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"Winning" when you deserve it versus "Holding Back"???

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Camstock View Post
    I agree with this.

    For individual sports there are always options. If little Suzy is waxing everybody on her circuit, time to move up to the next level, ride HC, bring on a young horse, or try a new discipline. Good coaching isn't just about winning, it is about expanding skill sets and helping people to become better in all aspects of the game (of life).
    This. In dance, if someone is cleaning up in Bronze pro-am, there is no RULE saying they have to move up to Silver (where they may get their clock cleaned for a while) but the general feeling is it's poor manners to stick around picking off newbies and the less-talented just to win. If you're dominating at one level, that means it's time to move up and challenge yourself some more. In events where you have an option to move to a harder division once you're winning everything in sight, you look bad if you stick around and beat up on weaker competition.

    In team sports, where the kids don't get a lot of choice about who and where they play, if one team is CLEARLY slaughtering the other, bring in the second- and third-string players, make kids change positions--you're probably still going to win, but you're not the bully beating up the special-needs kid and your players that are normally benched get a chance to participate (though in children's sports, the whole idea of not letting kids play because they aren't good enough to win, as opposed to 'so bad they're a danger to themselves and others', is another can of worms...)
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    • #62
      Originally posted by katarine View Post
      She laid the flat-folded leather in the crook of her elbow so she could clap for the other kids...then had to rearrange to walk her horse up to get her ribbon. She did that of her own volition, all on her 9 year old own.
      Hooray for her--the world needs more class. (As opposed to 'klass'--there's plenty of THAT already...)
      ---------------------------

      Comment


      • #63
        About the coach competing in the class with the students: It was unsportsmanlike for the trainer to gloat (though perhaps she was joking more than gloating, which totally depends on what kind of relationship she and her students have), but were they open classes that the coach was showing in appropriately? If so, then her entering them is totally fine, IMO.

        Several years ago I was showing in a local series with my barn. I am most certainly an AA! The adult classes in the series were not split between amateur and open, so I competed against my trainer every show, in almost every class. We finished first and second a lot. As in she was first, I was second, for most of the year. We had a great time competing and always had a passel of the barn kids along as well (ALL of whom clapped for each other and were genuinely happy for each other, no matter who finished on top, incidentally) and just generally had a great time. It never bothered me that she always won; she was a pro, I was not, and it WAS fun to have our barn be the top two so much!

        And then came the show when I beat her in a couple of classes. You know what? It felt GREAT because I know I'd done really well to beat her. And you know what else? Nobody was happier about it than she was. That was good sportsmanship. She had mistakes and she knew it, I didn't have them, and she was genuinely pleased for me. It mean so much to me that I rode well enough to beat her because I KNEW from riding with her how good she was.

        Getting beaten all those times didn't make me bitter-it made me BETTER. I never once thought she shouldn't be showing against me or the other ammies. Her doing so made us all work ten times harder. When I did win, it really MEANT something. And the best thing about riding at that barn, with that trainer, is that she taught all the kids to ride well and to win, but to win gracefully and never to be a sore loser. Our kids were complimented everywhere we went for this and found out that if you don't win, it can be still be rewarding when a friend wins instead. There was no drama, no picking on any kid regardless of the horse or the tack, just a tight group of kids...all of whom have grown into wonderful young adults who value hard work and the journey to success, not just the end result. And they are all close friends to this day. So are my former trainer and I. Our barn wasn't fancy, but sportsmanship was expected, and the result of those lessons in apparent in every one of those riders.

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        • #64
          I meet a lot of young people who are not competitive enough. I hand them a work assignment to do in Excel, they shrug and say I don't know how to do that
          That response does not necessarily have anything to do with competitive.

          Many, many people (young and old) would be at a loss to respond to a set of instructions they didn't completely, fully understand.

          You may want to consider re-tuning your "inside voice" to something a lot more helpful...like "thank God they told me they have no idea to do this, instead of toiling pointlessly in the wrong direction. Here's my opportunity to build knowledge and skill and empower this person on future assignments."

