Monday, March 12, 2012

A guppie against the tide.

Several months ago I blogged that Uiver and I had dipped our toe in the big pond of FEI dressage and Jennifer's blog last week about dressage being a "harsh mistress" has proven all to true for Uiver and I in our last couple of shows.

Uiver and I continue to strive for that never ending quest of type "A" for anal dressage perfection and I am even, shall I say masochistic enough, to do it at some of the biggest shows that southern California has to offer. Well Uiver and I are at least not embarrassing ourselves and are getting mostly moderately respectable scores in the low to mid 60s but were are a long way away from the scores of 70 and up that you need in this environment to be in the top five of classes at these shows.

And then there are riders like Steffen Peters that make it look oh so easy and flawlessly gets a 78 on his new horse Legolas and a 79 on Ravell at the beginning of the season. The trainer I work with, David Blake, won both of his Grand Prix classes on a new horse that he had ridden only 8 times prior. Now that is just wrong and unfair that anyone should be that talented. Do I sound envious, well, you would be right!

David on Albert

Steffen on Ravell

Steffen and the perfect canter pirouette!

I try to be more inspired than intimidated when I watch these amazing riders in their seamless partnerships with equally amazing equine athletes. I look at my pictures and I can see any number of flaws - I need to sit up taller, my leg should be longer, my reins are too long, my seat should be deeper, and so on and so on and so on. Then you look at pictures of Steffen and David and I am not sure if I want to shoot them for being so perfect or shoot myself for not being better.

I know, I am a little crazy but you really have to be to stay in a sport where a 1/2 inch of rein or a micro unit of weight in a seat bone or the slight shift of your leg can mean the difference between a good canter pirouette or a really bad one. Not to mention those cursed tempi changes. Lately it seems I can count to 3 but not to four because we can get the changes every 3rd stride (which or supposed to be harder) but seem destined to screw up the 4th stride tempis every time.

Uiver and I.

I am in love with my horse but frustrated with myself. However, like every other obsessive compulsive dressage addicted masochist, I will continue to strive for that impossible dream of the perfect dressage test. Unless you Steffen Peters that is.

Feel free to tell me that I should get a funny little jacket that ties in the back and check myself into the nearest mental hospital. How about you? Anybody else struggling against the tide?


Lavender and Twill said...

How about struggling with wanting a horse that is A level, but knowing I can't even ride it at this stage? I guess everyone has their battles no matter the level or the sport. Right now I just want to be able to get 60% or higher at Prep 1.

One day I will get there!

bonita of A Riding Habit

Alison said...

hi Terri, I think all of us with slightly obsessive personalities (or German backgrounds???)go full force ahead with sheer determination to tackle our goals and get frustrated in the attempt. Someone told me that obsessive people have better success rates. He didn't mention the agony we go through, and as Bonita Vear said, we all have our battles. In your post the most important statement was: I love my horse. That's really the most important thing I heard!

Laura Crum said...

Terri--I admire the heck out of you for competing at this level. I have competed enough against folks who were simply better than me to know how frustrating it can feel. I agree with Alison--the most important thing is you love your horse--and you are living your dream simply by competing at that level. If I were you, I'd focus on doing my best and let go of worrying about score and placing (which is what I learned to do when I did compete), and just try to enjoy the experience as much as possible. Pat yourself on the back. Most of us could never get so far as you've gotten in a very demanding sport.

Terri Rocovich said...

Bonita: You will get there some day! I keep telling myself that as well and I remind myself that it is more about the journey than the destination.

Terri Rocovich said...

So true Alison: I do LOVE Uiver and the other thing that makes me exceedingly happy is that everyone that knew him before I bought him says that now he looks so happy and relaxed. That in itself is more important than even the highest of scores.

Terri Rocovich said...

Thank you Laura! I am taking your suggestions close to heart. It is about the experience and the joy I feel when I ride Uiver, even when it isn't perfect. Like so many of us, I put way too much pressure on myself and sometimes loose sight of what really matters - my partnership with Uiver.

Francesca Prescott said...

Terri, you look amazing on Uiver, so stop being so hard on yourself! You're incredibly brave to be competing at this level as it is! But how exciting it must be....I'd be a wobbly nervous mess and wish I had your courage. You're competing way up there with Steffen Peters etc, even if his pirouette is better than your pirouette (for now!). Right now, the only thing I have in common with my idol Carl Hester saddle! We both have Peter Menet customized saddles for our horses and our behinds!