Indoor Eventing: Show Recap

Since I’m in “I have a trailer, I can do all the things!” mode, when I saw that a semi-local farm was putting on the very first Indoor Eventing show I’ve ever seen offered in Texas, I knew I had to go. Never done anything like indoor eventing, but I was super curious about the concept so I figured it was worth checking out.


Since I wasn’t really sure what the course would be like or how Henry would take to it, I played it safe and entered Novice. My ride times were super reasonable… 9:56 dressage and 11:40 stadium. We rolled out of Austin around 6:15 and into Tomball by 8:30 which gave us the perfect amount of time to check in, unload, scope everything out, find a bathroom, and slowly get ready for dressage. The warm-up was in a really small area so I opted to keep it short and sweet. Henry was actually very good – probably the best he’s ever given me in a short warm-up at a show.


Sadly, he thought the dressage ring was terrifying. Luckily most of the other horses agreed. It was inside, with lots of stuff along the rail, and the judge was sitting in a big box above the horse’s eye level on the rail at C. Demons, obviously. He wasn’t belligerent about it, he just politely declined all my requests to get within 6′ of the rail by C and wasn’t nearly as relaxed as he was in warm-up.

check out that fresh tail job though

Oh, and I made an error for the first time ever in my dressage life. Oopsy. I realized it the second I did it and immediately got back on track, but there went 2 points. Apparently Novice test A is just too hard to remember. Total idiot. We had some good moments though, earning a few 8’s, and I can’t really be upset at him for being a bit spooky in a ring that almost every other horse agreed was certain death. Somehow we managed to be sitting in 2nd after dressage with a 34 (thanks judge for the charity! and thanks other horses for also being terrified!). Still annoyed at myself for giving away 2 points out of simple lack of focus on my part.

After I untacked Henry we walked over to the jumping ring to check out the course. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but it was actually pretty neat.

We had 16 jumping efforts total, jumping several fences both directions, and with a few tricky lines and turns. The jumps all looked really small though, so I figured it would be fine.

The first two people that went in my division didn’t make it around. The course was definitely riding a bit spooky. The ring was kind of dark and there was a lot of stuff in there, and some of them just seemed a bit confused by it all. My plan was just to try to keep coming forward on a steady rhythm and let everything come to us, and see how he felt. Sometimes spooky courses work in my favor.

And this was one of those times. For as spooky as he was about the monsters in the dressage ring, he didn’t bat an eye at anything in there, he was just a bit more careful. I got crooked and buried him at 4, and he totally locked on 1 while we were turning to 7 so that turn was a bit awkward, but in general I thought he was great. Totally game-on about everything and always looking for the next fence. And clear!



He felt really happy jumping around, and handled it easily, so I hope it was a good confidence builder for him. Bonus – we held on to 2nd and got to take home a gift certificate. Indoor eventing = super fun! We will definitely be back!



Review: Lorenzini stirrups

I asked on my blog facebook page earlier this week what you guys wanted me to review next and Lorenzini won by a landslide, so here we go.


I have the “Schockemohle” version of these stirrups, which are Lorenzinis that have the Lorenzini logo on one side and the Schockemohle logo on the other side. Exactly the same thing just with some different branding, so don’t be confused if you see both on the internet.

I will be honest here and say that I mostly got these because they’re pretty. And they’re REALLY really pretty. The navy color is subtle but still looks really sharp with the rest of my stuff. I like nice, pretty things… so sue me.

Lorenzini stirrups in a Schockemohle box

Aside from just being pretty, they also have all of the features I’ve come to require in a stirrup iron.

  • wide footbed
  • cheesegrater pad
  • the right weight

I’ve realized over the years that I really have to have a wide footbed to be comfortable. My ankles are super jacked up, and trying to ride in a regular footbed iron has me in agony within 10 minutes. The footbed of the Lorenzini is nice and wide for sure. The cheesegrater pad is also very secure on your foot and makes it much less likely to move around. The footbed itself is angled ever so slightly on an incline, to help make it easier to put your heel down.

Heels down does not come naturally to me

I was worried the Lorenzinis might be a little lighter than I prefer (my main complaint with composites) but they actually have a really good weight to them. Not quite as heavy as a traditional steel iron, but certainly nowhere near as light as a composite. The balance of the iron itself is really impeccable, just holding them and looking at them you can see that a lot of thought went into getting it just right.


