March 7, 2008, Newsletter Issue #266: Competing to win vs. training

Tip of the Week

The prize in competition is not the reward but the bonus!!! The training and preparation of months and years create the "means" to the successful result- THE JOB WELL DONE: whether the prize is self-satisfaction that never sees the competition arena or a grand trophy.
In barrel racing, show jumping, dressage, driving, reining, equitation or any discipline, it is important to keep in our sights that the actual competition itself is a TEST of the SUM of the TOTAL skills developed thru the consistant progression of your (and your horse´s) training.
An accomplished Olympic showjumper does not practice jumping course after course between competitions but conserves and protects these capabilities so they will be available for the challenge of competition. Instead he works on each of the individual skills needed to complete the whole successfully. Always, he could be more attentive and intuitive to his rider, more calm in his nerve, his turns could be more balanced, his ability to adjust length of stride refined, his aerobic fitness more developed.
A world class barrel horse does not run barrels over and over between competitions but works on collection and balance and fitness, and may never see a barrel for days or weeks at a time.
You as the rider must train physically and mentally to accept challenges, especially if your goal is to compete. You carry the full responsibility for your "team". The homework you do in ALL subjects allows you to excel on the final test, which can begin at the ingate, or the start of the trail.

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