Show Time

The shows are really beginning to open up now. Hallelujah!

This quote so inspired me when I reread it this week, that I wanted to share my thoughts with you about showing. It’s one of my favorite quotes by Dr. Jim Loehr:

“When you ride, you’re deepening your sense of joy and appreciation for this opportunity with your horse. You’re learning so much about yourself and your horse. The whole thing is such a fabulous gift in your life. If you win great championships and if you win great medals, that’s just icing on the cake.”


Hey, it’s Barb.

I know that a lot of the shows are beginning to open up across the country. That’s so exciting!

If you compete, I also know you’re really happy about this because we’re all ready to get out. And showing is such a great opportunity to see your friends and have fun!

I want to take a few minutes today to just talk about competition a little bit. Here’s the thing.

We always think so much about competition in terms of how we and our horses compare to other people… and how were judged… and the results.

Black and white results are important, of course. I’m not minimizing that at all.

I do want to share a little research with you that I think is insightful. It might also be a little bit surprising to you.

When Dr. Loehr did his original performance research, which was all about performer skills and one’s ability to perform under pressure in any competitive arena… as time went on… he found that if certain athletes did do well, they felt they had to do well again… and again… and again. When their whole purpose was to achieve external results alone, they found themselves on a never-ending wheel of proving themselves. They had to continue to be the best, and never slip-up, at least in their minds!

That’s insatiable, really.

But what further research showed is that when athletes knew their personal values, that is they knew why they competed. They knew they were becoming more as a person. They knew they were enjoying their friends. They knew each competition was an opportunity to put themselves on the line and stretch! Then, they were happier and kept growing personally.

So if we as riders have great challenges and things don’t work out very well in the show pen… we can still know that riding and showing a horse is an awesome gift in our lives. We can get up again and brush ourselves off and keep going and growing.

It really boils down to knowing and appreciating what a tremendous opportunity it is to show a horse beyond the end of the day results.

We can celebrate our friends. We can keep reaching for excellence, keep striving and keep learning.

Whether you win or whether you don’t win… whether you place or you don’t place, you can review your ride and evaluate all by your own scorecard. What did you do well, and what can you do better? What do you need to work on for the next time you show?

Reaching and learning and enjoying continues on forever. It never changes.

Most importantly, because of these fabulous ups and downs, through it all, as a person you are growing… and becoming… and experiencing!

Again, your friends, the horse you’re riding, and all of your adventures… these are what’s remembered and cherished.

That being said, go get ‘em and have a great time! Stay encouraged. Stay focused on your path. Keep reaching and improving. Measure all by your own scorecard.

I’ll see you next time. Let me know what you think.

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7 Comments on Show Time

  1. Carol MacGregor on Sun, 14th Jun 2020 1:21 pm
  2. Hi Barb, Well, this week’s video was just “awesome” as far as what is really, really important and satisfying in our horse lives. I will be listening to this video at least three more times to really “get it” deeply rooted in my heart and mind. It actually has brought some tears to my eyes just knowing that this is so true–always trying to grow as a “horseman” and also as a person—developing good character in our being!!! Thank you!!

  3. Chris Richmond on Sun, 14th Jun 2020 1:26 pm
  4. Ahh. Just exactly what I needed to hear. Went to a western dressage show and fell 1/2 point short of getting enough points to finish my horses WDAA ROM. Felt totally deflated. Today I am looking at scores and trying to come up with a plan to get my horse more balanced. Lots of questions. Is it my balance? Does she hurt? Does she need more riding or less? Etc this is the stuff that keeps it interesting

  5. Joanne Milton on Sun, 14th Jun 2020 6:59 pm
  6. This is exactly the mindset that I have always tried to instill in my students! It’s not about the “winning”, but about the “growing”! Thanks for stating it so clearly!

  7. Wanda on Sun, 14th Jun 2020 7:37 pm
  8. Hi Barbra and Friends
    Loved what Carol wrote above- it really is a huge blessing to be out showing our horses! And if come out on top or near the top it’s just our day and enjoy! I thank you Barbra for putting it into words that we all could think about!
    Good luck everyone

  9. Laura Yarbrough on Tue, 16th Jun 2020 5:55 am
  10. Barb you look amazing !

    Perfect Pep talk! We are headed to show this weekend!

  11. Jean Jacobson on Thu, 18th Jun 2020 8:27 am
  12. Barb, Enjoyed this video so much as well as past videos and the Just for Today inspirations. I don’t compete but this really rang true for me as I do get hung up on comparing myself to my friends, their abilities and their horses. I have made more progress for myself in the last 8 months by focusing on my and my horse’s journey and I know much of it has been due to your kind and thoughtful encouragement.
    It helps tremendously in non-horse life too interacting with friends, family, work, etc. THANK YOU!

  13. Allison on Sat, 20th Jun 2020 5:05 am
  14. Thank you Barb! I was thinking too much about results. I’m going back to enjoying the ride and the opportunity to have a great horse and show him. I’ve started reading the book Mind Gym and the author shared the same research. And when you are present in the process or competition, that’s when you perform the best. Thanks as always for your wisdom and centering presence!

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