A solid relationship needs to be built with our new horse before we can think about all the fun of competition. That relationship takes time and patience. Building that bond can't be rushed. This can be hard because we live in a world that encourages us to look for instant gratification and results. This is one thing that can't be rushed. We should want to know all about this huge beast that we're trusting our lives with.
We need to put the cellphone and watch away when we get to the barn. Take a deep breath and leave the schedule at the barn door. Don't always arrive with a set agenda. Be willing to adjust according to your mood and the mood of your horse. Maybe this is the day to just play or go for a walk with a stop for some grazing. Know that abandoning a plan isn't necessarily a bad thing. Horses need to know that when we come to the stall door, we aren't always looking for something.
Take the time to groom. Get all those hard to reach spots. Dote and indulge your horse in some pampering. Chat to them. Let them hear your voice speaking gently to them. Time grooming can help an owner catch little injuries and irritations before they become something major. When your done your work-out, give your a horse a good rub down. They've earned it and you're telling them you appreciate their hard work.
Taking the time to get to know your horse will help you discover more about yourself. It can allow you to see where your strengths and weaknesses may lie. It gives us a space to work on who we are as humans. Horses lift us up, literally and figuratively, to a higher level of being. This could be one of the longest relationships you ever have, so relax and enjoy the ride.