Generally speaking, my favorite prize is money. Whether is a cut of the prize money in a classic or the spoils of a ride-a-buck class, I’ll take the money.
I do have one other favorite award, evidence of the first–and last–time I ever chased points.
I competed in dressage exclusively for a few years before walking away from showing for a while. I took my horse Anchor all over the state to dressage shows, showing him in Training level. Our competition was mostly thoroughbreds and a few green warmbloods, so we had our work cut out for us, because Anchor was a fat yellow QH. Impulsion wasn’t really his thing.
We qualified for the championships and the championship test at the time was Training level test 3, which has a serpentine in it. Although we walked away with 2 blues and red in the other training level tests, we picked up third in the championship test, primarily because serpentines are not my strong suit.
But so what? We got bronze! Me, a rebellious teenager and my fat yellow QH, a horse perfectly built for cutting cattle–we got a year-end medal in dressage! I am still pretty stoked about this accomplishment.
In the long run, that year of competition pretty much turned me off to chasing points. It was stressful, and I rode with a trainer I didn’t really like. She demanded wins, and although we got them, my mom and I decided to move the horses, and I just rode for fun for a few years. I got back into competition in a different discipline in college and moved the horses with me. My competitive focus is still pretty much just have fun. Don’t ride like a dumbass, and have a blast.