          Some people are very happy teaching themselves by trial and error, but NOT all people, not by a long shot. In a fast-paced work environment particularly...many, many competitive people would want to be absolutely clear on direction before they started.
          Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

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          • #65
            Oh, the journey to dangerous conclusions. I smile and thank them for telling me, apologize that I wasn't clear, perhaps I was rushed, I can understand, sure, sure, let me try another way, so you do....so you patiently explain something over and over and over again, and are met with the merest hint of an effort, say 30 seconds worth, then an oh well and a shrug on their part, I'm thinking they want a ribbon for participating LOL Honestly, taking a to-do list that is going to evolve over time from Word to Excel is not rocket science, or it shouldn't be, for someone who crows endlessly about their college degree and I'm-capable-of-so-much-more, huff huff and puff and OMG I hate Excel, and OMG.

            Yeah, here's a ribbon for participating. Because that is about all I'm getting, your carcass in my doorway

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            • #66
              In the horsey realm, the different face of competition is one of the reasons I fell in love with dressage. To compete and get a critique at the same time! To know what went well and what needs work, not just that you sucked less than another entry!

              For the skaters, it sounds like the league needs to look at how it is structured. It would also help to have a "mercy rule" to end lopsided games without the coaches or players needing to decide how to play. I hope the winning team was playing reserves. I would certainly never expect one coach to ask another to "take it easy".
              Around here we tend to follow UConn Women's basketball. There were many years when the team was far, far better than most, if not all, the teams they played. The coach did a lot of substituting and trying different combinations. Reserves usually ended the games. They might practice scenarios in which they needed to use up almost all of the shot clock. But he never told them to "take it easy" as he respected them as players and said that they needed to be able to always play their best. But the emphasis was on their performance and players were never allowed to showboat or rub it in.

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              • #67
                Yeah, here's a ribbon for participating. Because that is about all I'm getting, your carcass in my doorway
                Well, I guess you'll have to console yourself with the knowledge that people like that ensure your continued superiority in all things.



                If only everyone could be just like you.
                Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

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                • #68
                  Hold up, Rugby. You don't know that I continue to try to understand this individual, to explore her motivations, that I like her as a human, I just don't 'get' her as a worker. She's a sweet, vibrant person. However, she is an assistant, and in that role a lot of what she is to do for her primary boss and others...is make it happen, jump in, figure it out. That's her job. She is a riddle to me, and I don't like one bit the things I'm starting to think about her, not a bit. But I surely do not yet know how to get anything I actually need out of her, and unfortunately this is true across the entire company: it seems like anything that is asked of her that is more complicated than a transaction-level interaction is OMG just too much, and OMG I don't know about this, and is consistently met with 'OMG I can do so much more than this, I want to move up in this company'...yet not one of us- all very different people- can get anything we need out of her. When it is a consistent pattern across a company that people avoid asking you to do things, b/c OMG it is consistently more trouble than it is OMG worth...then it's really very awkward and strange and makes for an awkward feel to everyone's interactions with her. This is not remotely unique to me and my relationship with her: it's her and her relationship to taking on tasks from all sources. It's always OMG if it is more complicated than a simple transaction.

                  So, there you have a little more, ok, a lot more. I intended earlier to just tell it as a funny, but if you're going to nail me to the wall based on skimpy and partial data, well, here's more data. Do whatever you want with that additional data, maybe even just add toggle bolts and superglue...but your drive by analysis of who I am and how I came to my 'here, have a ribbon for showing up' frustration level and concern...is just wrong.
                  Last edited by katarine; Nov. 22, 2011, 10:45 PM.

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                  • #69
                    Team sport is WAY different than horse sports.

                    For instance, in hunters, Little Suzie of Means cleans up in the local shows, and her competitors get second place, at best. Hopefully, she moves up in competition, but even if she doesn't, every other horse and rider pair at least have the chance to show and to compete and to have their time in front of the judge.

