One of my favorite mottos in life is Fake it ’til you make it. It can be hard to gather up the courage to try something new. Maybe I don’t want to jump that spooky oxer over there, or maybe I didn’t prepare quite enough for that big meeting at work. In these cases, I think adding an air of confidence, even faked, can totally change the way it is handled.
Faking confidence to get the stupid judges “scary” jump jumped.
However, I believe that the line between building that confidence and doing something stupid is one that should be well respected. In many cases, confidence and stupidity are too close to see the difference. Injuries can happen or an accident and that’s when you tend to humble back down.
I have watched a lot of horse shows through work, as well as riding at local shows and I love to watch these people ride. I am comforted by people making the same mistakes I would, or having the same awesome reactions that I think I might in those same moments. That said, something that stands out to me every time, in every show, is how stupid some people act. Just because you have the guts to get out there and do it, doesn’t make it the right thing to do. One obvious example that stands out (painfully) is the person who shouldn’t be in the class at all. I can’t tell if it’s because trainers are also motivated to move their clients up the levels, or perhaps they don’t have a trainer, or maybe they have really evil friends who lied to them about great of a rider they are. Needless to say, there is always THAT person in every class.
I am a perfectionist by nature, so I am very critical of my riding when I review video or photo content of my latest ride. I find also because I have had my share of injuries in life(horse and non horse related), that it’s made me think carefully of every decision I make when it comes down to riding. As an adult rider, I have learned that I just don’t bounce like I used to every time I have a fall(which thank God is not often). Then again, they say that if you never fall off, you’re not riding hard enough. I find myself not entering some classes because I don’t feel that I have the required level of riding skill to be able to even have a chance to compete against those riders. What’s “funny” to watch though, is those absolutely awful riders who do go in them and attempt their luck. All credit to them for trying it-credit fails to those awful friends and trainers who lie to them telling them they belong in that class.
I find it interesting that you can usually clearly see why some riders only compete in the jumpers and gallop unsafely around the course like lightning McQueen vs the calculated hunter riders with fantastic rhythm and position. I feel like the riders in each category should swap the classes they enter. Always a lot more excitement watching those jumpers classes though because you end up cringing and holding your breath every time they get to a fence. Pass the popcorn around. Those are not brave or confident decisions. Those fall under the stupid category.