March 24, 2018 will be the first time I have stepped foot (on horseback) in an arena since October of 2016. I am not entering a barrel race, but I am playing at a gymkhana. I haven’t run any gymkhana events since high school. I am a seasoned competitor but thinking about this upcoming event has me super nervous! Yes I said I am nervous about making my gymkhana debut at Tri-County Riders!
One of the things that makes this so much easier to do is that I will be surrounded by my friends and students. I want to show my students that I can do this with them, putting my money where my mouth is, if you will.
The horse industry, and speed events in particular are very humbling! Gymkhana is a show that has many events run in one day and really showcases your skill sets. Am I skilled enough on the back of a horse to run 7 events in one day? We shall see.
I get to take my pick of horses out of the barn and I will be taking one of our school horses to prepare her for a student to ride in April. I can take a seasoned horse to play with and build my confidence on the patterns while also playing in the arena on a mare that is very green to gymkhana. I am thankful to have a group of people in my corner who won’t critize my riding. Tri-county Riders is full of people who just want to help which is why I am encouraging my kids to ride with them.
I struggle big time with the thoughts of not being a good enough rider to compete with these people. Are my horses good enough? Am I crazy for doing this?
I am going to tell you what I will tell all of my students before they enter the arena! “You are out there to have fun, win or lose! Smile and appreciate your horse no matter what! You’re only competition is yourself!”