                    In team sports, you get to play one game at a time. And if you're being slaughtered that badly, it's not "competition", its torture. 25-0 in a hockey game????? I've played rec league where my team has lost 12-0 and the only thing that kept me going was the thought that at least there was beer in the locker room. Kids don't need that. The winning team should have switched up the lines when the score hit 10-0. It's not patronizing - it's good sportsmanship. Give the other team a chance to compete, even if you have to scale it back.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by My Two Cents View Post
                      I watched a swim meet where a little girl was dead last by a long shot and she got out the pool smiling because she had beat her personal best. My heart melted when her teammates and members of other teams congratulated her on her accomplishment. Another swimmer that won got out with a "queen like" additude and second place tried to shake her hand and she turned away. I know who the winner in life was there.
                      I've been that kid, and the applause was well meaning, but insulting. I didn't deserve it; I sucked. I had no business being on the swim team, wasn't remotely fast enough for competition, and knew it. I was no more a winner in that situation than I was the man in the moon. I wanted to quit desparately, and the applause just made me feel like I was in the Special Olympics. I would have much prefered to have been able to slink away from the pool without notice than to have my incompetance highlighted by the entire crowd.

                      from DanceronIce
                      In team sports, where the kids don't get a lot of choice about who and where they play, if one team is CLEARLY slaughtering the other, bring in the second- and third-string players, make kids change positions--you're probably still going to win, but you're not the bully beating up the special-needs kid and your players that are normally benched get a chance to participate (though in children's sports, the whole idea of not letting kids play because they aren't good enough to win, as opposed to 'so bad they're a danger to themselves and others', is another can of worms...)
                      The kids the OP described were NOT SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS. Being incompetant or poorly coached does not make one, or a group "special needs," it just makes them unlikely to win. The kids in the OP were at least 14, I would bet most were older, and that is the perfect time to learn, if they haven't already, that skill levels are a factor in the outcomes of anything/everything. In the OP's example, one team played and practiced to win, while the other team played and practiced to have fun. Neither approach is necessarily wrong nor right, but both approaches, like any other choices, have consequences. Unfortunately, the consequences of our choices are sometimes unpleasant; that's life.
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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by red mares View Post
                        I've been that kid, and the applause was well meaning, but insulting. I didn't deserve it; I sucked. I had no business being on the swim team, wasn't remotely fast enough for competition, and knew it. I was no more a winner in that situation than I was the man in the moon. I wanted to quit desparately, and the applause just made me feel like I was in the Special Olympics. I would have much prefered to have been able to slink away from the pool without notice than to have my incompetance highlighted by the entire crowd.

                        from DanceronIce

                        The kids the OP described were NOT SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS. Being incompetant or poorly coached does not make one, or a group "special needs," it just makes them unlikely to win. The kids in the OP were at least 14, I would bet most were older, and that is the perfect time to learn, if they haven't already, that skill levels are a factor in the outcomes of anything/everything. In the OP's example, one team played and practiced to win, while the other team played and practiced to have fun. Neither approach is necessarily wrong nor right, but both approaches, like any other choices, have consequences. Unfortunately, the consequences of our choices are sometimes unpleasant; that's life.
                        As a 12 year old in our school's sky camp, when competing at the end, I was the kid left over when picking teams, just not very good.
                        I was put in the mixed slalom race and as it happened, chicken me went slow and didn't have any faults, but a slow time.
                        I was leaving after the last kid, when I was called back and told I won.
                        I got a big trophy and applause, but no sense of winning, as I knew I was worse than the others.
                        Guess what, all others were trying so hard, they either had faults or fell down.

                        There is so much more to winning and losing, there really is, it is a complicated question, with the answers, "it depends".

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by CDE Driver View Post
                          I suspect that you may find the attitude of "let the other team feel good about themselves" in a lot of children's sports these days. I do not agree with it. I think it is raising a whole generation of people that don't get the concept of working hard to succeed.
                          Ditto this. Probably sounding like an old fart here, but that's the genesis of this country's problems; competition is discouraged. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you get hammered, but you have to learn to deal with all of it. It's often been said that sports are a microcosm of life, and I agree. If you can't handle losing in a controlled, safe environment like a sports arena, how are you going to handle it when life throws you a curveball and you whiff it?

