Dressage is a very demanding and exacting sport. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, I often wonder if I’ve set the bar too high. Am I demanding too much from myself? Will I always be tempted by the carrot of perfection that hovers just over the horizon. Hoping that some day I’ll ride a “perfect” test.

Have I set myself up for failure and frustration? Yes.

Mistakes are part of riding and even my best rides contain flaws. As I progress up the levels my coordination improves and I become more effective in managing my mistakes.

That means progress! Something I often fail to acknowledge.

Instead I focus on the mistakes. Building up frustration and causing myself to shut down. What I need to do is embrace my mistakes. Each and every one is an opportunity to learn, improve and progress.

In celebration of my progress I acknowledge the following:

  1. My leg yields recently are straighter and sideways.
  2. My hands are quieter.
  3. My circles are rounder.
  4. I’m bending my horse more.

I’m less than perfect and proud of it!