When I first started showing performance, my primary goal was to enter as many classes as possible and not make a fool out of myself. I also wanted to win, of course, but I was realistic about my chances. My horses, my tack, my props and my set-ups were decidedly average. I didn't have a chance when the serious showers brought their A-games. I just wasn't that good.
After the birth of my children, I took a six year break from live showing. When I returned, I was no longer content to be average. I'd upgraded my horses, tack and props, but most importantly, I upgraded my thinking.
Instead of waiting until the week before the show, I started planning my entries months in advance. I researched real life events and analyzed photos of winning model scale entries. I worked really hard, and my efforts were rewarded. I started winning and have continued to win ever since.
Unfortunately, all this winning has made me pretty complacent. I've figured out what it takes to do well on the local level, and I haven't progressed much past that point.
Tiffany and Erin are trying to talk me into going to NAN next year. I can't guarantee that will happen, but it might. If I do go, I want to be competitive and that means I'm going to have to upgrade my thinking again.
With that in mind, I'm taking a good hard look at my performance entries from last weekend's Springamathing live show. First up is Rune's Egyptian Dancing Horse set-up. Despite that yellow ribbon, I'm generally pleased with this entry. The horse is beautiful, the costume is well made and well fitted and the doll is dressed correctly for the event. This entry could be improved with good documentation and some minor adjustments to the rider's position. Mostly though, it's fine.Rat Bait is next. I hadn't planned to show him in performance, but Tiffany and Erin (performance harpies!) bullied me into it.
Not surprisingly, his entries were pretty slapdash. Some of them placed well, but that was largely a product of small class sizes.
I would have to do a lot more work before I'd consider taking Rat Bait to NAN. Right now, he's not even close to being ready.
Princess Trillium also suffered from my lack of preparation.She showed in both the English...
and Western divisions...
and most of her entries were of the "close but no cigar" variety.Ugh! So many yellow ribbons!
The good news is that it's pretty easy to turn a near miss into a hit. Trilli would have benefited from better fitting bridles, but mostly her entries lacked polish.
The few set-ups I'd planned in advance...
(this is the prop that goes with the lance)...
did just fine. If I go to NAN--and that's still a big if, Tiffany!--I'll almost certainly bring her. She's a much better performance horse than she looked on Saturday. I just need to slow down and not make so many little mistakes.
Tomorrow's post will discuss Lady Liberty and Jennibray!