True, and really that is the worst that EVER happened to me, all the way along. Repeatedly. I never fell off in the mud, or got eliminated, or jumped out of the ring... never missed a ride time or got chastised by a judge for anything other than wearing shorts while scribing.
So, what was it then, that sealed my fate and turned me into "person who never wants to show again..."
Well - it was the time. The money. The hassle.
Also just the fact that I had reached my goal (showing PSG) and I am certain had I continued honing my skills for the next few years, spending money, putting up with the wide world of dressage, I could have brought my mighty 55%'s up to maybe a 63% or 65%... but seriously, what is the fun of that? A goal is only really a goal if you have some doubts about your ability to actually reach it.
It is kind of like getting to the end of your favourite video game. For normal people, this means it is time to move on to a new game - spending hours going through the entire process again and again kind of just makes you a self flagellating nerd to everyone you know, except about 5 other similarly nerd minded people. No one I know except for dressage nutbars would even understand why I would be happier to get 55% than 65%, since to people used to the normal world of percentages where 100% is the goal still think 65% sounds pretty fricking shitty.
|I know I can break 131590 next time...just give me 3 days!|
For example, I never, ever have to ride a horse in the rain when I don't want to ever again. I will never have to do any type of braids, blobby or otherwise. I will very rarely ever be put in a situation where I have to poo in a port-o-let. And perhaps most importantly of all, I will never be faced with the horror of seeing my white and pasty, puffing, double chinned face captured in 187 frames of online Actionpix photos. Ever again.
But Curmudgeon! I LOVE seeing gorgeous pictures of my horse taken at shows when he is all dolled up!
Oh, don't we all. I love seeing the pics of Ms. V too. But the problem is these photos are always kind of like when you are stuck beside the willowy 5'10" office babe in all of your short and dumpy glory in the departmental photos. Her beauty only enhances your... lack thereof.
Ms. V always looks beautiful in photos. Me... not so much.
For example - who wouldn't want to see this beauty hanging on their wall...ridden by...errr...
|What, me worry?|
Now, there are some photographers that do try to help, bless them. I actually bought this picture, and have it on the mantle at Motards Man Cave...
Which on closer inspection reveals the kind of hard-core photoshopping that you probably thought they only used to remove all of the rolls and pimples and tattoos from Victoria Secret models. Unfortunately airbrushes can only do so much, and they can't stop a severe shoulder tilt to the left, but the artist did give it a valiant effort. I especially like the nice shimmery lipgloss that I wasn't actually wearing in real life.
With time, I have also come to understand why it is that the Curmudgeonly parental units refused to buy my grade 13 graduation pictures.
However, I just really do not think I am as horrifyingly ... horrifying as I come off in my dressage show photos.
I started to develop quite a complex about this whole affair. For the longest time, I actually had a picture on my desk at work where I had cropped my head off. (I told people it was supposed to look artsy, but I think it just came off as weird). And it affected me to the point that, before entering the ring for my very last PSG test ever.. the cherry on the sundae, the last hurrah, whatever you want to call it...
I did not think of "getting horse more thru over topline" or "riding more precise figures or movements" or "allowing horse more freedom to move up and out..." or any of the other suggestions that the judges had given me in my collectives over the years.
My entire thought process was focused on one thing. Get out of that fucking ring with at least one picture to hang on your wall where you do not appear to have a double chin.
Done and done. Let's call it a wrap.
I guess that's one way to remember to keep your head up. If only I had a double chin, maybe I could unglue my eyes from my horse's neck...ReplyDelete
Bwahaha..... I love you Curmudgeon!ReplyDelete
More makeup....shovel it on. Think Kim Kardashion crossed with Katie Price. Then a very tight TIGHT pulled back bun to give that riding in a wind tunnel look.ReplyDelete
Or claim to be riding for the Afghanistan team in full burka (get a western dude to sack your horse out before) in case the burka flaps. That's my plan. Gotta google up the flag so I can tack it on my saddle pad.
