With the first snow fall of 2017 officially on the ground I find myself reflecting on the season that I had this year. I can truly say that the 2017 show season was the best one I’ve ever experienced. I was given some incredible experiences to grow and learn as a rider, trainer and coach, and I found myself fully immersed in all of them!
Not only was I able to experience my first International level competition (which was absolutely mind-blowing and I can’t wait to do it again next season!!!!), but I was also able to show multiple other mounts at various levels of provincial competitions in a variety of disciplines (a total of 18 competitions!). Furthermore I was given the opportunity to travel to the states to compete in quite a few events, which is a fantastic experience to see the differences in the sport.
When I am reflecting on a completed show season there are some questions that I like to ask myself:
1 – What were the goals that I set for the season? Was I able to achieve those goals?
2 – If I was unable to reach my goals, what was the reason or challenge that I was faced with? How did I handle this challenge?
3 – Was I able to assess my progress as the season progressed? Did I need a new challenge or did I adjust to meet the needs of myself and my horse?
5 – What element(s) of competition or training did I struggle with this season? (ex. mental preparation, dressage, cross country, show nerves) What can I do over the off season to improve these element(s) for next season? (Mental Training, more frequent lessons, practice riding in front of friends and family).
Finally, I was lucky enough to be able to coach some of my students at their first competitions this season. As a coach this is a thrilling experience – to see the nervous looks turn to smiles as they trot around a dressage test or cross rail class. I cannot wait to see what these kids will accomplish next season!!