2014 CTHJA Year End – Saturday
I have both a ton to say about this show, and nothing at all. Luckily (or not so luckily) for you, I’ll write out the ton I have to say in two parts. For those of you who want the cliff notes, I have both a pessimistic and an optimistic version.
Pessimistic: I spent a decent amount of money to go to my year end show, and kinda sucked.
Optimistic: I had one of those ‘learning experience’ horse shows that we all have in our journey. There were good moments, and not so good.
Those are the takeaways though. Let’s back up to the actual show.
On Friday, Simon was quite wild for him schooling. He’s actually been acting very spooky in general these past few weeks, and I had this voice in the back of my head saying ‘time for an ulcer treatment’ before the show started. At the show, I felt even more like that could be the case. He wouldn’t settle on the flat at all. Compared to the mature & fun to ride horse I had at the Lope show, at year end I had some of the worst traits of Thoroughbred. Spooky, looky, anxious, hot, refusing to flat walk. Not fun.
We hacked around a lot, and once my trainer came in to school us over jumps he settled right down. We actually schooled really, really well on Friday. All the jumps were the “hunter” jumps, but they had lots of fill and all the way up to 2’9″ I felt pretty confident. Even though we had a rocky start schooling, we ended great.
Saturday came, and I decided to scratch the 2’6″ hunter classes I signed up for in that ring. Truth be told, I was very nervous all day… even though schooling went well. I thought, “Okay. I’ll just concentrate on the jumpers and not worry about the hunters. That way I won’t beat myself up for a missed lead change or adding, and I’ll have more fun overall.”
So we waited. I watched the hunters, took my horse for a walk, and photographed some friends. Even on our walk, he was a bit wild eyed.
Then they started setting up the jumpers, and we walked the course. At that time, my nervousness grew from cautiously reserved to seriously worried. When we walked the course, several of the jumps were still set to 3′ (I didn’t know it at first) and I couldn’t shake how absolutely giant they all looked. Big coops, rolltops, walls and flowers. So. Many. Oxers. Wide oxers. Combinations and oxers everywhere. I wanted to quit before I even got on.
But I had come to this show to show the jumpers, and that’s what I should do right?
In the warmup, Simon was fine. More anxious and nervous than usual, but he didn’t do anything naughty or bad. I was holding him too much from nerves, which my trainer got after me for. We did some more warmup jumps with me being much softer, and he calmed down. I wasn’t upset at him for being antsy, because I knew my nerves were not helping him at all and he was just channeling what I was feeling.
The first course was optimum time, and besides the two frightening combinations (I hate combinations) it was pretty inviting. Still, I can’t describe to you how scared I was waiting to go. I couldn’t talk to anyone. My breathing felt weird. I have never been so terrified going into a class in my entire life. If I am ever that scared at a horse event ever again, I’m getting off. Period.
However, I stayed on and went in. The course was a little wild & wiggly. He tried to swerve right in both combinations, but I rode him through it.
In the two stride, we did a very bit S curve and added the three but it was okay.
In the one stride, I said “NO!” and got him back left and we did the one with no problem. I was (still am) very proud of myself for riding through that first one stride.
Yes, my leg was swinging and I was loose all over, but it wasn’t terrible. In fact, it was kinda okay! We had one rail, but were still close to the optimum time so we managed to get a 5th out of 12.
I was mostly pretty happy. I think I actually left the ring saying, “Yay! I didn’t fall off!” and everyone laughed.
Note to self: Never say this again until the horse show is finished.
Edited – Forgot to share video!
You would think after doing pretty okay in my first 2’9″ jumper round that I would be more relaxed, but all the waiting around before the 2nd made me more nervous again. I was still terrified. The fear hadn’t gone away, and it was about to get worse.
My second course was a timed jump off round.
Going into it, I thought as I cantered to the first jump that, “I’ll just be cautious and clean like Beezie!”
Note to self again: Never compare yourself to Beezie. You are not worthy. Bad things will happen.
First jump we had a rail. Second jump was a left turn past the in-gate straight to a big brown oxer. I cut the turn too close to the oxer, and only had about a stride and a half square to it on my approach.
We chipped. Bad. My amazing horse did his best, but the entire jump came down.
Me and Simon were both completely frazzled, and I stopped. I petted his neck, and then did a tight right turn to pick up my canter to get to fence 3, a solid coop vertical.