When I first used the Lorenzinis I noticed that they seemed to have less “give” than my Royal Riders, which makes sense given that those are Flex and these are not. I still found them comfortable though, and didn’t notice any negative change in my leg position or base of support. That said, I didn’t really notice a huge positive difference either. Sometimes I feel like it’s a little bit easier to have a more solid base of support under me, but I can’t say for sure, and I can’t tell if that’s because of the iron or not. The best I can say is that they certainly don’t hinder and they might be helping. I definitely think they’re light years better (for me at least) than a regular fillis iron or a plastic footbed composite, and really on par with the Royal Rider or MDC.

The only place they really fall short, IMO, is with the durability. I had heard before I bought them that they have a reputation for chipping and I am seeing that to be true. Oddly enough, not in the places I would expect. I whacked the crap out of my stirrup on the gate one time and the mailbox another time and they were left without even a scratch, yet I’m seeing some definite chipping at the top of the stirrup iron where the stirrup leather runs through it. Why here? No idea, it seems like an odd place, but it’s definitely happening on both irons. Luckily it’s really hard to see in that spot and the rest of the surface looks ok so far.

They do have some matte finish ones out now that are supposed to be less susceptible to chipping… I suppose time will tell. Also, the little orange rubber dot above the Schockemohle logo fell off within the first couple weeks I had them. Stronger adhesive needed, perhaps? Minor thing, but still… at this price point it feels a little cheesy for anything to be falling off. They retail at $260ish, but I snagged them on sale for $145, so I’m not as upset about it as I probably would be if I’d paid full price.

Overall I think they’re nice irons. They have the prettiest colors on the market (if you’re into that kind of thing, or regular silver if you’re not), they’re secure, they’re comfortable, the weight is good, and my ankles are happy in them. The chipping is the only real drawback I’ve found.



That’s Just Weird

Something strange has been going on here lately. The last 5-6 dressage rides I’ve done with Henry have been… like… pretty decent. And not just decent for us (our standards are lower) but decent in a normal, general sense.

Nothing about us is normal

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been doing our dressage rides out in the field

Henny love field

or because it’s been warm and therefore he’s a bit more, ehm, rideable

Henny hot

but I’ve actually been able to use BOTH of my legs… AT THE SAME TIME. Not only that, he’s been letting me ride him into the contact. Legit IN the contact, no faking. I keep thinking “Oh, so this is what it’s like for normal people to do dressage. This is way better.”. It’s amazing how much easier everything is when you’re able to use all your aids. 15m circles happen. Decent transitions happen. Lengthenings happen. Stretchy circles happen. I actually had to keep both legs on in our canter squares or he’d break to trot.

The only thing I seem to give up a little bit is the lateral movements. Henny no move sideways when Henny chill. Whatever, man. I’ll take the rest.

Does my ass look fat in this?

$20 says it all goes flying out the window this afternoon when I pull into Dressage Trainer’s barn for a lesson, and when we trot up centerline on Sunday, but hey… it DOES exist in there somewhere, sometimes.

Side note: it’s amazing how fast I fall out of horse show mode. Last year we were showing pretty much every month until October and I always had all my stuff organized and ready to go. Last night I spent 20 minutes looking for my white breeches… they were still hanging in the laundry room… where I left them in October…

Let the (conditioning) games begin!

Now that we’re getting close to competition season, hotter/ more humid weather (it’s Texas, it’ll be here by April), and with Coconino boldly written on the calendar, I’ve amped up Henry’s fitness regime. It doesn’t really take much to get a TB fit for Novice, and our twice weekly half-hearted conditioning rides worked just fine last year.

This year though, with the demands of a full long format 3-day (granted, only at Novice) and a move-up, the bar is raised a little. I also want to see if making Henry more fit helps him with his breathing issues. For those of you who don’t know, Henry has some scar tissue in his lungs (the vet thinks it’s leftover from an illness when he was young) that makes it a little hard for him to get enough air when his respiratory system is super taxed. Usually it’s really only evident when it starts getting really hot and humid… his core temperature never rises, but his respiratory rate goes through the roof pretty quickly. I’m hoping that just by increasing his base level of fitness, his respiratory system is less taxed and therefore he can breathe a bit easier. We shall see. For this particular horse, especially considering his career, I’d rather err on the side of a little over-fit.

nice fro, bro

But I also want to preserve his legs as much as possible, so we do a lot of walking and trotting. Specifically, we do at least one long trot a week and then another day of w/t/c intervals or a long walk. We’re up to 40 minutes on the long trot, and I’m not going to lie… it’s BORING. Now I know why they always made us working students do most of the conditioning work on the upper level horses when I worked at an event barn. It’s totally mind-dumbing.

