Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Show Photos: Finding the Positives

So, first things first... look at these amazing people who came to see me horse show!  We had a huge crowd.  I am so very grateful to have such great people in my life, who are willing to give up a couple of hours of precious weekend time to see me trot and canter around in circles.  Seriously, thank you.  You all make me feel so loved.

L to R:  Steve, Dee, Mr. and Mrs. H, Taz, Ethan, Alyssa, Colleen, and Michelle.
Forget the Dallas Cowboys.  I have the best cheer leaders in the world.  
And there is just nothing cuter than hearing your non-horsey friends explaining to other non-horsey friends afterward what "dressage" is and what a "horse show" is like.  (You did a pretty decent job Steve).  Sorry there was no concession stand that day kids.  Next time I'll make sure there's beer in the trailer, at least.

Before I go further, a word about seeing pictures of yourself riding.  I've seen this multiple times over the past week alone: people absolutely recoil in disgust and horror at pictures or videos of themselves riding.  It really doesn't seem to matter whether the person looks great or terrible, the response is the same.  Why is this?  Are we all too hard on ourselves?  Are we all as painfully insecure as teenagers?  Is there just too much to keep track of when we're up there, so we forget about shortening our reins or sitting up straight or that dang right elbow for a bit, and the camera always manages to catch that moment in time?  What gives here?

Who ya gonna call? Weight Watchers!
I'm going to attempt to point out only the things I like about these photos, although the stuff I'd fix is obvious to me, as an exercise in forcing myself not to be so critical.  I am also going to resist the urge to complain about what appears to be a beer gut situation when I don't sit up straight (although I have a new reason to fix my position and it's called VANITY).  

I am further not going to mention a striking resemblance between me and either of these guys. 

This is from our warm-up trot, and he looks nice and relaxed and shows the beginning of a decent stretch tracking left, which is his harder side to stretch down:

This is a nice balanced canter, my shoulders are square and he is between my hands and taking both reins:

Here, I am sitting up and opening my chest, and my seat is in the saddle.  [Urge to critique the rest of it is very strong here, but I am not going to do it.]

Opening center line.  I'm looking up, my shoulders are square, there is a straight line from elbow to bit, and the horse looks straight.

I'm sitting up and looking between his ears, rather than to the inside.  He looks pretty well balanced and straight here as well, with what I think is the right amount of bend for a 15 meter circle.

This is in the canter extension.  He is really sitting down and has a nice jump in his canter here, and I have a good feel of my right rein.

Here, I'm sitting down and I don't seem to have too much weight in my stirrups.  Tucker looks absolutely adorable.

Lastly, this one might be frame-worthy.  Tucker and I are just so in love with this guy.  Where would we be without him?

Thank you very, very much to Ethan's mom for coming to see us, being incredibly supportive of everything we do, and taking such beautiful photos of my boy(s).

[Note:  It was really hard to bite my tongue while writing this and not point out all the stuff I didn't like about my riding in these photos.  But I'm glad I forced myself to find a few things I'm doing right in each of them.  You should try it next time you see a photo or video of your riding!]


  1. Love that you're finding the positives. The judge obviously did too. ;-)

  2. I love how you choose to pick out the positives in each of these images. When I look at them, I see a lovely pair who are working hard like the rest of us adult ammies.

    As someone who is -ahem- sizeable, it's always a good choice to resist the urge to label pictures with "I'm so fat!" I say this for two reasons:

    A) I'm super guilty of it, and I know that nothing positive ever comes from it.
    B) There is always someone looking at your photos thinking, "I wish I could look like her!" In this case, it's me... so even if you feel like giving yourself a hard time... don't! ;)

  3. What a great idea, and a great exercise! We should all practice this more often! You come across as a genuine, positive person (without it seeming all fake rainbows-glitter-butterflies). It's one of my favorite things about reading your blog :)

  4. Interesting idea. I tend to just look at the horse and ignore everything I'm doing wrong. I should try looking for positives instead.

  5. You look great!! I loved this. The whites are not kind to 99% of us wearing them anyways so yeah, best not to tear ourselves down when we're dressed in highly impractical dressage show duds.

  6. I'm so with you! I usually don't like photos of me riding because I can find something wrong in each photo. I'm not at all critical of other peoples riding photos though. We are too hard on ourselves!

  7. I really needed to be reminded to focus on the positives today. Thanks for posting this. I think you and Tucker both look wonderful!

  8. congrats on an awesome outing (again haha) - the pics are awesome and i'm so jealous of your huge cheer-leading squad!!

  9. What an awesome cheering section!!


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them! If you have a question, I will make sure to get back to you.