I recently competed in a show, and after I had proudly proclaimed to my friends that I’d never forgotten my course at a show, I forgot my course.
I know why I forgot my course that time. I stand by my excuse. But I’ve forgotten many other times in lessons as well. And despite my honest efforts and strong academic performance in college, it keeps happening. I keep forgetting my course.
Maybe I need to do more mind exercises – like crossword puzzles.
As my friend told me in response to my Facebook post detailing my excitement and anticipation before a weekend show, “Stay on my horse and stay on course.”
Here are some of the reasons why I forgot my course.
- I was distracted by the flowers at jump 6.
- I was distracted by the thought of my horse spooking and refusing jump 6 – because of the flowers.
- I heard a dog bark.
- Mid-course I remembered the next course I’m doing – not this one.
- I literally blacked out and had no idea where to go next. Even if someone yelled out a fence color, I was a lost cause. I just picked a distance to the fence next to me and knew I blew it.
- My horse was fighting me the entire class. I thought I needed to do a hard rollback to the left. But if I was wrong, my horse would have been mad and we’d have had an ugly fence. We nicely cantered through the line. Off course? Yes. Happy horse? Yes. Happy trainer? Not as much.
- They announced the winners of a class in the other ring. And I heard a ‘7’ … wait … which one was jump 7?
- I had a good distance to the first fence, and a great distance to the second. Then I had an option to approach fence 3 from a tighter angle. Yes! Solid fence. Wait … where was jump 4?
- I heard thunder. I was distracted. My horse seemed fine. I went off course. The worst part? I had no idea what I thought I heard, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky for as far as the eye can see.
- Jump 5 was going toward the judge’s stand. Jump 8 was the same jump but away from the judges stand … right?
- What was the jump off again? Oh … I just did that in the first part of the class?
Have you ever forgotten a fence? Or maybe forgotten a transition in a horsemanship pattern? Why? Maybe we can solve our dilemma together!
Allison Griest is a freelance writer based in Texas. Follow her on Twitter: @allisongriest.