I had a panic attack today about the upcoming show season. It’s been weeks since PJ has been worked and I’m afraid he’s loosing fitness. When I got him home last year he was unfit and it took him all year to become strong. Our canter-depart issues were mainly due to his lack of fitness, and I was afraid that this problem would be renewed once we could ride again. And with the weather being as it’s been, it wasn’t looking likely that we would start riding again until right before show season. That wouldn’t give me a lot of time.
Compound those fears with my feelings of inadequacy that PJ is not as far along in his training as he should be for his age and there is my panic attack. Everywhere you look there are articles about training that say a 6-year-old horse should be doing at least second level. And show results are full of examples of 8-year-olds doing Grand Prix!
On January 1, all horses turn another year older, but I have to remember that PJ doesn’t really turn 6 until the end of May. I also have to tell myself that most of those horses that are further along have more natural talent and are being ridden by professionals. PJ is a very nice horse but he’s no Ravel. And the whole point of me doing most of the riding is because I enjoy learning, and he’s teaching me a lot.
So, I’m taking a deep breath. There’s nothing I can do about the weather. My first important (read: USEF/USDF and not schooling) show is not until the first week in May. PJ is at least getting out and moving around. Everything will be fine.