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Once an individual starts competing, things change. At that moment you are thrust into a world of professionalism. It's tough out there. Then real costs kick in. It's very difficult for someone to justify enormous expenses incurred by showing without some real measured level of success. These are simply cold hard facts.
What I am advocating is a return to those things that first held our interest. I do not feel it is necessary to abandon interest in a particular discipline. Instead, think of it as adding to, expanding, or enhancing your fundamental interest in horses and riding. Don't allow yourself to become so absorbed by something to exclusion of everything else. We must protect ourselves from becoming burned out by overkill.
Enjoy to fullest those aspects of riding that really hold your interest, but maintain a balance. That balance is key. Remember, more you limit yourself, sooner decline will begin. I don't mean to suggest that we are all domed, I am merely trying to bring your attention to a possibility which could arise for some, if we as a group do not address it.
I would suggest that we look for opportunities to expand our activities rather than limit them. Suggest that trail ride, get a group together and go watch a show in a completely different discipline, not to criticize but to learn, find one of those stable tours. I think you get idea. Start expanding your exposure and take along some friends and most of all relax, learn, and enjoy.
You have permission to copy and reuse this article provided there are no changes made to article and credit is given to author and link to his website remains in place. Please notify him by email if you are going to use this article. You may contact Bill Dunigan through his website: http://www.barrelracingclinic.com/
Bill Dunigan has been teaching and competing in excess of 40 years. He has taught and competed in Barrel Racing, Hunter/Jumper, Eventing, Dressage and served as President of a local Dressage Association. During this time, he Fox Hunted four days a week with two different Hunt clubs, one of which he served as Joint Master. Bill qualified six years in a row for the World Championships with the National Barrel Horse Association.