                          Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                          A win is a win. It doesn't get any more winninger, I know that isn't a word! if you win by a lot. Maybe the need a mercy rule like in little league?
                          Nope. There are lessons to be learned by losing. The coach of the losing team in this case should have learned not to rotate the goalie position. The players on the losing team should have learned how to take defeat gracefully. But most importantly, the coach of the winning team should have cautioned his players to not hold back on their playing, but to ditch the smack talk and on-field hazing, and to win gracefully.

                          And I think telling the winning team to back off would have made the losing team feel even worse. Besides, have you ever heard of telling the leading team at the Superbowl or the World Series to "back off, since you know you've won, and make those poor guys feel a little better, 'kay?". ?
                          In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                          A life lived by example, done too soon.
                          www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by red mares View Post
                            The kids the OP described were NOT SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS. Being incompetant or poorly coached does not make one, or a group "special needs," it just makes them unlikely to win. The kids in the OP were at least 14, I would bet most were older, and that is the perfect time to learn, if they haven't already, that skill levels are a factor in the outcomes of anything/everything. In the OP's example, one team played and practiced to win, while the other team played and practiced to have fun. Neither approach is necessarily wrong nor right, but both approaches, like any other choices, have consequences. Unfortunately, the consequences of our choices are sometimes unpleasant; that's life.
                            It's an ANALOGY:
                            a·nal·o·gy   /əˈnælədʒi/ Show Spelled[uh-nal-uh-jee] Show IPA
                            noun, plural -gies.
                            1. a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based: the analogy between the heart and a pump.
                            2. similarity or comparability: I see no analogy between your problem and mine.
                            "Choices" only apply when the people involved HAVE a choice. In childrens' sports, beyond sometimes having a choice to play or not (ie PE class is not a choice) you don't have a choice about which team you join or how the coach chooses to run things. Getting pounded on by teams that are better-funded, better-managed and with more talent just teaches you that there's not really any point in trying. Otherwise, let's ditch levels for EVERYTHING. Really, why SHOULDN'T college athletes be allowed to pound on Pop Warner teams for practice? The little kids should just try harder. Let's let graded stakes horses take on $5k claimers to run up their win numbers. Weight divisions in boxing? Pfft. Only sissies like those. No one will ever learn about competition if we don't let them lose as badly as possible!

                            There is NOTHING sporting or enjoyable about watching a mismatched route. Mercy rules exist because beating someone is one thing, slaughtering a clearly-inferior opponent is humiliating.

                            Trying to make sure distantly-outclassed children aren't beaten down is not causing the world's problems. You want someplace where FAR too many people are treated like "Everyone's a winner?" Deal with academic failure first. Instead of worrying that the world is ending because every twelve-year-old got a soccer trophy, worry that in a few years they're going to be told "OMG GO TO COLLEGE" despite having learned nothing K-12 and been passed anyway and half of them being unsuited for higher academics and ending up majoring in Underwater Basket Weaving or [Liberal Arts Discipline] Studies and coming out unsuitable for any sort of productive employment. Forget failing kids in inconsequential sports (and making them hate those activities), start failing them when they can't add or spell.

                            As for comparisons to Super Bowl or World Series teams, please. I doubt most players care, deep down, if they're honest with themselves, as they're all getting paid a ton of money whether they win or not. Players move teams whenever they can if they have better offers. That's just an entertainment show. Blowouts or near ties are for ratings.
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                            • #74
                              I think it's more clear when you throw in the practice of the top national football programs playing one team a season that is clearly not in their league, wee their 3rd string team is classes better than the one blue chip starter the other team was working so hard to recruit.

