Ashlee spent the night over so this morning she could help with barn chores and then ride with me to the IEA show in Sumpter. It got really cold again, down to 47 so we had to blanket. We woke up around 8am to get the chores rolling, and then left for the show grounds at 10. On the way up there we stopped at Starbucks for coffee, a Walmart for a big needle and some fishing line to repair Sammy's leg strap on his blanket that ripped overnight, and then a Chick-Fil-A for lunch, picking up some food also for Rhonda and Magdalene who were already there.
I am still in almost awe with the way Magdalene's IEA coach, Karen Sykes, promotes such good camaraderie and healthy sportsmanship and values in her students. It's not that my barn and students are lacking in that department, either, because my kids are simply some of the best when it comes to personal values and ethics even in the face of criticism or adversity, and that's not just my completely biased opinion either. But rarely, and I mean rarely, do I see it elsewhere. I see all the other things I wish I never had to see, and then what's worse, the parents or instructor/coaches encouraging it with their own personal irresponsibility. But coach Karen, she's a complete gem and I ever have a barn big enough to invite her to come and stay, I will.
So watching the events around the show today really made me dwell on the absolute need there is for adults with values to be passing these values along to the next generation. It's not about chasing the almighty blue ribbon while demoralizing or mocking another competitor. It's about the success of hard work, perseverance, the willingness to learn and benefit from these opportunities we have with horses. I think competition is great, having someone judge you on your performance or skills keeps you digging deeper for that inner excellence that you might never have known was there. But when it comes down to expecting to win and taking sickeningly irresponsible measures to ensure that the blue ribbon is within your grasp... no, thanks.
And I am super proud of my kids. I can not say enough about how much I admire them taking the harder road, the road that doesn't always come with a fanfare or a parade, but that they choose to deepen and develop themselves in the quiet, the lonely and the difficult ways. And if you ever doubt that that is the road worth taking, I pray that God will clearly show you the demise of the wicked who trample upon others to get what they think they want. They won't stand forever, they will fall.
Magdalene did very well, placing first in her flat class and I think 5th in her over fences class, which was also a very large class. Very consistent and she is utilizing her training more and more.
Ashlee and I left around 5 to get home and finish up some chores, also hoping to ride before dark. However, once getting to the barn I really was starting to feel fatigued and decided against riding. Ashlee, however, rode Sammy and Ansley who was also there rode Starbucks; Ashlee reported the best ride she's *ever* had on Sammy, cantering several circles with good control and only light contact. I am glad to see them doing better, and hopefully my riding him more consistently is helping him to offer her more support as he does his job with more finesse and understanding.
So, now I am waiting on my husband to bring home chinese food. I am pert near famished.