This week I’m celebrating because yesterday was a very special day for me. Baby Bee, as I like to call him, and I entered a dressage competition with our local riding club, Limpsfield Riding Club. A club I joined at the beginning of the year and which has been nothing but friendly and encouraging in every way possible.
Before joining the club I didn’t think dressage was for me. I had a limiting self-belief that I wasn’t good enough even though, I learnt to ride at ten years old and have owned my other horse, Nadia for 19 years. However, when I learnt to ride at my local riding school we only learnt how to go, steer and more importantly how to stop, we didn’t learn the finer and more intricate details of riding but it never stopped us having fun and as kids we used to ride backwards, bareback and would jump anything. We were absolutely fearless.
So when I was lucky enough to get Nadia we were just happy riding out in the woods and exploring local bridleways and taking part in the occasional endurance and pleasure ride we never entered any competitions. I thought to “do” dressage or enter competitions you had to have had a special instructor and know more than I did. This was a very limiting self-belief that I probably developed from the time when my friends and I worked at a local riding school just to get a free ride and we saw other children with their own ponies entering competitions.
However Bee, my new horse is young and as feedback on our training and to help with our progress I decided to enter some dressage competitions during the spring and summer time. Sometimes our results weren’t great and we were even beaten by an 8 year old, other times I went wrong however with continuous encouragement from the riding club and regular lessons from my trainer we gradually improved. On a few occasions we were even placed, but the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places seemed to elude us, that was until yesterday when we came first with a score of 66.74%. My goal is always to try and beat our personal best and that was 62%, so you can imagine how pleased I was when the scores came in.
Then to top it all, I had also entered us into a test in the next level up at the prelim level as I wanted to start to push and improve ourselves, raising the bar, it was to be an exercise and I was looking forward to receiving the judge’s comments. The comments I have received from the judges over the past few months have helped me improve and together with my trainer it looks like it is now finally paying off. Imagine my surprise when in the next level up we were placed 4th with a result of 65%. This was a huge achievement for us, on a horse that I haven’t even yet had for a year. I love to learn and improve and dressage is a perfect way to do this, it is a constant learning curve and there are always new challenges to face, but that’s what keeps it fun. Regular readers will recall our shaky start, but with hard work, time and dedication our partnership has gone from strength to strength and yesterday demonstrated how far we’d come and I am extremely proud of Bee and his progress.
I have always believed that anyone can do anything that they put their minds to, especially if it’s something that they really want to do. It’s possible to learn new things and take on new challenges, whether it’s learning to dance, learning a new language – I always remember my Dad learning Portuguese at the age of 65, taking up a new hobby or even changing careers, it really is never too late that is of course provided you want something enough. Nothing is out of our reach.
The key of course is to remove any self-limiting beliefs we may have. Self-limiting beliefs are those that constrain us in some way and seriously hold us back in life, they are usually based on fear of failure or past experiences. I know mine were based on “I can’t” and “I’m not good enough”. Well I proved to myself I actually can and I am sure you can also do anything you really want to do.
I have always believed that anything can happen and anything is possible in life, with sheer hard work and determination but I would say the best quality to have is sheer enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is something we can have fun with it keeps us happy, it gives us energy and keeps us passionate about the things we enjoy doing.
I would love to hear from you if you have ever tried something new and was surprised at your achievement or if you are thinking of starting something new or if you also have any self-limiting beliefs that might be holding you back. My advice would be release your self-limiting beliefs and don’t let anything stop you or stand in your way, especially if it will enhance your happiness. Be enthusiastic and go for it.
“There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to questions them.” ~Anthony de Mello
Wishing everyone a week full of love, happiness, success and discovery.