                              Yes, sometimes the underdogs can beat an over confident opponent, but generally they get their butts spanked.
                              Originally posted by BigMama1
                              Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                              GNU Terry Prachett

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                              • #75
                                There's a mom in our barn who has decided that "pros shouldn't be allowed to win anything if they are on a client horse because that isn't fair for the children"

                                My response, "really? you're kidding? If they are in an allowed division that is open to pros and others, then why the hell not? Are you saying that I should blindly let our pro ride MY horse and expect her not to try to win? Are you not teaching your kid about sportsmanship or how to win fairly?"

                                Her response (after which I walked away) "it's just not fair when poopsykins is beaten by an adult, those ribbons should be for the kids" ....sigh......
                                Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

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                                • #76
                                  Originally posted by eclipse View Post
                                  There's a mom in our barn who has decided that "pros shouldn't be allowed to win anything if they are on a client horse because that isn't fair for the children"

                                  My response, "really? you're kidding? If they are in an allowed division that is open to pros and others, then why the hell not? Are you saying that I should blindly let our pro ride MY horse and expect her not to try to win? Are you not teaching your kid about sportsmanship or how to win fairly?"

                                  Her response (after which I walked away) "it's just not fair when poopsykins is beaten by an adult, those ribbons should be for the kids" ....sigh......

                                  LOL, the dollar tree sells ribbons..

                                  Also, it's a client's horse...why the heck would the pro not want to win the ribbon?!

                                  (I am also sure she won't care if other kids are beaten by the pro, as long as her poopykins gets the ribbon!)
                                  Originally posted by BigMama1
                                  Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                  GNU Terry Prachett

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                                  • #77
                                    Originally posted by danceronice View Post
                                    "Choices" only apply when the people involved HAVE a choice. In childrens' sports, beyond sometimes having a choice to play or not (ie PE class is not a choice) you don't have a choice about which team you join or how the coach chooses to run things.
                                    Of course you do; you have the choice of playing or not.

                                    Getting pounded on by teams that are better-funded, better-managed and with more talent just teaches you that there's not really any point in trying.
                                    Which is not the case here, since both teams playing are in the same LEAGUE; equally funded, equal advantage, etc, etc, etc. One team had a coach that did his/her homework and ran a good program; the other didn't. Simple as that.

                                    Otherwise, let's ditch levels for EVERYTHING. Really, why SHOULDN'T college athletes be allowed to pound on Pop Warner teams for practice? The little kids should just try harder. Let's let graded stakes horses take on $5k claimers to run up their win numbers. Weight divisions in boxing? Pfft. Only sissies like those. No one will ever learn about competition if we don't let them lose as badly as possible!
                                    Now it's my turn to "oh, please" you.

                                    That's the best argument you can come up with? Do contribute something reasonable to the discussion, if you're going to bother to respond.

                                    There is NOTHING sporting or enjoyable about watching a mismatched route. Mercy rules exist because beating someone is one thing, slaughtering a clearly-inferior opponent is humiliating.
                                    So don't watch. Sounds like this was a local kid's league anyway; not much of an audience.

                                    Trying to make sure distantly-outclassed children aren't beaten down is not causing the world's problems.
                                    Not contributing to solving them, either.

                                    You want someplace where FAR too many people are treated like "Everyone's a winner?" Deal with academic failure first. Instead of worrying that the world is ending because every twelve-year-old got a soccer trophy, worry that in a few years they're going to be told "OMG GO TO COLLEGE" despite having learned nothing K-12 and been passed anyway and half of them being unsuited for higher academics and ending up majoring in Underwater Basket Weaving or [Liberal Arts Discipline] Studies and coming out unsuitable for any sort of productive employment. Forget failing kids in inconsequential sports (and making them hate those activities), start failing them when they can't add or spell.
                                    At least we agree on something.

                                    As for comparisons to Super Bowl or World Series teams, please. I doubt most players care, deep down, if they're honest with themselves, as they're all getting paid a ton of money whether they win or not.
                                    Oh, please, yourself.

                                    And, just FYI, a member of a Superbowl/World Series championship team cares a lot, "deep down", because the "ton of money" they earn is directly affected by that championship. Not just players; coaches, as well.

