In preparation for a big competition, like our upcoming trip to the Haras Cup Working Equitation Championships, the only path to success that I can see lies in a routine of practice.
The past few weeks, Pip and I have ridden at least five days a week, rain or shine, regardless of other life duties (like busy full-time jobs!). We’ve set up homemade interpretations of the working equitation obstacles and watched a lot of YouTube videos to try to emulate the best. I’ve been reading the WEIAUSA rules, practicing my dressage test (sans horse) in the parking lot on work breaks, and practicing braiding Pip’s mane and working his tail into a mud knot so I can do it efficiently at the big show.
I don’t think practice makes perfect, and practice doesn’t guarantee objective “success.” I do know though that when I look back on this adventure months or years from now, I will remember all the practice we put into it as much as I will remember the competition itself. Partnerships are made in the many hours we spend practicing.