Lately we’ve been able to ride in a big hay field, which is great. I love riding in the field because Henry seems happy to get out of the ring, I’m happy to get out of the ring, we get some changing terrain to practice over, and the bigger space means bigger turns and less stress on his body. But still… even in the big awesome field you find yourself checking your watch every two minutes. What I eventually figured out was that each lap is almost exactly 5 minutes. Then it was just a matter of breaking it down by laps. Eight laps sounds a lot better than 40 continuous minutes.

Then I figured… why not spice up each lap? And that’s how The Conditioning Games (may the trot be ever in your favor) were born. This is a testament to how boring my life is.

Every ride seems to spawn a new game or two, but so far I’m up to:

  • Zig Zag
  • Wham
  • 2 point
  • Forward and back
  • How many steps
  • Point to Point
  • Lopsided

Some of them are pretty simple… zig zag is just 10-20 (I pick a number) steps of leg yield left, then leg yield right, then go straight, then leg yield left, right, go straight, etc for the whole lap. 2 point is exactly what it sounds like – a lap of 2 point. I usually do that in the beginning because it’s the most boring.

Wham is a little more fun…

not this kind of Wham

I pick a point, usually a particular little clump of grass, and try to run it over dead-on. Kinda like if you were jumping a skinny, but it’s more fun to run over things and say WHAM!

This kind of Wham

Forward and back is also really simple, just lengthening to medium to a more collected trot and back again between the three ad nauseam. I also pick a certain number of steps for this, just like Zig Zag.

How Many Steps is something I do in the ring all the time – I pick a point in the distance (in this case a tree, a stick, a bush, a shadow, a clump of grass) and try to guess how many steps away it is. Way more fun at the canter but it works at the trot too. It makes you more aware of your rhythm, anyway.

Sometimes we play “Try to keep up with Halo”

Point to point is trying to hit exactly the same points at exactly the same times on each lap. So if I pass this bush at the one minute mark, I try to hit the same bush at exactly the same time on the next lap. That weird spot in the fence at 2:00, etc. Kinda like minute markers on XC.

Lopsided is dropping one stirrup at a time, or putting both reins in one hand and putting the other behind my back. The barn I grew up riding at did this a lot and called it Horsecapades. Whatever you call it, it seems to help me sit up taller and, despite the name, sit more evenly in the saddle. Plus it makes things really exciting when your horse spooks and you get to play a bonus impromptu round of “Don’t Fall Off”.

As the spring wears on and trots get longer, I’m sure more games will be added to my repertoire. Because I don’t know how the hell anyone can just trot around a giant field for more than 10 minutes without getting bored as hell.


Titillating stuff, this. Try to contain your desire to run out and try it yourself.


Can’t Quit You

I have a really lovely dressage saddle, I can’t deny that. My Childeric is nicely made, fits me and Henry well, and is comfortable to ride in. I got a really good deal on it, and since it’s dye job and copious amounts of TLC, it looks as nice as it rides.


But I also kind of feel like I’m cheating on it, because I can’t stop thinking about Trainer’s Devoucoux Loreak that she let me borrow for a few weeks last fall. Anyone who has ever sat in “The Saddle” (whatever that may be for you) will understand what I mean when I say that it really doesn’t matter how nice anything else is – nothing is the Loreak.

Clouds parted. Angels sang.

The Loreak is the only dressage saddle I’ve ever felt 100% comfortable in. The only one where it felt like my leg hung naturally where it was supposed to. The only one where it required no actual thought or effort to sit up. The only one where I felt like I might almost be semi-competent. And, naturally, it’s the dressage saddle that Henry moved absolutely the best in, by far, ever. Of course Henny loves D3D panels and a shoulder cutout. OF COURSE HE DOES. Not really a surprise considering how much he loves my CWD with a very similar tree and panel design.

