Problem Solving And Decision Making...

Looking back, this season was a disaster. It did not only feel like the worst season ever, it actually was. We hardly reached 62%, we made no progress, it even seemed as we did the exact opposite. It was frustrating. The longer the season lasted, the more I saw a horse that went pretty ok in the warm-up turning into a mule in the ring.

Very likely that I'm gonna miss that view...

I tried different warm-ups, I worked hard between the shows. In training, he seemed to be getting better and better but no way we could show that in the ring. So what to do? When you face a problem, you obviously have to find solutions and evaluate them. The hardest part? Decision making. Because you never know whether that decision is right or wrong. And you will never ever find out. Bummer. It took a long time for me to make the decision to not show next year. No horse show weekends, no long days around horsey friends, no more wearing shadbellies in the brutal heat of summer. At least, not for now. I have no idea what that feels like anymore because the last five years we have been showing. We rode 167 tests since May 2012, we currently are the number 303 in the overall Austrian Dressage Rider Ranking, number 107 at FEI Junior Level. We were pretty good at first and second level, still okay back then but right now we seem stuck. 

It is never easy to give up something that you love so much that you can hardly think that you could live without. But do I have a choice? Is being almost all the time the last in the row and not reaching at least a standard level somewhere around 63-64% seems like there is a need for change. Maybe he is bored, maybe he is tired. I do not believe that he is not capable of doing it. He might just need a break.

On the flip side, saving all that money and having more free weekends and a chance for summer holidays like normal people does not seem too bad. We will also not stop working on progress. It is not like that I am giving up on us. Actually, I feel pretty grown up making such a decision. In the long run, I will be even proud of myself. And Hafl won't mind I guess. I know he loved to go to shows as he got some extra time with me along with some more pampering (actually, food) than usual. I have no idea whether he will realize that there is something different next year.

For sure, I will keep his mane and tail in shape (I will definitely NOT miss the braiding though), just because nobody is going to see us that does not mean that we can live the hippie life now. Oh and my beloved shadbelly? The cleaning shop killed it. Yep, you read that right, they washed it instead of chemically cleaning it. It looks bad for the lining, so I do not know whether we can save him or not. Anyway, THAT looks like another sign for a break, doesn't it?

Whatever the future will bring, we are looking forward to it...


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