I event, and when you event an amazing thing happens. You never get any dressage photos at all, ever.ReplyDelete
LOL! I just started training in eventing - I had no idea this was an added benefit! SWEET!Delete
Really, they added lip gloss? Now that's a cool photographer. :-) GREAT picture! I personally don't think you looked that bad in the other ones - love your hands and leg position and how you look very much in harmony with the horse. Not everyone can be Meredith Effing Michaels-Beerbaum or Anky and have every hair and body cell in place, while performing strenuous exercise, LOL.ReplyDelete
Having said that, I, too, have hated every single action shot of me riding, at least as an adult (I was pretty cute as a little kid on ponies). The "pose with the ribbons" photos have yielded some pretty good results, but then of course you have had time to arrange all your parts, including chins.
Ms. V really, really is/was gorgeous. Beautiful muscling, beautiful ring presence, equal activity fore and behind (not even necessarily the case with certain top horses these days, *koffTotokoff*), etc. You did a super job.
Don't forget the rictus grin worn by all top female riders - that together with makeup indicates that they are having absolutely the time of their lives in each and every half-pass! I tried it but merely looked insane in my photos.ReplyDelete
Yes, I must work on this... I could win the lottery and still not look quite as filled with glee as Ashley Holzer doing an average everyday freestyle.Delete
Motard absolutely studied her every move with a critical eye and furrowed brow a few years ago at the Royal - I thought he was finally REALLY getting into dressage - wow! Look at him study that freestyle!
Until he turned to me at the end and asked one, and only one question about the flawless performance (picture Sheldon Cooper...) "what the HELL was she smiling about that whole time?"
I literally burst out laughing REALLY loudly at work when I read this. You are so freaking awesome to read!Delete
I get this one all too well. A photo of me and the mare from a schooling show appeared in the local GMO's yearbook. Mare, as usual, is beautiful -- she can't help it. Even though she was not braided, because she Would. Not. Stand. Still. at this, her first event off the farm in 2 1/2 years. Once her trailer-mate went off to warm up, her pony brains fell right out of her pony head. So we got the Fabio look (she's a blonde!) And me? Well, I'm not pretty. Ever. And when I'm puffing out my cheeks and looking worried because the mare is being spook-taculous, as well as showing all my bad riding issues? Really not pretty. (I still like the photo, though. https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-QWuRjc5asNA/UUxrPIpT_AI/AAAAAAAAAVI/pJpDeVNizQw/s800/salute_2013_small.jpg)ReplyDelete
Lovely pic, except your girl looks like she kicked over the letter V and is now making a run for it!Delete
Oh g-d, if you only knew. Those letters on their sides were major boogers. She did get better through the test, but she does not like things that are "wrong" and doesn't hesitate to tell me that.Delete
She is too cute! That pose just screams pony.Delete
Well, she's not *quite* a pony. She's a Morgan, and she's a hair under 15 hands with shoes on. She's not nearly so evil as many ponies, either :) But she's a pretty awesome little horse.Delete
I like the pic, quietann :)ReplyDelete
Endurance racing is no better... really. At least your horse looks gorgeous in the photos. In endurance, both horse and rider look ridiculous (because, of course, the photographer has hidden in the bushes so they can get an "action" shot. Yeah. That works well with Arabs).ReplyDelete
For laughs: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2967635916858&set=pb.1440503219.-2207520000.1363989652&type=3&theater
Oh, I don't know... In photos of endurance I've seen, the horses and riders look *happy*, which is more than can be said for a lot of dressage photos.Delete
Oh, also, that photo just makes me envious! I'd love to live in a place with such wide open spaces, or at least a way to trailer to them easily.Delete
I totally agree..Delete
It's true. Most endurance riders are pretty happy folks. Those that aren't get run out of the sport pretty quickly...Delete
Quietann-This is Central Oregon you're looking at.
