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What is your attitude on winning?

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  • Original Poster

    Halt Near X....just noticed that...had to chuckle a little.
    Ride like you mean it.


    • #22
      When I was showing sales horses, placing was pretty important. Winning was a *big* bonus, both figuratively and literally since every blue helped financially. But placing was the goal. But with my own horses? Then, for me, showing is like fishing. The fun is in the trip and the activity, catching the prize is the goal but not necessary to enjoy yourself. I've had just as much fun sitting on a bank with a pole all day as I've had in catching the big one; same with showing.
      You jump in the saddle,
      Hold onto the bridle!
      Jump in the line!


      • #23
        We also showed Morgans; the comment about judges is true, we just kept a notebook on the judges and did not show before the ones that just liked the new Morgans.

        We showed because we want to use the shows as a training tool, we were looking for a trend of improvement.


        • #24
          The "win" is only in relation to whomever else showed up that day, and essentially means nothing more, other than that hopefully your horse went well and is showing in the appropriate division for his level of training.

          When I was eventing, there were days everything went wrong that could; refusals, craning his neck and screaming in the dressage, you name it--but the rest of the division was even fuglier than us so we placed!

          Later on in his career, there were times we achieved not only our personal best, but functional perfection, to the very limit of our collective capabilities, and it was insufficient for a ribbon at an event full of heavy-hitters. Oh well--he was brilliant, wasn't he? We went home always with a sh*t-eating grin!


          • #25
            Ask me this in 2 weeks! I have been showing dressage in mostly open shows for the last 3 show seasons. I'm going to an Arab show in 2 weeks and show a rail class because my horse isn't really ready for 1st level yet. I have really enjoyed dressage because it's been all about our personal improvement and not the ribbons so much. But I can feel the old competitiveness come welling up when I think about the rail class - I just want to place! I just want to place!

            There's a similar discussion going on at ABN - a lot of main ring Arab classes are getting really small and so what's the value of a ribbon? Not much of a brag when there are only 2 horses in the class. Of course this points to a deeper problem, but I would really be depressed if I spent all that money to go to a big rated show and there was no competition. I want winning to mean something!


            • Original Poster

              oldernewbie, we're facing the same thing in the Morgan ring. And I agree: beating 4-H level horses isn't much to brag about. We're getting to where 4 horses is a big class. Two years ago, I went to a BNT show and was one of 17 in the ring. I don't know if those numbers have dwindled.

              I'm going to a show in 4 weeks and I just want to have the ride that pleases me. And I want to feel relaxed and have fun. If/when I achieve that, maybe I'll think about winning.
              Ride like you mean it.


              • #27
                I don't get upset if I don't win.I look at it as a chance to improve, learn, and do better next time. If I do win, I'm over the moon.

                I can say when I moved to VA I was hesitant to show. I don't have a big, expensive, fancy horse. He's a well breed cow horse, but I was showing in hunters. At first a lot of people laughed at us. I heard people talking and smirking as if we were a joke. Well, the joke was on them when we cleaned up and won GC. People don't talk about us any more and, in fact, people have tried to buy my sweet boy. (Not a chance!) Winning THAT season was amazing.

                But in general, I show to have fun. It isn't about the ribbons.


                • #28
                  I have a morgan horse too . He is eventing though. I won a show last weekend and I am very proud of my horse and how far we've come. I am not one to boast about our wins though. It just gives me the satisfaction that my training is actually getting us somewhere. It is putting our training to test so that I know we are making progress. We all have good and bad weekends, it what you do with those. I do not go to a show I don't think my horse will do well in. Not because of the entries but because of training. If my horse feels ready for the level and has the training to back it up then I go. It all depends but I have even had winning rounds that I haven't been happy with. I do this sport for my own happiness. So, I only go to put our training to the test.


                  • #29
                    When I was showing, I liked to win, but a win was only really satisfying relative to how many horses and who I was showing against. A fourth in really competitive company was always much more satisfying than a first against less competitive company.


                    • #30
                      My attitude on winning? "LOL, not gonna happen, let's try to not fall off instead."
                      Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                      Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                      VW sucks.


                      • #31
                        I like to win. That Being said, it is just as important to be a gracious winner and a gracious loser. Sometimes A judge doesn't like your horse, Sometimes the judge likes another horse better! My horse is going to a show, as an Ammy - my goal is she will behave (big venue, she's 5) is she and I will rock around. A ribbon is icing. She was 6th last year...but out of 30 in A company.
                        Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                        • Original Poster

                          Yep, not falling off is a good start! lol

                          I got a 4th at a regional championship show a couple of years ago. I was stunned...out of a class of 17. I wanted to turn to the judge and ask "Are you SURE?"

                          I was happy just to survive...terrified the whole trip on my little wp boy.
                          Ride like you mean it.


                          • #33
                            OK, I like to win. But I also hate to spend money, so I always have inexperienced and untrained horses that I have to bring along myself. I find that when I ride a lot and work through a logical training program, I do well. When I ride not so much, I do not so well. So I see it as a validation of my effort more than anything else. I tend to avoid top level competitions because I normally don't have that quality horse, and it's too expensive to go "just for fun." I would love to go to big shows all the time, but I just can't justify the expense and time related to that kind of travel.
                            Man plans. God laughs.


