Green Shavings and Gratitude August 18 2015 1 Comment

Why riders should remember to be grateful at this year's Kentucky State Fair

The Kentucky State Fair World Championship Horse Show is the pinnacle of saddle seat showing events.  From the distinctive green shavings to the decorated golf carts, the whole week is just an experience. Not only does this show hold the incredibly exhilarating and historical Five Gaited World Grand Championship, but it holds countless, stacked to the ceiling worth of talent, classes for the best of the best OF THE BEST!  It’s one of the longest, hardest, and most amazing shows to witness, but here’s the thing: Each year, thousands of people enter their horses to compete in the week long show hoping for a chance at roses, and not everyone will get that opportunity.

Here’s where the gratitude comes in.

While we all have dreamed of winning the roses, and we’ve even dreamed of “just” winning our qualifier, we won’t all be so lucky. And that's OK.  Part of the beauty of Louisville is that it is the ultimate example of “it’s not the ribbon, it’s the ride” (our favorite saying).  Knowing that you are in the ring with a large number of the best equine/person athletic pairs, all competing for the same dream, and knowing that you and your equine partner can be counted among them is a blessing in itself.

This year at the World Championship Horse Show, take a look around you. Warm up in the ring and take your walk down Stopher’s Walk. Let your heart swell with pride for the sole reason that you are there and you are a part of it.  Listen to your trainers and do your best, but when all is said and done, and your gate is open, your class is called and you hit that ramp with the green shavings and the air conditioning slaps you in the face, just let it wash over you. Ride the hair off of your horse. Take all of those lessons, all of those saddle sores and all of those moments of self doubt and be better. Find the best version of your equestrian self and present it to the world with your four legged friend. You are prepared and so is your equine partner so be a team and show everyone what you can do.  When you finally come to the line up, let the gratitude fill you up. You did your best, you gave it all you got and if that’s what you walk away with, that is a win in and of itself.  If you walk away with a ribbon, even better. And if you are one of the few that are lucky enough to walk away with a blue, revel in that moment and never forget it.

Be grateful before your class. Be grateful during your warm up.  Be grateful for your class and be grateful after.  Grab a fistful of those green shavings and good luck!

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

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