Why, yes I do show for ribbons. Yes, it is important to me. Yes, I do care what color it is. And lastly, yes, I work very hard and put in the hours so that I can win that blue ribbon.
I don't understand two specific camps of reward.
1. Everyone should come away from a sporting event with a ribbon/trophy, etc.
2. It's not about what color your ribbon is, it's about the journey.
Let's discuss #1.
The point of sport competition is just that, competition. There's a winner and there are those that didn't win. Period. The End. If you wanted to win but didn't, work harder. If you wanted to go and at least come home with some kind of prize, work harder. Life doesn't hand out 'you didn't win but you are still awesome' prizes. Life hands you hard crap you have to deal with and sometimes you come out a winner and sometimes you scrape by - and you're still happy about that!
I do agree it is a journey to get to a milestone in a sport. I do agree how you get there is just as important as getting there. I don't agree that nowadays it's frowned upon if someone wants to actually win something. People around me are all like, I just want to go and have fun. Fine. Me too. I just hope I don't fall off. Fine. Me too. 'I don't care about ribbons'. I DO! A ribbon, specifically a blue one, doesn't define that I've met a particular goal (because sometimes I win with a less then perfect round - usually actually). And it doesn't say I'm best in the world either. But it is something tangible that I can touch and feel that allows me to provide credibility that what I've accomplished.
At the beginning of last show season, I came home with mostly red ribbons. But over the summer, my riding improved and so did my results. The first June show and the October show were the same classes/venue. The last November show I finally moved out of the 12" altogether and managed to finish strong.
|First show, June 2012, 9 classes - 5 seconds, 1 third, 1 fourth, 2 fifths, 12-18"|
|Aug 2012, 7 classes - 6 first, 1 second, 12-18"|
|October 2012, 9 classes - 6 firsts, 1 second, 2 thirds, 2 Division Champions, 1 Medal Class Champion, 12-18"|
|Nov 2012, 4 classes - 2 first, 1 second, 1 third, Green Rider Division Champion 18-23"|
I've already had my first show this year, and most of the 6 classes I was in only gave clear round ribbons (which for me is a non-event since my horse rarely takes a rail). And we didn't place as high in the flat EQ class because Sam and I were very tired (last class) and the judge had use sitting trot/two point, etc MUCH longer then we are used to going around and he had a little outburst at the very last right canter pickup. I was not upset with me or my horse as I'm sure he was as tired as I was, but I was upset that I wasn't as prepared for the class (that I was confident I could win) and therefore didn't bring a blue ribbon home. THAT is why it's important to me.
I want a blue ribbon?! I better get our butts in gear and work harder in case we get another really hard judge that makes us go round and round for a good 10mins. It also told me that we barely made it through 6 classes (5 were jump classes) so our overall fitness needs a boost before the next show.
When I'm not at the barn, I have a daily reminder at my desk of what awesomeness I've accomplished with my partner and why I keep working so hard. We're not talking Olympic dreams or killer workouts. We're talking about maintaining a level a riding to accomplish our goals... which for this season are local schooling shows and hopefully showing 2' jumps by June.
But every time I show, I will be riding for blue.
|The top of my desk where I work from home - keeping an eye on the prize|