                                    Players move teams whenever they can if they have better offers. That's just an entertainment show. Blowouts or near ties are for ratings.
                                    Hope the weather is nice in your world.

                                    Frankly, I'm a bit surprised at your attitude. Being a ballroom dancer, it should be abundantly clear to you that it's not always the best funded dancer with the most expensive instructor or the most rhinestones on her costume that wins; it's the one who's mastered technique and showmanship and gives a superior performance. Same as in sports; you work, you train, and you compete, to show off your skills. Just because you're on a losing team once in a while, doesn't mean you should be pandered to by well-intentioned, touchy-feely, let's-make-a-level-playing-field-for-everyone do-gooders who think it damaging when everyone doesn't get first place.
                                    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                                    A life lived by example, done too soon.
                                    www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

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                                    • #78
                                      Originally Posted by My Two Cents
                                      I watched a swim meet where a little girl was dead last by a long shot and she got out the pool smiling because she had beat her personal best. My heart melted when her teammates and members of other teams congratulated her on her accomplishment. Another swimmer that won got out with a "queen like" additude and second place tried to shake her hand and she turned away. I know who the winner in life was there.

                                      Red Mares Quote:
                                      I've been that kid, and the applause was well meaning, but insulting. I didn't deserve it; I sucked. I had no business being on the swim team, wasn't remotely fast enough for competition, and knew it. I was no more a winner in that situation than I was the man in the moon. I wanted to quit desparately, and the applause just made me feel like I was in the Special Olympics. I would have much prefered to have been able to slink away from the pool without notice than to have my incompetance highlighted by the entire crowd.


                                      No. You weren't that kid. That kid had a much better outlook on life.

                                      That girl deserved the attention. She worked hard and had improved her time and she was proud of herself for doing so. That was important to her. Not everybody can win. Surely you don't believe that those that can't get a 70 in a dressage test shouldn't be there. It's about self improvement. Setting and achieving personal goals. It's no different in showing horses. You have to start somewhere and it's not usually at the top. I don't think anyone that works to make themselves (and their horses) better are losers.

                                      I also volunteer with an equine therapy program that works with handicapped children and adults. For some of those people everyday is a real struggle. I don't think making a comparison to the Special Olympics is appropriate.

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                                      • #79
                                        Maybe its more of a league problem (in the original example). If things were structured like boxing, then it would prevent heavy hitters and lightweights fighting together in the ring. Sounds like the league needs to readjust the schedule to fairly match teams during play.

                                        For horses, yeah sometimes the fancy person with the cash and the horse kicks a$$, but sometimes the black sheep wins too through hard work.

                                        Life isn't fair. Never has been, never will be.
                                        A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing

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                                        • Original Poster

                                          #80
                                          It's no different in showing horses. You have to start somewhere and it's not usually at the top. I don't think anyone that works to make themselves (and their horses) better are losers.
                                          This point really struck home for me. Years ago a young girl at the barn I was at bought this very talented horse that had a bad stop in it. She ended up on her head in the dirt more times than you can count and she always got up, dusted herself off and MADE that horse go over the jump.

                                          Shows were the same. Bad stops, in the dirt she went, back up she got and over the jump they went. The maddening part was that this horse was a phenomenal jumper - when it actually jumped

                                          When the time came that she actually made it around an ENTIRE COURSE with no stops (and it sure wasnt a pretty round by any means! ) I thought the whole house was going to come down with the cheering and clapping for this girl If someone was witnessing her round for the first time with no background information, they probably thought we were all crazy for carrying on the way we did because it was NOT a nice round at all!

                                          Looking at each class at each show on an indivudual basis, it would be very easy to have written this girl off as "A Loser". But looking at what she systematically and methodically achieved with this horse over the weeks and months, she was the biggest winner I knew at the time

                                          And she did end up getting some very good ribbons in the months ahead through her sheer determination to make this horse "something". It had the talent and she sure did - in droves. The horse just needed someone to show it the way ...
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