My hunter photos are just awful, but in my defense I don't think there is a single H/J rider who doesn't have a picture of them with their mouth open. It's like we all think that if we have our mouths open the constant inflow of air will make us lighter and thus our horses jump better. And since we're on the coast, there isn't a single show that doesn't have blasting winds and at some point rain, so everyone is (hopefully) as squinty eyed and grimacy as me.ReplyDelete
I have discovered the solution to the picture issue... Watercolour painting of a nice pic of your beautiful horse and her not so beautiful rider, great way to remove unwanted details :DReplyDelete
Ha! All of my sport photos show some sort of gnome wife running awkwardly across a field of obstacles with a dog loping laughingly alongside. (Agility is Awesome Fun. Brock would love it. Come to the dark side, we have biscuits...)ReplyDelete
Seriously. Gnome wife. I don't see fat in the mirror (although at 5'4", out of trim, 165lbs I guess I qualify) but when I see action pics. Holy cow. That can't possibly be me?
Hunt for the Perfect Picture...ReplyDelete
Picture quality, nice rider, nice horse -- you only can have two. 3 is like winning a lottery.
The only pic where rider and horse look perfect, is out of focus, underexposed, has lost some body parts or sth.
Rider looks good? The horse has eyes closed or in the "uninteresting" phase of pace.
The pro pics uploaded in hundreds have already passed a filter: pic quality is good and the pic is taken in "interesting" phase (jump in SJ, extension, harder movements in DR... ). The rider does not have any chance. Except the others. Somehow other people do have nice pics. Only consolation... http://www.albello.com/#/olympic-sports/Olympic_Sports-28
I love this post. So accurate. Puffy freak in every picture. Gaping mouth and all.ReplyDelete
Yup, totally agree! I always cringe when looking through photos of myself riding and the awful faces I make. I either look like I'm extremely uncomfortable or about to shoot death rays at someone.ReplyDelete
I personally like the "artsy" photos that just show your horse... like this one. No weird faces, no double chins, just a pretty pony! Win! http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150330939341011&set=a.103636786010.119687.640386010&type=3&theater
That is a very excellent picture!Delete
Thank you! The fun part about riding sidesaddle is that if things don't go quite your way... you can say "hey, I've only got one leg, what can you do?" and when things go really well "hey, I've only got one leg and look what I can do!" haha Everybody is usually so stunned that you are riding sidesaddle that they don't notice your red face or double chins anyways haha.Delete
Ha! At least you have an angular face and a nice pointy chin. Mine is round and even when I'm pretty fit I have multiple chins in any photo- it's genetic. Aunt Vera had at least 4 of them.ReplyDelete
I also hunch and have saggy boobs in most photos. I also have tons of the "Jacket off, pouchy belly accentuated by white breeches with no belt" photos.
Oh, and I'm a mouth breather! Every riding pic has me gasping like a fish out of water. Didn't realize that was a hunter thing though....
Oh, and don't forget to add "dusty warmup rings" to your list of stuff you won't miss. Nothing like spending 8 hours getting everything clean and shiny to have it coated with grit (oh yes, including your teeth) 5 minutes after you start trotting.
I've come to realize that the few "action" shots that I have from over the years (including the insanely not flattering show pictures that somehow hit the middle of a horrid venn diagram that included dressage, braces and middle school) are all hung in places where only other horsey people see them. I assume (and pray) that horsey people ignore the rider and pretty much only look at the pretty horse/fat pony on display. Show photos are not for the office, or home where men who are presumably attracted to me will see them...ReplyDelete
The lipgloss - So hilarious! For some reason I always end up looking concerned and constipated in my horse show photos. It's unavoidable.ReplyDelete
This is the main reason why my horse shopping criteria revolve mainly around 'pick the cutest animal' - because that way folks spend more time cooing over my adorable pony than noticing my generally tragic dumpiness and utter lack of photogenetic qualities.ReplyDelete
There's a girl at my barn who somehow SOMEHOW manages to get a photo from every horse show she competes in with a glowing, beaming, genuine smile on her face.ReplyDelete
I like your pictures! You look incredibly well put together!ReplyDelete
Keep writing lady, you sure know how to say it;)
A friend once described my expression when I ride as "jail warden." My dad used to oh so helpfully tell me after a test "It would help if you'd smile." Um, yeah.....I'm totally positive the judges were thinking "You know, that would have been an 80% test *if only* she had smiled. I also tend to stick with the no-head, no-belly, horse-only pics. Because otherwise? Nobody wants to see that.ReplyDelete
This is cool!ReplyDelete