The problem of course is that the Loreak is like $7k. Yes, a 7 with three 0’s after it. I know, I’m laughing too. Even used prices in the US are $3500-5500. Never ever happening. Ever. So I have my Childeric and I’m trying really hard to apply the “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with” philosophy. But every time I sit in the Childeric I keep having lustful thoughts about the Devoucoux. Surely I’m not the only one that has fallen madly in love with a saddle I can’t afford?


I have a running search going on all my favorite European used saddle sites for a cheap Loreak. After all, I got my CWD for $1050, so miracles DO happen. And in fact, in the past few weeks a couple of Loreaks have come along for under 2,000 Euro. Things like that get my brain thinking “I wonder how much I could get for the Childeric…”.


That thought will have to live in the back of my mind for a while, because there’s no room in the budget for a trade-up like that unless I came across something so ridiculously cheap that selling the Childeric cancelled it out. Stranger things have happened, but I’m not holding my breath. And until that day comes…

Ironically, this is the same way Bobby feels about me

XC schooling (with pics and Henny Cam)

Yes, that’s right… I managed to work my helmet camera without messing it up. Granted, it required a lot of constant help, but whatever. Details. I left a special Betty White cameo appearance in the end of the video, because ❤ Betty.

On Saturday I hauled Henry a couple hours east toward Houston (pretty sure my truck and trailer could find their own way to Houston by now) to school at High Point. We’ve never been there before but we entered their derby next month so I wanted to go scope it out.


Bobby is dumb and was out of town, and everyone else had other commitments, so I asked my friend Amy if she wanted to go be my Scooper. You know… the ground person that can scoop you up and take you home in case you die. Luckily Amy also likes to take pictures, so this was really a win-win for me.


We did a brief w/t/c warm-up in the front field and then went further in to the XC field. Henry was a little backed off and looky, which is kind of typical for him in a new place. I jumped a little log and then strung a few smaller fences together in a row until he felt more forward, then formulated a plan.


I entered the derby at Training level because I’d heard the courses were pretty soft, and that’s definitely true. The T course is more like N/T… most of the fences are Novice size, with about 3 fences that are T height and then a couple of combinations that are N height but T technical. It’s kind of the perfect in-between levels course.

I decided to just follow the T course around and string together groups of fences as we went. He hopped over the little brushy fence at 1 just fine


and then the angled 3 strides from the tires at 2 to the little table at 3.


The skinny white T height ramp at 4, he wasn’t so sure about. He kept wanting to bulge way out to the right, so I had to get after him a bit but once he jumped it he was fine with it. That was also the point where I felt XC Henry mode engage and his superman cape appeared. Which makes sense, because it’s usually jump 4-5 on course where he’s like “oh my god I’m having the best time and I’m so amazing look at Henny go!”.


Henny Mode

I trotted him over the little faux ditch at 5ab the first time, since he can be a little ditchy. Monsters live in ditches. Monsters that eat horse feet if they stay too close to the ground on the way over.



Once he was being less dramatic about the ditch we cantered the ditch bending line combo, which he didn’t seem to care much about, then we looped around to another line of fences and cantered the novice chevrons, then circled back around and jumped the green Training ramp.


No problem with those either, so I kept cantering and jumped the up bank-down bank combo. He’s never done that before but it was no problem.


Except for the one time he stumbled on landing and we almost died. Great save on Henry’s part, I have no idea how he untangled himself from this pretzel.


After the banks, the Training course rolled back around to a T size rolltopy thing. I thought he might be a little bit backed off here considering how he felt about the white ramp, but this one was no problem.


After that some other groups of people wandered into the area so we walked around and waited for them to move on, then tried the water. Training had a small bank down into the water with a right turn out over a little bench. He’s only jumped a down bank into water once before so I thought he might hesitate here too, but with XC Henny mode engaged it was game on.



We did the water a couple times and then strung together the last half of the course.




If anything he was getting a little too bold by that point, so after we jumped the last T fence I had him canter that one again, a little more politely, and then circled back to the last fence on the Prelim course, a little skinny log.



Then it was many pats, a short walk to cool him out, and we were done.



Overall it was a good day. The facility is definitely very low key and the course is a good confidence builder for Henry and I at this point. I think the Training derby will be fun!




Leistner review and Teddy’s Tack Trunk Giveaway!