Note to self again again: Never say in the course walk, “That fence doesn’t worry me” because said fence and I will become closely acquainted soon.
Freshly scared from crashing all the poles, Simon and I CRAWLED to the coop. So slow. We canted up to it and added added added… I gave no leg and just learned forward and my horse said, “Nope. Can’t.”
And I slid off.
It was the softest fall ever, and somehow I managed not to touch the jump I was oh so close too. I wasn’t hurt, but extremely embarrassed and extremely upset at myself. I held onto him the whole time, so when I got up he was right there next to me. For some reason, I remembered being told that you should run your stirrups up before leaving the ring. So I did.
THAT TOOK SO LONG. EVERYONE WAS STARING. WHY DID I DO THAT? I JUST WANTED TO GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE. (Sidenote: Can someone verify if you should really do this or not because if I ever fall off in the ring again I’m just going to run away as fast as possible)
After I fell, I talked to my trainer and tried not to cry. She basically said I should have forgotten the crashed oxer and pushed him way forward to the next jump. We decided to school a few jumps in the warmup area. He felt a little hesitant, but I asked him to go and he was fine.
I untacked him, took a walk and cried. I wasn’t upset that I fell, because that’s part of horse showing and it happens to all of us eventually. I wasn’t that upset that I fell in front of a ton of people after being featured on COTH a few weeks ago (although the ego is bruised, I admit). I was upset that I upset my horse so much. That I know how to ride mostly at home, but nerves got the best of me in a huge way and I really let him down. Not only did I let him down, but I left him with a lot of my worry too.
We got back on after the show and schooled again in the ring, because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to walk in Sunday morning and get around after that disaster. My trainer set the jumps back down to the 2’3″ – 2’6″ height, and we zipped around with no problem. Simon felt a little unsure, and a little weird but he went when I asked and we schooled fairly well.
The rest of the night I laid up in bed and worried myself sick – literally, I came home from the show Sunday with a fever and am now taking all of the cold medication possible. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I sucked in both hunters and jumpers, and at some point you have to admit that it’s you – not your horse – with the problems. I was worried what would happen Sunday, but that’s a tale for another day.
50 thoughts on “2014 CTHJA Year End – Saturday”
-hugs- It’s really hard to suck at a show, in front of everyone but we’ve ALL been there. <3
Heck Girl you rocked it! Even though you did have a rough time, such is the equine life! You did it and learnt from it, and the only way from here is up! Showing is terrifying and to be honest it shouldn’t be! Keep your head up!
Nope, showing shouldn’t be terrifying. That’s one of my winter goals is to figure out how to not let those nerves completely undo me. Because they did! 🙂
Girl you need a big hug, wish I was close so I could give you one.
Well – I’ve been there a few times in the last two years! You are right about the jumps though – NEVER think one is insignificant because that one WILL take you out!
Sorry you went through this. My advice which might be worth nothing….if you are that nervous, I would stick to a level below until you are bored. So, even if you are bored, things change in the show atmosphere. Why not do a lower class for warm up? It’s hard to know if that would make you feel more comfortable, but it’s worth trying. Riding when you are terrified is HARD. Your muscles and your brain don’t work and your horse is like – what’s going on up there??
Hope you too can shake it off!
Yup, completely agree. I really thought I could push past it and be fine, because usually I’m a little ‘eee that looks big’ but this was beyond that feeling. Not sure what the change in strategy will be, but this didn’t work out the best for me mentally!
Hugs lady! Falling off at shows sucks, but try to think positively. No one got hurt, your pony is still awesome, and you have plenty more shows in your future to improve with 🙂
Aww, lady, I just wanna give you all the hugs!! (And Airborne, and Zinc, and vitamin yumminess…).
I’ve had a HUGE issue with tearing myself down mentally this year, too, for whatever reason. It’s been really hard to tackle, but I’m making some progress, slowly but surely. I think what has helped me the most is making myself remember THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN. All for FUN. And when I start getting to serious I’m able to step back and remember that and then I am able to dial it back to FUN for myself.
Sending positive vibes your way that you’re able to find a method that works for you, too. You’re doing so right by Simon in so very many ways!! Chin up! Don’t beat yourself up and worry yourself so much. You’ve got this. =)
Yeah, it IS supposed to be fun. I showed 5 times this year, and 3 out of 5 were SUPER fun. The other two I just got in my head too much… gotta work on that! Thanks – I’m also taking Zinc like a crazy person.
Nerves suck! Bad nerves! Honestly, though. You came through in a big way in the first class. Totally impressive.
In my, limited, experience. Take whatever time you want to leave the ring after you fall off. No one is judging you for taking time to run up your stirrups and reassure yourself and your horse. If they are, they are obviously the worst people in the world, and not worth a care.
Every time I’ve fallen off Pig, he’s been so worried about me. I’m sure that’s what you were feeling with Simon. I wouldn’t think you hurt him in any way, you guys just hit one of those bumps that solidifies your relationship. He was there for you, and in the end you are still there for him. That’s important!
Yeah, Simon gets a bit distressed. It probably doesn’t help that I’m worried through the whole course which makes HIM worried and then I FALL OFF and he is like “WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME I’M SO CONFUSED?!?”
Oh well. A whole winter ahead to work and improve!
No, no need to run your irons up, just walk out of the ring. Been there done that Lauren! Everybody who shows has stinky shows that bring them to tears and can make them question their ability to ride.
You WILL get past all of that. AND you will get to a point where shows don’t make you nervous anymore. TBs pick up on your nerves like nobody’s business.
Oh, and what Tori said. Go back to the lower stuff till you are BORED.
Yuuuuuup. Those extra 3″ are EVIL.
🙁 Feel better (physically and about the show) moving up is tough! Don’t let it dishearten you, all winter to work and come back better than before!
Oh, man. So sorry about the fall. Nerves are so hard, we definitely all are right there with you on that. I really hope day 2 was better!
It was 🙂
Way to go on your first course!
Learning experiences are never fun, especially when they’re expensive and embarrassing (I think time definitely stops when you fall and have to exit the arena on foot). A couple of my friends who ride regularly take half a Xanax before getting on- just so they’ll feel less nervous and a little more relaxed.
Miles miles miles. Gotta just keep doing it!
Feeling like you upset your horse is the worst. That was me at the May show. It gets better.
OK, first things first. Those jumps looked holy-freaking-huge! As a 2’6″ hunter rider (which I am) I would have lost my mind walking that course — how is it physically possible that an additional 3″ make things look so enormous?! So bravo for not scratching immediately.
Second, congrats for getting around and having a decent first trip! You can’t always be perfect but you got around and Simon was a star!
Third, we all get nervous. I literally do not understand the riders at my barn who breeze into the ring (Beezie-style) and jump 3’6″ courses like it ain’t no thing. It’s like they’re smoking ciggs on the way out of the ring they’re so relaxed. I on the other hand am literally shaking each time with nerves/performance anxiety/fear-of-jumps-that-aren’t-that-big. BUT. LOOK. REALLY. BIG.
The difference between them and me from what I’ve been told is experience. They’ve shown a million more times and have shaken their nerves. Or learned how to manage them so the nerves don’t turn them into complete fools the second they step through the in-gate (which is how I feel when all of my riding know-how goes out the window in the show ring). We, as type-A’ers, also have to learn to not beat ourselves up so much. I get so upset AT MYSELF when things go wrong at home or at the shows and spend half the time self-loathing in the corner, which does nothing but make me miserable. We’ve gotta Shake It Off like our girl T-Swift and not let it get to us.
Instead, we should think about all of the positive things! You’re doing great and LEARNING which is the whole point. I think you need to do a 2014 retrospective post because girl, you’ve done so much this year! That should boost your confidence up big time.
Hang in there!
Thanks for all your positivity! This was 2’6″ – 2’9″ jumpers and like you coming from a 2’3″ – 2’6″ hunter background I was like HOLY CRAP Y SO GIANT COURSES Y U SO HARD?!?
At the ingate, I literally said out loud “Why can’t we just do 2’0″ jumpers with hunter courses?! Wouldn’t that be great!” and people thought I was crazy.
I love t.swift and will be working on my inner shake off after this show!
^ This. Totally this. 2’6″ and simple stuff at 2’9″ are ok to me. Barnmates at 3’3″ + just looks crazy. And I talk myself out of whole shows and am terrified of how weak and nervous I will be when I return to riding.
