Why Competing Isn’t One of My Top Priorities Anymore
Up until the beginning of last year, competing was a major part of, and driving force in, my work with horses. I was competing not only my own horses, but those of clients as well. My riding goals orbited around a competition schedule and my goals for those shows each year. The barns I had been working at and the coaches I chose to learn from ran competition programs. While I still enjoy competing and love the atmosphere and environment of a horse show and the community that surrounds you there, I noticed myself feeling a little lost. There was just a bit of emptiness where there was once excitement when I thought about an upcoming show season. I would battle with myself over this guilt that would come from not wanting to show. But why I felt that guilt made no sense to me.
By that point, I knew I had to make a change. Very slowly, I shifted my focus away from competing. It took me a while to re-imagine what the future would look like for myself, my horses, and the business and lesson program I have been working hard to establish. What was my new niche and what type of client would I cater to the best?
The term “recreational riding” never sounded quite right to me, but essentially that is the direction my program is going in. Surprisingly, I love it! My students still have riding and/or horsemanship goals for themselves, but they really just want to have fun, learn from the horses, and discover how this work benefits them in other areas of their lives. Some students wish to overcome fears or insecurities they have about their riding, while others just want to enjoy the calm and peaceful environment that the barn holds for them. I even have clients that find the work with horses, both on the ground and in the saddle, to be an activity that their whole family can take part in. No matter what a student’s goals are, I have found it so rewarding to support my students and hold a safe, peaceful, and trustworthy space for them to learn more about themselves and have fun with these incredible gentle giants that we all love so very much.
Thank you for joining and supporting our community. We are so excited to have you along for the ride!
Until next time,
pc: Jessica Champagne