Some of you may remember the review of The Best Brush Ever (a Leistner Prinz) that I got a while back from Teddy’s Tack Trunk. That thing has completely converted me into a fancy brush lover, and now I have two more Leistner brushes added to my collection.

the family

This time I got two goat hair brushes – the Luxurious large brush and the Luxurious face brush. Because, keep in mind, Henry is a delicate flower and tends to stay pretty clean, so I get more use out of softer brushes. I’ve heard great things about goat hair brushes being fantastic for getting that last layer of dust off and bringing a nice shine to the coat, and these did not disappoint.

no dust on this unicorn

Before the Leistner brushes came along, my grooming routine was jelly curry, Beastie brush, cheap soft brush, towel, and it still didn’t always get all the dust off. Now I just do the jelly curry, Prinz, Luxurious, and he looks so much cleaner and shinier even with fewer tools and fewer steps. The goat hair is so incredibly soft that Henry doesn’t mind me brushing his face, something I used to have to do with the towel lest I want to get snarled at.

no snarling

The large Luxurious brush is just that – a large brush. I have big hands (I wear an 8.5 glove) so it works really well for me on the body. I can cover a large area in just a few swipes and leave a nice dust-free shine. If you have tiny hands you might have a harder time holding the large brush, but keep in mind you can adjust the handles on these brushes if need be to give you more stability.

The face brush is considerably smaller, obviously, since it’s intended to get into all the little nooks and crannies. It nestles nicely into your palm for good stability and control on the delicate areas of the face.

not a hand model

Just like the Prinz brush, both of the Luxurious brushes are very well made. You can tell that the wooden backs, leather handles, and goat hair bristles are super high quality. Nice things make me happy, especially when they’re practical and do such a great job.


Want to try out some Liestner brushes for yourself? Teddy’s Tack Trunk has generously offered a $25 gift certificate to go along with this post! There are 3 ways to enter (and yes, you can stack your odds by doing all 3):

  1. Like Teddy’s Tack Trunk on facebook
  2. Follow Teddy’s Tack Trunk on Instagram
  3. Re-post the giveaway photo above on your Instagram (make sure to tag @teddystacktrunk so they see it!)


Blog Hop: The Little Things

When I was looking through pictures of Henry on my phone for his birthday post, I realized just how fond I am of this horse. Not only for his attributes as an athlete, but mostly because of his general every day qualities and fantastic character. The things you wouldn’t really put in a sale ad, as it were, but the things that make you happy to be around them on a day to day basis.


What are the “little things” about your horse that you’re so fond of?

The most obvious one for Henry is his pro-level Derp Face. He plays with his tongue almost constantly while he’s in the crossties, so he looks extraordinarily derpy most of the time.  
Until he thinks you have a cookie, that is. He learned the head tilt thing from Halo.

It’s also pretty cute how he meets me in the pasture 99% of the time when he sees me coming (even though I know it’s mostly because he wants cookies).

Henry is a great traveler. He loads well, he rides well, he eats and drinks great, and he’s well-behaved in new places. This is a fantastic quality when you’re on the road a lot.


He’s not spooky. Well ok, let me amend that statement. He’s not spooky about things that horses are typically spooky about. Traffic, loose horses, tractors, etc – all good. But when he feels like being cheeky, all bets are off, and the more mundane the object is (grass, bushes, and jumps outside of the arena are his favorites) the scarier it is. Logic, he gots it. But most of the time I can count on him to not be an idiot in situations where it really matters.

traffic, mailboxes, culverts, and trashcans: not scary

And last but certainly not least – Henry and I both have similar feelings about Bobby.

He got a real pretty mouth, ain’t he?

I can’t resist a Deliverance quote. Sorry not sorry.

On Monday Henry had his annual dental appointment. Or as I like to call it – the good ol’ teeth’n’sheath. He will not, under any non-heavily-drugged circumstances, let me anywhere near his sheath, so I always have the vet do it when they do his teeth. I don’t want to die, thanks.

You’ll pay for this

Henry’s jaw doesn’t totally line up right, so every time I’ve gotten his teeth done he’s always had a hook on one side. The first time it was a HUGE hook. The second time it was a moderate hook. This time it was a small hook. I think having good regular dental maintenance has made a big difference.

When the dentist strapped on her headlamp and took a look she said “He’s got a pretty mouth!”. Granted, maybe she just says that to all the boys.

