Post-season reflection – from Bit of Britain

Photo credit: Cheryl Denault

 

We are excited to bring you updates throughout the year from Bit of Britain’s 2017 Top Riders. Today, the bronze Sponsorship winner, Alexa Bresnahan shares what it was like competing at her first long format three-day event.

Post-season reflection – from Bit of Britain

by Alexa Bresnahan

After attending a really great concert, people experience a fairly common phenomenon known
as “post-concert depression”. Essentially, it’s the depressing feeling you get after an incredible experience that you know was once in a lifetime. You have just been filled with joy and excitement over the concert, and after it’s all over, there is a sense of letdown, knowing you have to return to business as usual.

I feel like, as eventers, many of us feel the same feeling after a great event, and especially at the end of the show season. It is sometimes bittersweet to reflect on the summer as we
approach the cold, dreary, dressage-filled winter months. It’s a feeling I like to call “post-season depression”.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the downtime. The winter is a perfect opportunity to work on the things that were weaker during the season. Sometimes in mid-season, it’s hard to address an issue properly, so there tend to be some band-aid fixes to problems until the off-season when we have time to fully fix them. Winter is perfect to introduce new questions, to work on strength and footwork, and to refine the things that became a little rough around the edges in show season. But it’s still hard not to be sad after the last show of the year.

Personally, this year has been a bit of a whirlwind. The spring was so rainy that most of us up
north didn’t get to actually see a cross-country fence before the first event of the year. Then the rain continued for most of the season, leaving approximately 2 weeks of nice weather before a crazy heat wave in early September. Let’s just say, Mother Nature wasn’t on our side this year. But despite the weather, it actually turned out to be a great season!

[Warning: I’m about to obsess over my horse for a second, but I promise it won’t be too much]
Tess and I went to our first event together without ever having jumped a cross-country fence on
grass. To say it was a leap of faith was the understatement of the century. But like the angel she is, she ended up winning her first sanctioned event. Given the fact that I was just hoping to get her into the trailer and to stay in the dressage ring, I’d say she surpassed all of our expectations.

In past seasons, I have been privileged enough to learn on some experienced horses, so the switch from “been-there-done-that” type horses to a greenie was very cool. There were definitely ups and downs, but it was so fun to be able to feel real improvement every time she went out. And I have to hand it to Tess, she got so many new things thrown at her this season and she was a complete sweetheart about it.

We were lucky enough to finish our season at the same event that we started with, this time going Training, and it was absolutely surreal to see and feel how much she had learned since the spring. There is something to be said for learning the ropes on an experienced horse, but I have got to say that it is so rewarding to be able to feel your horse learn so much over such a short period of time.

So although I am extremely sad that the season is over, and I wish that there were two or three more shows left, I am so happy to look back on everything this year. It was not the perfect season, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The bumps in the road just made it all the more interesting and being able to end the year feeling confident and ready for whatever 2018 throws at us is a fantastic feeling.

Now onto the winter season to do more footwork than you could possibly imagine and let’s get ready for an amazing 2018!

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