There are lots of reasons that people show their Miniature Horses. Maybe they want to meet other people who love their Miniature Horses, or promote their breeding program, or have a goal to work towards in their training, or maybe they simply like to win ribbons.
Your reason doesn’t really matter, what matters is that you remember that you’re paying your entry fee in exchange for the judge’s opinion on that day. That’s why, while goal setting is a great tool, you should never set a goal that involves your placings.
There is too much involved that you have no control over; you don’t know which other horses will be in your class, what the judge is going to prefer, or how your horse is going to react on that day.
Instead, make goals where you CAN control the outcome. Maybe you want to improve your grooming, or practice your obstacles more often. Perhaps you’ll choose to spend the winter adding to your knowledge base by attending clinics, reading books or taking courses that help you to achieve your goals.
Your goal could be anything from seeing an improvement your horse’s performance, to finding tools to settle your show day nerves, to trying a new class.
The important thing is that your idea of success isn’t dependent on what colour ribbons you’re handed at the end of the class. If you’ve worked hard and achieved your goal, you’ll walk out of that ring proud of your accomplishment, and chances are that your goal, and the one after it, and the next one, will mean that you’ll be doing better and better in your placings as well.
It’s easy to get really wrapped up in winning and losing, and anytime we really care about something, we can find it a little tough to keep our perspective. But no matter how important this show is to you, in the end, it is “just” a horse show, and there will always be another one down the road, another goal to set, another skill to work on and another judge with another opinion to share. No matter how things go, thank the judges, show staff and volunteers, hug your horse, and start working towards next time.
What are your goals for the upcoming show season?