To show or not to show
I go back and forth. To show or not to show. That is the question.
Why do I show when I often will say, when asked, that I don't like showing? I love riding. I love training my horse. I love learning about horses and their care and about my current obsession, Dressage. But I still struggle with showing. I have been stuck at a particular level with my horse trying to break through some training difficulties. Mostly bits and contact and connection. So now that I felt we had made some progress I decided to sign up for the Mother's Day Show with CDCTA at The Westbrook Hunt Club. . A check in if you will, to see if we had really made any "strides" in achieving our goals. I got the horse clean and braided, the tack cleaned and oiled and my show clothes? Well I squeezed into them after what was obviously a winter of too much fun.
Now I remember why I show...... The people. The chance to show off my horse in this community of people who understand me and my obsession. These folks who are also there to show off their beloved horses. This sport where we all work so hard. We put in so much dedication and time. Need I mention the cost?? As always, I watched the weather for this show. I have been part of this particular show since 2013. It has rained the night before or the day of for all five years. I have developed a sense of humor about it at this point. It is a great way to get used to showing in all conditions. The mud and puddles and the windy cool temps. The warm up next to I-95. I get myself up early and get the trailer loaded. l am up, dressed, and ready to show this magnificent creature that I feel so privileged to ride among these people who are my friends and competitors. They have won classes and ribbons and made the best of what started out as a messy day that turned into a beautiful Mother's Day after all! How did Hampton and I do? We decided we made the progress we had hoped and are on to the next show....... with mixed feelings, of course.
Jump Jump Jump
On April 23rd, the CDCTA held a great stadium clinic with Tim Malin. Tim is a USDF medalist who trains and coaches’ successful riders in the hunter/jumper show circuit.
There was beautiful weather which made for a perfect outing before show season. It was a fun day to ride and audit as Tim tailored the sessions to each horse and rider who participated. There were many different types of horses throughout the day, keeping the experiences unique and entertaining. As a rider, it was fun to work with Tim and apply new skills to my riding. I think it was a rewarding day for most riders as something new was accomplished in every lesson.
Spring Valley Farm was a great host to our event and Sigrun did a lovely job putting it all together. CDCTA is always up to something new, and it's worth it to check in on the website to see what's going on!
By Cally Hencey
By: Cally Hencey
The CDCTA had nothing short of a wonderful day at Windham Hill Farm with Trainer/Judge Holly Whitney at the beginning of April. This clinic was unique and HELPFUL! We spent our afternoon learning how to properly scribe for a judge. Personally, this was an awesome thing to learn, as I avoided the judge’s table when volunteering specifically because I had no idea how!
Holly was an incredible teacher, as she explained her experiences of scribing when applying for her judge’s certification. Right then and there we learned that this is not an easy task to perform! As expected, a scribe’s job is to relay the judge’s verbal criticism to a written critique on our tests. The key to this duty is to be as quick, legible, and accurate as possible… Easier said than done!
We all started out going over some of the tests that would be performed that day: Training Level First Level, and Second Level. Looking over the movements, I was extremely excited to watch these rides. Little did I know that I wouldn’t have a moment to even look away from the test! We all sat in a row at C as Holly judged the ride aloud in the middle of us. As the rider went through the first two or three movements, most of us were thinking we had this job in the bag. We drifted our eyes from paper to rider, back to paper again, jotting down each word that Holly communicated. About halfway through the test, we found ourselves scribbling down instances of words, muttering to each other trying to figure out which box we were at, and finally figured it out when the rider saluted. Holly giggled and reassured us that practice makes perfect! If I was the rider getting the test I just wrote on, I would’ve screamed! By the third or fourth test, we all got the hang of it. Movements came just as quickly as the first time, but we seemed to have found a rhythm which worked.
I know I am not alone when I say that I would have been a mess scribing if it weren’t for this clinic. I look forward to volunteering as a scribe this season as some local shows. Scribing is a fantastic way to learn from many different judges as well as participate in some of the action! It is always fun to sit in the bleachers and watch, but most times its much more fun to be involved in the show. Holly also made a great point when stating that scribes are helpful to the riders, as we are the ones who provide the constructive criticism for them to better themselves and assist in their training. If it weren’t for scribes, how would we know what the judges are thinking when we look at those numbers?
The CDCTA is always planning fun! If you have ideas on clinics/seminars, or would like to get in on the action, visit us at cdctaonline.com or find us on Facebook!
I can do this!!
On February 25, the CDCTA stepped inside for some pressure proof training with Liz Piacentini. Liz is a Certified Equestrian Sport Psychology Presenter through Daniel Stewart’s Pressure Proof program. Her vibrant personality makes her a perfect candidate for hosting these seminars, as helping riders conquer show jitters is not an easy task! Many of us spend the majority of our show days worrying about all of the ‘what ifs’. The workshops that Liz has put on with CDCTA for the last two years is wonderful in helping promote confidence and a positive attitude, even in those “Oh, Crap!” moments.
The best part about attending the workshop is learning that maintaining a positive mindset is not as hard as you would think. Little tools can be used to simmer a stressful situation easily, such as changing simple thoughts to something inspiring. Liz brought music into our thoughts as she explained how helpful our favorite song could be. Within every song, there is a line which we can relate to and be inspired by. We can then transform our favorite lyrics into our motivating motto. Another awesome tip is to keep things short and sweet. Rather than trying to remember all of the techniques that your trainer goes over in schooling, it can become more efficient if you take a few key tips and create an amusing acronym with them! I came up with RIDE- Ride with Dressage Etiquette- This way I can tell myself to just RIDE instead of telling myself to, ya know: sit up tall, use my leg, keep my thumbs up, ride straight and forward, etc, etc, etc……
Another tool I really enjoyed was the stress stopper! This tool is something that can be used to get you focused and relaxed. Liz related it to the ritual that some basketball players do at the foul line. Some could even user a superstition as a stress stopper. A cute example is the story of a young girl who rubs the shoe of her pony named Lucky as a stress stopper.
One important tool that I learned in this workshop is one that I will use in all aspects of my life when stress occurs. Liz had us draw two circles like a donut on our paper. Within the outer circle, we listed stressful situations or things that are outside of our control. On the inside smaller circle we listed situations or things that we COULD control. It really makes you sit back and think about the stress that we put on ourselves over details that are beyond our control.
It was extremely fun to work with the other riders and share our thoughts and experiences with each other. I look forward to attending more seminars with Liz to strengthen my ability to focus and maintain positivity in a high stress circumstances.
CDCTA has a busy schedule this year and we are all looking forward to seeing new and familiar faces. If you would like to check in on the club, please visit cdctaonline.com or visit our Facebook page for more info!
Pictures courtesy of Ann Bowie
Clinic and Event Participants.