Oh I’m so sorry it was a sucky show! Your pictures look great from the first round though!
I’m a run your stirrups up proponent though, its a habit I have when I walk out of a ring regardless of a planned or unplanned dismount. It’s a safety thing for me as well as just something I was taught to do. Your stirrups could get caught on something which can definitely cause more distress to both you and your horse. Just my two cents.
Hope your next show goes much better!! -hugs-
Big hugs! Show nerves are the worst. 🙁 BUT you do have all winter to work on them, which is awesome! And if you’re at all interested in checking out a sports psychologist to help with your mental game, look up Dr. Jenny Susser. She’s fabulous!
There was some bad, but there was also some good! Your first and last trips were pretty fantastic and you got back on after you came off instead of letting your nerves get the best of you. Those are definitely positives.
so sorry you had such an unpleasant show day 🙁 fear is pretty much the worst – it’s SO debilitating, and there’s no rhyme or reason or logic to it. i hope things went better on sunday! hugs!!!
Well it definitely sounded rough but, like you said, it was a learning experience. And it sounds like you pushed through a lot of fear regardless!
As a fellow ammy who doesn’t get to show much, here are a few thoughts that you can completely disregard if you want.
1) Showing is a learned skill. The fact that we don’t show much means we aren’t as good at this skill. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad rider or a bad person or have the wrong horse. It just means that our brains can only focus on one thing at a time and if that thing is ZOMGZ SHOWING AHHHHH, then yeah, the things that are completely perfect muscle memory with the requisite 10k hours of practice are going to be out the window.
It is what it is. Don’t beat yourself up over.
2) We all respond to fear differently. I have SOOOOOO been there with that sort of mind blowing fear that makes you want to fall off a horse and die. There is a time to push through it and a time to get off. When I was doing XC on Cuna (especially in the warm up), I was terrified, but I had my trainer on hand and Cuna was 100% professional and I knew I had set myself up for success, so I pushed through to good experiences.
I never should have tried to take Courage out on the cross country course myself this spring. I was equally afraid and he didn’t have that huge wealth of experience that Cuna did to draw on and save me.
I don’t know where Simon falls on the continuum–I’d guess somewhere in between. That is certainly something to talk about with your trainer and figure out what you want to do.
3) Always remember: we do this for fun. If the jumps terrify you or the courses are too hard or you’re scared or just plain not having fun, you don’t have to do it that day. It’s not like we’re pros (thank god!) and our paycheck requires it of us. I only went to one show this year because I realized it wasn’t fun and I wanted to achieve other things with my horse training-wise before I tried again. Yeah, he’s not out there getting experience in the ring, but we are learning the tools we’ll need to be (more) successful next time we want to try.
4) I love your completely honest show reports. I’ve had more shows go like this than be smashingly success and it’s good to know I’m not the only one.
Nothing much to add to all the wonderful comments above, just wanted to say I suffer badly from show nerves as well. Huge admiration for you for getting out there and doing it well anyways!
As for falling off, the last time I loosened the girth and ran up my stirrups quickly because I felt like it was the nice thing to do for my horse, no idea if it’s right or wrong as far as etiquette goes.
First off, congrats on riding through with somewhat tricky conditions. Hyped up horse, indoors. Personally I hate riding indoors because it changes a lot, from the pace you feel like you’re on (I feel like I’m flying around even though I’m barely crawling) to how big the jumps looks (indoors: making jumps look huge since forever). Not to mention you haven’t shown jumpers much!
As for nerves…what I find really helps is doing either a week long show OR doing all your showing for the seasons back to back (if you can, obviously) . Having big gaps in showing is tough because it gives you way too much time to think about it. If you did your five shows all within a couple months, I think you would find it a lot easier mentally.
My experience is similar to everyone else. Show at a lower level until you are seriously bored and confident before moving up. I was lucky enough to have several awesome shows with Roz and that really made a huge difference for me with show nerves.
First off: congratulations on pushing through your nerves. Seriously. I’ve been there, and it’s HARD, especially when all you want to do is get off and go die somewhere.
Secondly… congrats on challenging yourself and pulling through! Yeah, maybe the second course didn’t go as planned. Shit happens! But look at your first course, where you rode well and were sympathetic to your horse and both of you worked together. That is awesome.
