I’ve had the pleasure of judging Cowboy Dressage for the past 2 days at @black_horse_lodge gathering.
Over the course of teaching, I meet a lot of riders who don’t compete. They may have competed in the past and no longer want to, or they may never have competed and feel nervous about competing.
I personally gave up competition for nearly 10 years, as I felt it brought out the worst in me, and was no longer a benefit to my horses. I returned to competition when I found cowboy dressage, and more recently ranch.
Competition can offer both the horse and rider great benefits;
🐴 Measurement of progress. Competition can offer us valuable insight into how we are progressing with our training. Judges feedback gives us unbiased evaluation of our and our horses skills.
🐴 Testing our training. Our horses may perform perfectly at home. The competition environment can give us great feedback on how our horse performs with external stimulation.
🐴 Inspiration. Heading out to a competition can help us become inspired as we watch fellow competitors perform on their horses.
🐴 Motivation. A competition deadline can be the motivation we need to continue working our horses in adverse conditions like weather.
The gathering over the weekend was well run, a fun, encouraging and friendly environment for people to show their horses at their best.
If you have been avoiding competition, why not nominate - it could just be the best thing for you, and your horse.
Huge thanks to Leigh and Paul at Black Horse Lodge for their hospitality and organising a fantastic show, thanks to all the volunteers, my super scribe Candy, and congratulations to all the competitors - you were great!