|Frisco Bay-Las Vegas Winter Fling 2012 Open High Point|
Just as I was putting a few sugar cubes into my pocket before I mounted up Frisco Bay for our final ride of the weekend(and shortly after having had a very near emotional breakdown), I happened to read the box top of my can of breath mints. "To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders." This quote helped me turn the Titanic around within inches of running into that iceberg. I was on course for the worst show weekend I've probably ever experienced. This quote, by Chuang Tzu, saved the day and salvaged the weekend for me. When I got on Frisco, I could tell: he was tired and tight. He was not his usual freely moving self. He was, for lack of a better word, sticky. But it was all physical. Mentally, he was game, willing, the rock I needed at that moment in time. Doubt, and concern for his tired state, started to creep in again. Was I going to blow an opportunity to earn a Regionals qualifying score under a good judge? Was I going to let the whole weekend be a complete bust? I repeated that quote to myself over and over again during the warmup, and kept my attitude towards my amazingly good-minded youngster positive and light. As we entered the show arena and Frisco didn't puff up like he normally does, doubt once again crept in. Once again, I pushed it aside, and trotted up centerline, having faith in my horse. While he was too tired to demonstrate his full capacity, Frisco Bay, son of Charisma, keeper of my heartstrings, did not put a foot wrong for six minutes. I kept my mind clear, and thus, my aids to him were clear and I was able to let him hear my breathing, something that is an integral part of our normal training, something I'd failed to do on all previous rides that weekend. I'd been holding my breath all weekend. No wonder I couldn't think. My wise decision the day before to take an off course and regroup on that canter depart paid big dividends. I even settled my mind enough to try to work on the balance in his canter work, versus just following whatever movement he offers, which is what I typically do with him, due to his current age and stage of training.
We did it. We staged an upset, came from behind. We won the Open High Point award, and qualified for the Regional Championships. We needed a 68.000%. We earned a 68.000%. Did anything change? Did the things that were bothering me suddenly go away in a split second? Did my horse suddenly wake up, decide to not be tired and get freer in his movement? No. But, my attitude changed. I made a decision, in that instant, to take back the reins, to put that ship back on course, to take responsibility for the things that were under my control. Those things that bothered me are still bothering me, but I will deal with them. And I now have absolute, irrefutable proof that how I respond to adversity is far more important than the actual adverse condition itself. I could not have done it without the love and support of my husband, Dow, and my friend, Brenda, but in the end, it was always up to me. They can't do it for me. Still your mind, friends, and the universe will surrender itself to you, whatever your goals and dreams.