I fell off in the ring quite a bit this year. Once when challenging myself at a bigger height, and twice (in a row!) in a warm-up class that should have been a walk in the park for me! As backwards as it sounds, I think it actually ended up *helping* my show nerves in the end. Like hey, I totally messed up! The worst thing that could have happened, happened! And we’re both still alive to tell the tale! Now let’s figure out why it happened, fix it, and move on.
That said? My nerves are still absurd. The first class or two at a show and I am dying. What you experienced this weekend is more or less what I experience before I go in the ring almost every time. It’s terrifying, but damn I want to do it so badly. Learning how to have that fear and anxiety and still function as a human has been really, really hard.
Yes, showing, and riding, is supposed to be fun – but let’s be realistic, okay? It can be fun… but it can also be scary and cause anxiety. The two definitely aren’t mutually exclusive! But horses is an all consuming thing and most of us probably take it more seriously than, say, the average person playing a game of basketball a week or going out to shoot golf balls. Even the person who shows up just to ride for fun on the weekend, and doesn’t really care too much about their heels being down or their horse’s quality of canter. Once you take that, of course it makes sense that this causes us anxiety. We’re spending a lot of $, putting our hard-won skills to the test, and perhaps most importantly in the whole equation, we WANT to be REALLY GOOD at it. It’s hard and different and scary because it’s *not* just another schooling session at home where, if you mess up, oh that sucks but we’ll just try it again.
The pros, well, they get nervous too. Due to my own showing anxiety issues, I’ve discussed it somewhat at length with my own trainer… who, since you read my blog, well, you know who he is! Even *he* gets nervous! And he’s one of the top riders in the world. If they get nervous, we have no chance, eh?
With time and more comfort… it will be okay. I’m really sorry you had a bit of a crash. But look on the bright side here: you were challenging yourself with a bigger height (those 3″ can make a HUGE difference!) and had a fab first round! That is worth being really positive about. The missed jump and ensuing stuff is just a blip in the radar screen. When we stretch, it’s HARD, and can lead to mistakes because we aren’t 110% comfortable. That’s okay. Making mistakes is a huge part of this sport – if we were perfect all the time, we’d all be jumping 1.60m and winning Gold medals!
I’m proud of you, and of Simon, for kicking the first course’s butt, and I have no doubt you got right back on and went back out on Sunday. That is resilience and strength, both excellent qualities, and you should be proud of yourselves, too.
Ugh, I’m sorry that happened to you!
My last time showing in reining, I was so incredibly nervous. I had to take a Xanax to get through it, I forgot my pattern, I rode horribly, and it didn’t go well at all. Haven’t stepped in the show ring since. There was just NOTHING fun about it. So I decided that showing in reining isn’t for me. I’ll do Ranch Horse Pleasure all day long. I’d do dressage. But I will never show in reining again.
Can’t wait to hear about your Sunday. 🙂
To make you feel better: once upon a time, I showed in the jumpers every other weekend at 2’9″. On all sorts of horses. Trainer would throw me on a horse for the first time at the show and I would just focus on getting around and we would place in the top 5 usually. And then I was assigned this asshole pony who was an insanely wonderful jumper…if you could get him to jump. I showed him successfully anyway. And then we moved up to 3′-3’3″. First show was one of the few rated shows on the island and a BIG DEAL. Those 3″ – 6″ extra made a HUUUUUGE difference…and like your course, it was all oxers. Oxers and this ridiculous fan jump that made me want to puke, it was SO BIG.
I rode into the arena on Asshole Pony. He refused the first jump once, we got over it, and then he refused the second jump twice…effectively dumping me right on top of a 3′ oxer. I did the walk of shame out of the arena. It was AWFUL!
So I totally feel for you. 🙁 And I just want you to know that it really does happen to all of us! I’m glad you were able to school the course afterwards. And I agree with what others recommended: just like with dressage, the best way to feel the most comfortable with showing in the jumpers is to compete one height lower than what you’re schooling at home, at least until you’re bored with that height at shows.
You and Simon look really good in those photos regardless. I hope Sunday was better!
not sure what I can say that hasn’t already been said so I wont try, but I absolutely ADORE that pic of you two over the red and white poles. So smart !
