AHJA April 2017 Show at the State Fairgrounds

The first show of the AHJA show year is in April and this time was hosted at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds in Little Rock, AR on April 15th, 2017.  This was my first show with Prada, and I was excited but nervous about how we would do.  Last year, the AHJA April show was my first time showing after a seventeen year break, and I was thrilled to leave with two ribbons at the end of the day.  After a more successful rest of the 2016 show year, I admit, I had some higher hopes for this year’s April show.  I was trying not to get my hopes up too high, but my competitive drive still really wanted me to do well (at least better than last year’s April show!).

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Here Comes Show Season…

Our first horse show of the season is tomorrow.  Prada and I have been putting in a lot of hard work to prepare, but I’m also trying not to put too much pressure on us.  Last year I had a really successful show season but I was in the Beginner division on a different horse (who is a totally different ride – not better or worse, just different) whom I’d been riding longer than I’ve been riding Prada.  This year I’ll be showing in the Limit Rider division, and while I don’t think the higher jump height will be a problem, I do expect the competition to be a little tougher.  While I only got to ride Merlin for one season, Prada and I will have many years together to figure each other out (which we’re still doing) and to bring out the best in each other.  So this year my goals are very modest.  If we don’t bring home great ribbons at every show, it’ll be ok – we’ll still be learning and making progress every time.  Our real competition is ourselves.

The year end award and championship ribbons I won with Merlin last year.

Moving On and Horse Shopping

I’ve been having a hard time moving on from William’s passing, and therefore, I think I’ve been approaching my horse search as “finding another William”. But the reality is: I’m not going to find another William. He can never be replaced because there will never be another horse quite like him. I don’t need to set unrealistic expectations on other horses like that – it will only set me up for failure and more heartbreak. Instead, I need to keep my mind and my heart open, and not miss out on a good horse just because he/she isn’t William.