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What Dressage Competition Does for Us

The competitive spirit is a fun emotional state to be in. It not only drives us but shows us that we are still capable of hope and desire. I am sure I speak for many when I say that as we age our ability to maintain hope and faith in the future becomes harder and harder to do. Therefore, many of us seek competition and progression in a sport.

This is exactly what dressage offers so many people. The ability to work towards something and have hope for the future. It gives us an outlet to have goals and accomplish each goal as it comes.

Competition also builds our ability to gain self-confidence. Where fear is present and overcome, self-confidence can flourish. Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the act of being afraid and doing it anyway. Every time you are given the opportunity to have courage, you are given the opportunity to:

1. Stretch your comfort zone

2. Build you self confidence

3. Learn and know yourself

4. Show yourself your abilities

Why do I love to compete? My answer is clear. Competition gives me hope for the future, fulfills my primitive need to strive and improve, and builds my confidence. Will I fail, yup. Failure doesn’t scare me, what scares me is a future with no hope and no strive. I choose hope over failure.

Musings after my competition last week with Furst Dance. My first competition with him was a bit like a helicopter crashing. The second competition this past week proved that my hope was not in vain. I still had hope for the future after that failure and I believed that with a structured plan, he would come back better and better. Each competition is am opportunity to show him that I have his back and he can relax into his work. This relationship building opportunity is worth the ups and the downs. Winning is not the goal when you work with animals… a stronger relationship is. Those who take the time to build the relationship will always come out on top.

Photo by FraryTail Photography

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1 Comment

Great article. Hits the nail on the head and explains exactly why I compete. This past weekend’s competition did the same for me. It was a major comeback from my last show. Thank you for being my coach and friend.

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