OK I totally get this bc my last show went very similarly and I felt like I wasted a bunch of money just to let myself and my horse down and make a fool of myself. But after I got over feeling like a huge disappointment I realized I was terrified and instead of gettimg off, I put my big girl pants on and dealt with it. Much like Simon I’m sure, my horse was being annoying but not overtly dangerous. And sure I made mistakes. But how else am I going to learn if I don’t face my fears and make mistakes? I finally stopped beating myself up over the show and focused on being proud of staying on. Who cares if I rode like poo. I was (possibly irrationally) scared to death but I stayed on and faced my fear and that is a hugeaccomplishment. I feel like you deserve the same recognition. You’ll never grow if you don’t face your fear and nothing sounds innately dangerous, just that you self sabotaged yourself like I do. But it was a learning experience and regardless you got some fabulous pics that don’t look like anything is amiss 🙂
I love how you managed to get through it. I know how insane show nerves can be. I mean, my last show I had a panic attack and almost fainted! Unfortunately I don’t have any great advice to give (not like the awesome advice you’ve already gotten!). I’ve always just pushed myself through it, no matter how nervous I felt. I’ve found that I get less and less nervous as time goes by (show by show, not at the actual show – that would be lovely but no cigar!). If you’re super worried at that height, then moving down is an absolutely wonderful idea :). You guys will eventually learn to rock it – it will just take some time!
Falling off at a show sucks, but we’ve all been there. Focus on what you did accomplish, y’all rocked the optimal time class!
I can’t say anything about the nerves/showing that hasn’t already been said. Oh, and there’s also the part where I don’t show because I just don’t like it. All I really have to say here is that Simon’s face(s) during the “I can save us!” and “No I can’t!” photos made me laugh hysterically after a crappy day at work. Thank you so much for being honest, and showing the bad alongside all the good. It’s the little things that make this all worth it 🙂
For real. Because you’ve been teetering lately and a big jump course should make you a weird blend of scared, nervous, and super fucking excited. Not terrified to what sounds like the creeping edge of an anxiety attack.
*hugs* sorry you had a rough go on Saturday. I’m looking forward to better news from Sunday!! I love your honesty on this post (in words and pics). We’re all human and we all have these moments, but not everyone is willing to lay it all out there!
From a non-jumper, your round looked great. I am curious to know if YOU know what was so frightening. Were you afraid of failing, falling off, looking foolish, etc. I wonder if your anxiety was due to self-imposed pressure to do well. Simon looks so very capable of just sailing over everything. is there a way that you can let him shoulder more of the responsibility?
I know that i experience anxiety in the show ring, but mine is definitely not physical fear. I am afraid of performing poorly. I work on it, and I am definitely getting more and more relaxed. If you can articulate EXACT:Y what you’re afraid of, you might be able to control it a bit.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. You did a great job. I got tossed at a show a couple of years ago and lived to tell about it. :0)
I’m just wow’d by the heights you are jumping now. Way to be awesome! I feel off at a show last year. Def not something anyone wants to happen at a show. Any other time, meh, no biggie. But it happens to us all. And yeah, now you learned a lot more stuff. It’s all a process. Way to be brave overall!
Sucky shows/situations is what drives us to improve. I think you should be very proud of your efforts over those jumps- they’d have me shaking in my boots and probably barfing on my horse’s shoulder.
Lots of hugs!
I’m sorry you didn’t have fun. Falls happen but fun should always be part of it not intense fear. I’m going to give you the best advice i was ever given in terms of showing. You should be showing one level lower then you are schooling at home. It will help your nerves, it will help your confidence, it will also help your horses confidence and you will both be more successful (and i don’t mean ribbons). You’re riding a different horse at shows then you are at home. When you can power though at home at the level you are reaching for thats not necessary the case when away from home. We all want to get better but it takes time and patience. You will get there but theres no reason to make it harder on yourself buy taking on too much too soon.
Hugs!! Sunday is a new day and Simon still loves ya 🙂
1. Those jumps look enormous. 2. You guys look great in the video! 3. Always take a moment to roll up your stirrups 4. You’re moving up and s#%t is going to happen! 5. I’m not one to talk- I cry at every show
So sorry it was terrifying. Riding and showing should be fun. You don’t have to push yourself. Find what’s fun and do that. Good for you for finishing. And no you don’t run your stirrups up until you get out of the ring 🙂 The long walk out with horse in hand is the worst but no need to feel bad, we’ve all done it, even Beezie!