BY JAMIE SKUBAL
Once I decided to officially start my journey to get to the World Show, I decided to pull Cruz out of the last few hunter/jumper shows of the 2019 season. This choice wasn’t easy, as I had been leading the Missouri Open Hunter division in MHSA and ending our season gave up my lead. But after looking back on all we had accomplished, I knew in my heart it was the right call. We thoroughly enjoyed a month of downtown, which gave my mind a chance to wander towards unproductive places.
I have noticed lately that my mindset has become a little more negative than I would really like to admit. During AQHA Congress, I watched classes online since I knew many people showing there in Ohio. Seeing their success, and reliving what could have been in my life was so hard. Watching from the outside makes you realize how much you want your own dreams to unfold.
No matter what ring you show in or what our goals are, we all feel like we’re surrounded by horses nicer than ours, ridden by riders better than we are, with equipment newer than ours, with deeper pockets than us, with better records than us. We begin to want to protect ourselves from even trying at all in order to avoid the embarrassment of losing.
I, in all honestly, let this seed of doubt start to get to me. Who am I to complete at the world level on a young horse with no professional training? Who am I to think that I ride to that caliber? After all, who am I?
I am a girl from a tiny blimp of a town. I work hard for all the money I make to pay for my horse, shows, expenses, and lessons. I go to class to better myself for a brighter career on top of everything else. I am a hard worker, determined woman who is beyond goal oriented. I am not a quitter—no matter how hard the road is. I know I will strategically find a way to better my riding and my horse to get to the goal I want. I know my horse has scope, talent, and a great mind to help me do the work together as a team.
So, who am I? I’m an ambitious rider with a dream, and a plan to make that dream a reality.
My strategy is to find a hunter/jumper trainer who specializes in young horses and equitation. Hopefully this person will also let me work with a second trainer who specializes in stock horse hunter under saddle such as AQHA, APHA, PtHA, and NSBA. I want to put together a team that will help me get to my goals. I will put this team together by riding in a few lessons with trainers in my area until I find the right well oiled machine.
I am excited to work towards this goal with a team, as well as starting lunging Cruz in my pessoa again to help with his muscle and coordination without a rider. In the thick of winter riding is limited, but I want to keep some muscle before we get into the spring.
This will also give Cruz time to work with his body as it changes and continues to grow into a very large boy. The once 16 hand yearling is now a 17.1 four year old, and looking very fit.
With a plan, the self doubt gets a lot quieter. I become less jealous of my friends. Everything seems more attainable, and I begin to get excited again about my world show journey.
Jamie is a horse obsessed girl who is taking on the world with her youngster. Follow along with her on her journey in chasing the world show on Instagram.