I have to admit, I am totally kicking myself after talking about plans and then having to get the vet out days later. Did I jinx myself? Is that really a thing? Who knows, but I’m regretting it.
It makes me think about how superstitious some folks can be at shows.
At our last show, I had friends who were both equally excited to report to me that I was in the lead after dressage, and others that thought I shouldn’t know. Of course there’s something to do with handling mental pressure in this case, besides pure luck, but still- it’s a common debate and not just in my camp!
What is the likelihood that if I hadn’t know that I was in the lead, that I then would have gone double clear in showjumping instead of getting that cheap rail? Or was that cheap rail ‘destined’ to be mine all along? In my mind, I feel like I would have had the same level of stress going into showjumping as I would have in any case, but maybe that little bit of hope for a potential blue ribbon messed it all up for me?
And then I have a friend who insists that if things are going well mid-show, that she will be absolutely MIA on social media until it’s all over. Because, you know, jinxing. Whereas if things have gone to pot, then who the hell cares and share-away!
Where do you stand? Do you like to know where you are in the standings mid-event? Do you wait until it’s all over to share any news? How do you mentally move from one phase to another?
I don’t care about the standings. I used to, a lot, when we were trying to qualify for things at BN and N. Now I’m just happy to be at the level we’re at, and I’m trying to use each show to learn and get better, rather than caring about what place we’re in. I don’t even check scores anymore at all until after XC (to make sure they recorded everything right, because I protect my horse’s XC record like a mama bear). Usually someone will tell me what my score was at some point anyway. Granted, I never actually have to worry about being anywhere near the top! LOL
LOL honestly, I think if I were at Training level I’d be thrilled to be just getting around- so I really can’t blame you!
I like to know. To me it’s more of a distraction not to know and to wonder. If I know where I stand, I can kind of forget about it and just ride my plan.
Do you ever find yourself changing your plan based on where you are in the standings?
Not really. I should say, I have not competed in many events yet, but so far I make the plan with my trainer and stick to it. The only time we would really change anything is if we’re watching stadium rounds and see something riding funny or hearing about something goofy on XC.
I’ve always been a fairly superstitious rider, I tried to shed most of those superstitions (that got really ingrained and spun wildly out of control) when I lost Carlos and got Ramone.
Like lucky socks? Or what superstitions?
I like to go early in the order for my classes, so usually by the time I’m done cooling out and putting Frankie away the class is about wrapped up and I can go check! Some shows, I won’t check the results until later in the day.
That’s one nice thing about going early, for sure- just getting it over with!
I had a friend do this recently as it was a very small field and she had just stepped up a level. She didn’t want to know in case
A) doing well meant she started putting pressure on herself to win when it was meant to be a learning experience
B) she was doing terribly and then felt bad about her performance at what was meant to be a learning experience
I thought that was smart, because for someone like me who can get uber competitive if I think I am in with a chance (or, just uber competitive with myself full stop), it can take my focus away from what the true aim is and it seemed like a good idea to combat it.
I like knowing where I stand depending on what it is. Usually, I don’t care and would rather the experience be positive for the horse and learn what works best for the horse and how to ride certain classes better, but boy when I was competing for my buckle last year I definitely wanted to know what my points were! It didn’t change how I rode – I still tried to ride the classes as well as Amber could do them, but it was nice to know lol.
Some people can do poorly with the added pressure of doing well (that sounds funny typing it out, but true!) and others do better- I know I tend to ride better if the pressure is on or I have an audience!
I follow my position through every step. It’s usually last, but I track it nonetheless. I did meet a girl at the last event who threw out her horse’s fly bonnet after she had a bad dressage test because it was now unlucky. I don’t have any real superstitions regarding riding (like lucky bonnets or socks), but I do totally believe in jinxing myself by making any plans. If I commit to a show, my horse will definitely find a way to ruin that.
Oh my- bonnets are too fun and too pricey to be throwing them away like that!
Her parents bought her a new one. Then she pitched a fit because it wasn’t the right color so they went and bought her another new one. I don’t think the cost of bonnets was a factor.
I’m happier not knowing. I have a very competitive streak and not knowing keeps that at bay.
Do you have friends purposely not tell you then? How do you avoid knowing?
I always liked to know my score and standing after dressage. It never effected how I rode in the next two phases. I’m way too nosey not to stalk scores even in straight dressage. The second they’re up I want to see them.
I try hard not to focus on points or placings, but rather on accomplishing whatever goals I’ve set for myself. I’ve found I don’t do well when I worry about the standings.
I do dressage so a bit different, but in saying that if I do three tests at a show or six over a weekend and a championship is the prize I always want to know. I think it depends on what kind of a person you are. Whilst I am not “driven” by ribbons and winning, i’m certainly not there for a haircut and I do take my riding pretty seriously. Of course, ribbons and winning do in no way compete to my horses welfare and safety so scratching is always an option if they don’t feel right.
Me, i now know I have to know what my first score was before my second test. If i ride it and I make stupid errors I get so mad at myself that my next test is pure olympic level stuff. Perhaps i have to fail in order to succeed. i don’t get stressed, i get disappointed. I’ve let my horse down, my partner who supports me, my sponsors etc. I feel the weight of not performing, even at my baby level 🙂
You guys look fabulous by the way
I stopped checking scores years ago. For me, it’s not really the pressure, it’s because I’m intensely competitive and start to focus outside myself if I know where I stand. If I don’t know, I ride all 3 phases to the best of my ability and I’m happy for everyone else having good rides. If I stalk the scores and I’m behind, I can’t help but be a little happy when someone else falters. That’s ugly, I know, which is why not checking scores works for me. I do ask someone to let me know going into xc whether I’m tied or high tie possibility (usually exactly 1 or 4 points off of someone ahead of me) so I can try to get closer to optimum time in that case. My advice would be know yourself and how the different strategies may affect you. If you’re not sure, experiment and see what’s best for you.