more capable, more effective rider. It makes sense that you should practice showing, too, and local farm shows are a great way to do that.

Ainsley Jacobs is an adult amateur based out of Atlanta, Georgia. She started riding huntseat equitation when she was eight, and has tried practically every discipline since then. In 2014, Ainsley discovered eventing and it changed her life! She purchased her first horse, JJ Spot, in February 2016 and chronicles their successes (and struggles) of learning to overcome literal and figurative obstacles in her blog at www.RideHeelsDown.com.

Photo by Erik Jacobs/P.TEN Marketing

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