No qualification? No problem!
It’s getting to be that time of year when dressage riders around the country are busily preparing for their regional finals. For these riders, finals can be a culmination of a season, or even years of hard work. I am proud of and happy for all them, but I can’t help feeling a bit left out. You see, for me the 2018 show season was a bit of a clusterf growth year, marked by a glorious combination of spooking and tantrums.
While we learned a lot and have made several adjustments that will undoubtedly (or possibly dubiously) lead to a stellar 2019 season, we did not get a single qualifying score for 2018 regionals.
Instead of wallowing in my own self-pity, I decided to look for the silver lining in this somewhat depressing situation, and I found it! Right in my bank account! Horse shows are expensive and I am saving a ton of money thanks to my 2018 display of ineptitude! I could do something responsible with that money like stash it away in a Roth IRA, or invest it in a safely diversified mutual fund, but I have horses, so obviously I’m going to do neither of those things.
If you, like me, had a rough show season and are trying to decide what to do with the money you will NOT be spending on a trip to 2018 regionals, I have compiled a list of possibilities.
Get all the matching saddle pad, polo shirt, polo wrap combos your little heart desires!
Will color coordinating your outfits help you be a better rider? Probably not, but you will look fabulous as you careen around amoeboid “circles” and ill-prepared corners. Go ahead! Get your match on!
You may not have won a championship cooler this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your own personal flair on everything you own! Saddle pad: monogram it. Jacket: monogram it. Manure fork: monogram it. Spouse: monogram it! You will never lose track of any of your personal items ever again!
Finally perfect you and your horse’s couples cosplay get up.
It has long been a dream of mine to cosplay as Tiny Tina from the videogame Borderlands 2 and have Helix play her trusty steed, Princess Butt Stallion. Whether your horsey cosplay desire is Link and Epona, Bell and Phillip, or Hiccup and Toothless, use the extra cash on-hand to make that fantasy a reality!
Buy yourself some cask strength scotch
You’ve been chasing that elusive 60% all year and now it can finally be yours! Use that money to buy yourself a quality bottle of cask strength scotch whiskey, generally bottled at 63.5% ABV. Any bottle with the “Glen” prefix will do just fine. It may not feel as good as a 60% plus score, but it will quickly help you forget that you failed to get any!
A boat load of lessons!
Riding is a sport for the constant student and if you can’t learn from your failures, there is little hope you will ever progress. Find a trainer who suits you, stop wallowing, and get to work! With a little guidance and a lot of hard work, those qualifying scores will be yours before you know it!
In all seriousness though, I’m wishing the best of luck to all the riders competing at regionals. Have a blast and know that being there is quite the accomplishment!