After his teeth were done she swung open a couple of the slats on the side of the stock (which is the coolest mobile stock ever, btw) and went to town on his sheath. Once that business started Henry just kept glaring at me.

His “OMG this is humiliating” face

But overall it was done pretty quickly. No bean, a nice squeaky clean sheath, pretty teeth, and hopefully he’s good to go for another year. I’m pretty sure he flipped me the bird when I turned him back out though. Horses just don’t appreciate the ways in which we spend stupid amounts of money on them.


The “Go Me” mentality

There have been several bloggers lately writing about taking a minute to appreciate the small victories, or celebrate the good work they’ve done with their horses in general. I thought Lindsey’s post was a really good read, and it instigated a lot of self reflection on my part. This is kind of a tricky topic to talk about, so bear with me here. I haven’t really worked all the way through my own feelings about it yet, thus this is mostly just rambling about all the things that went through my head. Brace yourselves.

While I don’t think I’m a totally glass-half-empty person, I do think that I’m my own worst critic. I’m not good at genuinely believing that I’ve done a great job. But it also seems to me that, while no one wants to be (or listen to) the person who is constantly saying “go me”, I can see some benefit in being able to, every once in a while, celebrate our small victories.

Haven’t died yet, that’s fairly impressive

Honestly, I’m a bit jealous of people who are capable of that genuine “go me” mentality and have the ability to pat themselves on the back. It seems like it would make things a little bit lighter and more rewarding. But it also seems like it’s just not in me at all. I can’t think of a single time where I got off my horse and felt like I’d done a really outstanding job. An adequate job, yes. Even a good job (and good is a really hard word to get out of me) on rare occasions, but I’m always acutely aware of the things I could have and should have done better. I think my most often-used positive self-descriptive word is probably “decent”. The idea of telling people that I thought I’ve done really well is even borderline mortifying to me. In my world, that’s just not something you say. At least not in situations where it’s intended to be serious, instead of laced heavily with sarcasm and self-ridicule.

Almost died, but didn’t die

I’ve heard, in other aspects of life, that it’s easy to be satisfied with what you’re doing until you know just what something truly outstanding looks like. Once you get a glimpse of outstanding, your bar is forever raised. I’ve been around a lot of good horses and a lot of good riders, and while it’s not really fair to compare myself to them, I can’t help but to keep them as my bar. Which also means that basically my bar is perpetually out of reach. Usually if I’m celebrating a job well done, it’s because my horse was amazing and he deserves the praise. What I remember about my own performance is all the things I could have done better. When I sit here and reflect on how far we’ve come, while I do think we’ve come a long way, my very next thought is “I wonder where he’d be by now if I’d done x y z better, or if he had a better rider”. And in a lot of ways, that’s what motivates me every day to try to be better.

Henny just wanna gallop

I’ll be honest, it sounds weird to me when someone says “I rode really well” or “I kicked ass”. Maybe someday I’ll be good enough to where I’ll feel like I can legitimately say that (probably not, because unless I’m suddenly Buck Davidson type status I could never see those words coming from my mouth) but right now it’s completely unfathomable. I wish I could walk away from something feeling impressed enough with myself to say that, but I’m too busy running through my mind every moment where my performance was inadequate. Sometimes that gets a little tiring, and it’s easy for me to feel defeated, but it seems to be my nature.


I’ll also be honest and say that I’ve found that I’m a little judgmental of someone who heaps self-praise upon themselves. I just can’t help but see it through my “it could have been better” eyes. And my mindset really makes zero sense, because I could even be thinking “Man, she did a GREAT job there” but as soon as that person starts praising themselves, I’m like “Well, hold on a minute now, Kanye…”.

I can’t even tell you why I have this mentality. I’m a pretty confident person. I don’t think I totally suck at riding. I don’t think I’m a hugely negative person in general. I would like to say that it’s just a side effect of always striving to do better and to be better, but I really don’t think that’s true. Maybe it’s a humility thing? Not a clue there either. I didn’t really even realize I felt this way until I starting seeing it and realized that my first knee jerk reaction to it was that it made me uncomfortable. Ah, the things we learn about ourselves…

Where do you guys stand on this? Do you think self-praise is a good thing or a bad thing? To what extent and how often? Do you have a pretty easy time congratulating yourself on a job well done, or are you more hyper-critical? And more importantly, why do you think you have that outlook? Rider psychology, you are a tricky thing.