Aug 31, 2016

Reasons We're Not Ready for Finals

by Kim Ablon Whitney

Yes, she has enough points!  She's all qualified and the horse is going well.  Summer's over and it's Finals time.  We're all so excited!

Wait, we are?

There are a few reasons for both riders and parents to dread Finals...

 1. The pressure.  It all comes down to this.  A year of training and showing, of developing as a rider, and all that matters is a few scant minutes in the ring.  It's not just yourself that you're riding for--there's all the time and effort your trainer and parents have invested in you.

2. The disappointment.  If it doesn't go the way you wanted, all that hard work feels like it's for nothing.  Only 10 people get ribbons.  And even some of those ribbon-winners will feel they fell short of their expectations.

3. The stress.  Break out the Tums and Pepcid AC.  Get ready for a few months of nail-biting, stomach-churning anxiety.  Try to act composed and relaxed when your insides are dying.

4.  The inflated prices.  If you thought your bills were high the rest of the year, buckle your seatbelt for September through November.  Extra lessons, extra pro rides, extra injections, extra everything.

5. The exhaustion. Endless travel, long car rides, late flights, early mornings, lack of sleep, missed school and work days, make-up assignments. Need we go on?

6. Going back to zero.  Ready to do it all over again?  Ready to count points and figure out just how you can get to that last level 2 Talent Search class without pounding your horse into the ground?  Those few weeks of "all qualified" were pretty nice.

7. It's the last time.  For those in their last junior year, it's over.  Yes, those junior years were intense, emotionally and financially draining, and downright crazy but they were also the most wonderful years of your life and you'll never do anything quite like it again.  For parents, you'll never again spend so much quality time with your child doing something she loves.

Kim Ablon Whitney's latest novel in the Show Circuit Series is Hunter Derby. Sign up for her mailing list to stay up to date on the series.