My dad used to say when I was growing up that if you looked up the word relentless in the dictionary there would be a picture of me next to it. I think at the time he meant my relentlessness in constantly asking for a horse (and everything else that went along with it), but over time I've begun to realize just how much of this personality trait is needed in eventing.
As nearly all eventers go through at one point or another, I've been having a bout of bad luck recently. From missing a pair of mandatory flags on cross-country and being eliminated without being able to finish the course, to my freshly moved up Intermediate horse deciding not to play in the show jump ring at his next competition after a nearly flawless move up previously, to my top horse receiving yet another injury, to getting a technical elimination for wearing bit guards in dressage at a Beginner Novice, my luck just seems to be on the wrong side of the wheel these days.
Unfortunately for those in this sport, this is just how it is sometimes. This is also why it's so important for those invested in it to be so passionate about it, and to have a very large stubborn streak to stay in it. Some days it isn't even about competing; some days it's the relentlessness to go to the barn day after day after day to do what's needed to take care of your horse and to press on forward, no matter how tough it is. Some of the hardest times in this sport are when your horse is sidelined with an injury and all you can do is have patience and persistence in taking care of him, taking each small step forward as a victory to get back to where you were.
And when it is about the training, it's the persistence to keep training, to keep learning, to admit to yourself sometimes that you were wrong and need to try things a different way. The persistence, the resilience, the toughness, the stubbornness to not let go of your dreams no matter how many times you fail. Probably the only thing more important than the relentlessness to keep on trying is to learn from the mistakes that were made.
"The difference between winners and losers is that winners fail more," my dad has always told me. I think we tend to think of those who are consistently in the top in big competitions as those who nearly always win or succeed, and we question how they are always able to do it. But what we don't even begin to realize is how many times they've met failure over and over again, the only difference being that they don't let their failures overcome them; instead, they learn from their mistakes and do their best to not repeat them. They practice over and over again to get it right until it's as easy and natural as breathing. They stay stubborn in their will to succeed.
With the Olympics upon us, we saw those compete who have worked very hard to get to this point and who all have a very strong stubborn streak to stay in this sport after years of hardships. We cheered not just for the USA, but for all the riders and their amazing equine partners to make it across the finish line. Because no matter what the level, crossing that finish line after a successful run with your favorite horse happily galloping underneath you, both of you on an adrenaline rush after answering all the questions posed to you out on course, your heart bursting full of pride in both yourself and your partnership with your horse, is worth every second of doubt, heartbreak, and bad luck. Be relentless, be stubborn, be persistent, be resilient, USEA, no matter what is thrown at you. Our amazing horses and our incredible partnerships in this sport are well worth it.
About Ashley Kriegel Trier
Ashley is a CCI2* rider who is based out of The Plains, Va. Following a lifetime of riding and competing and several years as a working student for CCI4* riders, Ashley branched out on her own as a professional in 2013. She currently is competing her own horses at the Intermediate and Preliminary levels and bringing along a 4-year-old OTTB all while teaching a slew of juniors and adult amateurs to learn to love and compete safely in the sport of Eventing. Ashley will be sharing her experiences navigating the Eventing world as a young professional in her monthly blogs. To learn more about Ashley visit: http://ashleytriereventing.com/
To accompany the 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, USEA Educational Partner STRIDER has prepared Digital Resources to Maximize Education & Access for the Eventing Community. In keeping with the USEA’s mission to expand the sport of eventing, this webinar outlines ways in which digital tools can be leveraged to increase access and education across equestrian opportunities. As part of STRIDER’s popular Professional Development Webinar Series, this presentation aims to provide a quick overview of best practices and digital tools used across the equestrian industry to boost growth.
Every horse who participated this year in the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) program has a story—a background that involves a breeder who labored over bloodlines, veterinary care, initial training, and so much more. This year’s highest-placing U.S.-bred horse in the 5-year-old division at the Dutta Corp./USEA Young Event Horse Championships, Arden Augustus, is no exception. His breeder and owner, Anita Antenucci of Arden Farms in Upperville, Virginia, started her program nine years ago and said that the Warmblood gelding was a more emotionally driven breeding for her than others due to his connections with Antenucci’s long-time friend Sharon White.
Have you ever wondered why professional riders love bringing their horses through the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) program? USEA Podcast host Nicole Brown chats with two of this year's YEH Champions, Caroline Pamukcu who won the USEA YEH 4-year-old East Coast Championship aboard HSH Afterglow, and Andrea Baxter who won the USEA YEH 5-year-old Championship with Camelot PJ, to discuss this year's Championships and all of the great things that the program has to offer.
The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is delighted to announce its renewed partnership with Rebecca Farm for the 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention. Rebecca Farm, which is owned and operated by the Broussard family, will return as a Gold Sponsor of the event and act as the Official Sponsor of the Annual Meeting continental breakfast. The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention will take place this week on Dec. 7-10 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri.