The law of averages dictate that most of us, most of the time, in most things, are – well – average. In every competition there are a small number of people who place and a far larger number who don’t. And in every competition there is someone listed last and people who don’t actually score at all due to elimination. Being dead last seems pretty undesirable for most people. But for every first place there is a last place and a whole bunch of in-the-middle-somewhere places and a fair smattering of ‘it really wasn’t my day’ non-placings.
However if you enjoy insta and FB and spend Sunday evening catching up with equine news of friends and friends of friends you might be forgiven for thinking that everyone smashes it all the time. Everyone except you.
Don’t get me wrong – I love it when people share their achievements with their friends on FB. I love seeing the reports and the photos. Other people’s achievements are inspiring and it’s great seeing friends doing well. And I am also not suggesting that people should post about their disappointments if they don’t want to. People use social media however they want to. But it IS worth bearing in mind that when you read social media that for many people insta and FB are the modern day equivalent of the holiday photo album: we show pictures of smiling kids, spectacular scenery and sunshine. We edit out the tantrums, the projectile car sickness episodes and the sunstroke.
I have twin daughters and it so happens that sometimes one or other of them is having a run of great form and good luck, or of poor form and bad luck. And every so often one’s purple patch just happens to coincide with the other one’s doldrums. And yet I see the effort they both make day after day, week after week, month after month. So one Sunday when one had had a great day and the other hadn’t I wrote a FB post which seems to have resonated as it was widely shared. So I have reproduced it below. I choose to post the good, the bad and the ugly but that is only because my blog is my story and I want it to be a complete record of where I came from and where I eventually get to.
But no-one is obliged to post anything if they don’t want to and many understandably choose not to post when things have not gone well. So it is important to remember that you are seeing a small selection of the weekend events and not to compare your own messy, frustrating, up and down equine life with other people’s highlights.
I would like to offer a shout out to all those who did not have a great day. Who have worked just as hard, are just as committed, spent just as long schooling, fittening, training, bathing, plaiting, preparing and psyching themselves up. Who tried just as hard. To jump clear and place, everything has to go right. To fall flat on your face (metaphorically or literally) can happen in any one of a dozen ways. So for those who had run outs, refusals, poles, falls, eliminations, errors of course, time penalties or ponies who stopped to wee in the middle of a round (been there!!) it doesn’t matter. You are all awesome to be out there competing in the sport we all love. You care for your horses and ponies, you train hard, you are brave, focused, tenacious and dedicated. And your time to celebrate will come!
Happy horsing everyone. However it is going right now.