I love the annual treat, watching the cross-country round at the Badminton event. It is such a tough test for both horse and rider, and both need to be incredibly brave to take part. All those taking part have spent many days, weeks, months and years to develop the skills to be able to complete the test. They will have kept learning and developing to build up to compete at that level.
There are obvious comparisons with how we all face life, work and any challenges. We spend time learning things, developing our skills, trying to iron out the weaknesses that we feel we have. We set about a challenging knowing what we would like to achieve and the route we want to take. Inevitably things don’t always go according to plan and we may have to take an alternative route.
I watched today as top event riders including Mark Todd almost came a cropper and then managed to get back in the saddle. They faced the fear of falling and then carried on unfazed by the experience. It is what we really should aim to do. We should accept that there will be a blip and then when we have faced it there should be no dwelling on things but instead push ahead onto the next fence.
Of course, there were a few fallers or people who had to retire. One minute everything was going well and the next it had collapsed around their ears. When we face something that blocks our progress we need to deal with it and regroup ready for the next attempt. We all feel disappointment but we can’t languish there and have to be geared up to face the next challenge. We never know what is around the corner and we can’t stop things taking place but we can learn how to deal more effectively with sudden changes.
In the end what matters is that we have given it our best, put all our hard work to the test and really tried to reach the goal. We will have achieved much along the way and if we didn’t get to the finish line there will be other days to try again.