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July 22, 2014: Lessons Learned: Still Thinking

Yesterday and today, I’ve been busy putting inanimate objects back in their places – things like horse tack, clothing, camping gear, and food. This is like reversing the process of preparing for the competitive trail ride. The one difference is that prior to the ride I thought about what was ahead. Now I’m looking back. I think it’s important to both look ahead and look behind when dealing with significant events. This (beforehand) enables one to make a plan and at least partially execute it. And it (after) enables one to put the event they participated in into a perspective that they can live with.

I’m now looking back. It was indeed, a very good weekend. I’ve now constructed a story that’s good in the telling – both on paper and in my head. Essentially, Raudi and I failed to place in the Bald Mountain Butt Buster Competitive Trail Ride because she was too unfocused to do the horsemanship portion of this event. This then is what I told the other riders at tonight’s lesson. (I didn’t participate because I wanted to give Raudi a much-earned rest.) But I did go and watch the others, who did dressage patterns and some jumping.

I was at first really embarrassed about Raudi’s lackluster horsemanship scores, and as well, her grande finale getaway. Then, after thinking about it some, I decided that I needed to develop a more positive attitude. So my story – it’s not at all one in which I bemoan the fact that my horse and I didn’t do better. Rather, it’s a story about partial success. Some (like my friend Heather) might wrongly think that Raudi and I did poorly because she’s a stubborn pocket pony and I’m an ineffectual horse trainer. And furthermore, my speaking so highly of Raudi and noting that she was awesome on the trails is just a ruse, one in which I’m attempted to cover up the fact that overall, we did poorly. These individuals might also think that we did really poorly since there were nine places. It is true that there were numerous good riders in my division, and that because it had more people that the competition was steeper.

I decided that no matter what, I’m standing by my story. Bottom line – it was a tough course and Raudi and I did exceptionally well on the trails. And I give both Raudi and myself a great deal of credit for having completed this event.

I’m now already thinking about next year. I doubt we’ll do a horse trek next year because Hrimmi won’t be old enough to go along. We don’t want to leave town without her. So Pete and I are already making noises about doing the Fairbanks CTR. Raudi and I will go in the open division and do quite well for ourselves. The Challenge of the North is now only 363 days away. Time will pass, like it always does, in the blink of an eye.

Next: 201. 7/21/14: Lessons Learned: First Day of Jim Briggs Clinic