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by ezduzit View Post
                              I'm going to a show in 4 weeks and I just want to have the ride that pleases me. And I want to feel relaxed and have fun. If/when I achieve that, maybe I'll think about winning.
                              This is a great attitude! A friend of mine rode my horse in a recognized horse trial this past weekend. She and I both had the same goal for the pair, which was to give my mare three relaxed, nice rides. Their division had 16 competitors and finishing in the ribbons wasn't even on our radar.

                              They ended up being only one of two horses that went double clear in stadium and finished 3rd on their dressage score. We got a pretty yellow ribbon and a nice prize, but the real accomplishment was in keeping my mare relaxed and focused and soft. My friend had a blast and was very pleased with her rides, and I got to see my horse go around cross country like a champion!

                              To me, that is worth more than any ribbon!
                              Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by ezduzit View Post
                                I'm going to a show in 4 weeks and I just want to have the ride that pleases me. And I want to feel relaxed and have fun. If/when I achieve that, maybe I'll think about winning.
                                If you have fun, you have won. I was placed well but never blue. I was pleased though - who knew? A dressage pony that I train myself (no pro rides), essentially a barefoot trim and plain ole aluminum plates. No long toes and deinitely no weighted shoes, in hunter pleasure classes where english pleasure horses rule. I thought I would place dead last. But I cannot tell you how many people came up to tell me how much they enjoyed watching me ride - because I had real fun.


                                • #36
                                  File under "It's Complicated".

                                  I am DEEPLY competitive and sure, I like to win, but (a) NEVER at the horse's expense (I can't tell you the number of times I have turned around and gone home b/c footing wasn't good or scratched b/c horsie was NQR either physically or mentally or was just plain pooped); and (b) would never *cheat* to win.

                                  At the same time though, I'm afraid I have something of a "saddle seat mentality" about winning in that part of the PREPARATION for a show is to know about the venue, know about the judge, know where you are in year-end points standings, know how many horses are competing against you for year-end awards in your division, and know whether or not you can likely beat them, barring horsie contracting a case of Teh Stoopids.

                                  I also don't expect my fellow competitors to cheat, either; if they do, they better be prepared for me to file a protest. Just yesterday was discussing last year's Hunter Derby Finals, where the winner absolutely, beyond question, trotted a change in a rollback turn. Everybody saw it except, apparently, the 6 (count 'em) judges (), and I reiterated that even after much thought and months have now gone by, if I had had a horse that pinned below the winning (trotting) horse, I would absolutely, beyond question have protested. I'm not in this game to lose unfairly.

                                  I also have no problem whatsoever taking points from/winning a one-horse class. Like my former saddle seat trainer says, "Ten years from now, when that's on your wall, nobody is going to remember how many were in the class." At the same time, I have consistently returned awards which were given to me by mistake (show office errors in totaling points for championships, etc.).

                                  Annnd... Sometimes it's NOT all about winning. Sometimes it's about, "This horse has an issue, have we successfully worked through it yet?" In which case the ribbon (if any) does not matter so much as the preparatory training does.

                                  Bottom line - I go PREPARED, I go to COMPETE, but I play by the rules and I think everyone else should, too.
                                  "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


                                  • #37
                                    I can be quite a perfectionist about the things I value, so honestly, I'm too busy living up to my own expectations to worry too much about where I rank compared to others. For most things in life, like my career, my own standards are high enough that a) I end up being the best by default, and b) I have enough to worry about without focusing on the performance of others. The driving force isn't wanting to outrank others, it's wanting to live up to my own definition of success ... which usually just happens to include outranking others.

                                    That said, for riding, I know I'll never be the best in *any* field. All I want is to become borderline competent. I have a spectacular lack of talent for the specific discipline I've chosen. Like, an awe-inspiring ability to completely not get it. My expectation of myself has morphed into wanting to become this mythical beast I call "A Good Rider." That's already an hard enough goal without worrying about what other people are doing. Winning at riding, for me, seems to be mostly about not giving up and switching to a hobby for which I am more suited. So do I care about winning a class at a horse show? Not even kinda. If by some fluke I did win, it wouldn't mean anything to me or give me any great joy or anything. I just want to be a good rider, and no ribbon is going to prove that to me. Too many variables. A good clinic ride means a million times more!!

                                    That said, I do want to show to get feedback, to be a part of the community and a part of a team under my trainer, and for the social aspects. Also I love my horse to death and want everybody to see how wonderful she is.
                                    Last edited by suzier444; May. 28, 2013, 02:32 PM.


                                    • #38
                                      Winning an endurance ride is deeply satisfying due to the rider/horse partnership.

                                      My reaction is always "WE did good today". It doesn't matter how many other entries were there, because being the fastest doesn't bring a first placing if you vetted out.

                                      Don't the showing classes move you up as you get more placings? Seems unfair to allow people to "show down"/ They should move up!