I'm afraid. Very afraid. And I don't quite know what to do about it. I sent in my entries for our first show of the season today, and I've been pretty much in a cold sweat ever since.
It's a small Cadora Bronze show at a quiet local venue just a 10 minute drive from our barn. The perfect place to get back in the ring after having the fall last time right? No biggie. While Gus often gets a bit full of himself and pushy on the ground in new settings, he's always been fine when I get on and has never offered anything worse than a little squeal, kick out or headshaking.
His reaction (spin and run) to the bicycle whizzing by which prompted my fall (and concussion and knee fracture) at a show last year was a very honest reaction to something he'd never seen before and which truly looked and sounded scary. If he hadn't spun the other way to avoid a pond in the ring, I likely would have stayed on, continued my ride and not lost more than a minute's sleep over it.
Instead I have a sick feeling in my stomach and I can't help focusing on the one time things went wrong, rather than the hundreds of times they have gone right. We have a plan in place involving the liberal use of Chill (for Gus, not me) and having my coach warm him up at the show first. My head tells me it will be fine but my nerves aren't listening. Any advice, suggestions, for overcoming this block are greatly appreciated! He's going so well and I know realistically we can do a good job on First 1 and 2, if I can make it into the ring. Help me get there!
About the author
I'm a middle-aged, overweight, rusty re-rider who refuses to let any of that get in the way of my passion for dressage.