No doubt you’ve been told to “dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” But have you ever thought about dressing for the ride you want?
When it comes to the career world, the saying relates to how others view you. In the context of horses, dressing for success is about confidence and mental preparation.
Today when I arrived at the barn, she was visibly in season. By all accounts, it was not likely to be the kind of ride that I wanted. I kept a positive attitude, excited to try our new saddle pad.
My husband put a SmartPak gift card in my stocking at Christmas. He is a SmartMan. (Get it?! See why you should give SmartPak a try here.) My black Roma pad was on its last leg. You know the type. It’s become so worn, the batting feels nonexistent. Even after a wash, it just doesn’t seem clean.
I ordered the SmartPak brand Medium Diamond Dressage Pad in eggplant with her name in Ballantine Script. Purple because she is royalty in my eyes. Personalized because she is a Southern belle, you know. The website showed a brighter green for the embroidery. I was thrilled when it arrived a true sage.
Tacking up, the billet straps could have been a bit longer. The knee and thigh roll and placement of billets on a dressage saddle tend to require longer saddle pad straps than for a jumping saddle. And the mare’s hormonal flux was in full display. But we made do with shorter straps and higher energy and headed to the indoor dressed for the ride we wanted, if not the one we seemed likely to have.
She was a dream. Transitions were effortless. Not one ear pin. The mare was attentive and quiet even with a rambunctious young gelding in the arena. We cantered a balanced and lively twenty-meter circle in each direction. A lovely ride.
Do I really believe it was the saddle pad? Of course not. But it helped me stay positive about the ride. And that can’t hurt.
Besides, she looked darn cute in it. Isn’t that reason enough?