It has been a while since I wrote a new blog post, like….a year and a half. I never had a chance to write about my last two events before the big move to North Carolina. Since it has been, well....... a year and a half, here’s what I remember:
MDHT Twilight Eventing
My THIRD event ever and second attempt at Novice. I had great aspirations for this event, none of which were fulfilled. Tom was late and Kerry got pulled away to fill in as dressage judge (I remember providing her with an incognito beverage of Mike’s Hard Cherry Lemonade to get through judging, “its just soda people”). Tom finally arrived, as did the Dodon Farm crew, who were schooling some greenies. I remember secretly hoping Steuart Pittman would watch me ride and be all impressed with my improvement. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I laugh because a) He didn’t watch me (thank god) and b) I fell off. But more on that later.
I DO remember considering scratching because the sky looked like it was going to split open and unleash hell any moment. I didn’t scratch and really really wish I would have.
I DO NOT remember my dressage test. I do remember Tom criticizing me for my lack of “tan colored” britches (I was wearing a lovely shade of blue). Apparently “that’s several points off my test.” I counter with, “Kerry is my dressage judge. I’m one of her students riding one of her horses. If she docks me for blue britches at Twilight Eventing, well that’s just plain mean.” A reprieve.
I don’t remember the specifics of show jumping. I do remember it being awful. I couldn’t find a distance to save my life and the Ruckus and I were just not in sync. The last line was a little dicey, it shaked my confidence and I considered throwing in the towel and skipping cross country. But cross country is my favorite part, I was already there and ready to go and was trying to convince all parties involved that I’m not a pansy ass. HAHAHAHAHAHA. I laugh because I remain a pansy ass to this day. Before I relate the cross country experience I should briefly mention what Tom and I had been working on in my lessons. More pace. We’d been working on getting more of the Ruckus in front of my leg so we could jump with some energy. I’d been….reluctant with this, despite it being what we needed to improve. Disclaimer over. We leave the start box approaching novice fence one at a snail’s pace. Not what Tom and I had discussed. I make the fatal decision of trying to increase this pace two strides, well really three strides, from the fence. Instead of sticking with our established snail canter and getting the approach in an easy and lazy three and then adjusting our pace for fence #2, I decide WE NEED MORE PACE RIGHT NOW. Ruckus interprets my increased leg and spurring as HolyShitIshouldJumpThisSillyFenceFromHere. And so that’s what he does. We put in two strides instead of three, he jumps from a suuuuuper long spot, which for some reason surprises the shit out of me and I get left behind. Epic-ly left behind. So I land on his neck. He’s unimpressed with supporting my 130lbs on his neck, dips his head and I some how land simultaneously on my face and butt. You figure that one out.
As I roll on to my side to watch my trusty steed cantering off into the sunset without me, I hear some guy on the sidelines say, “that’s a good looking horse.” Indeed he was, in all his rider-less glory galloping up the hill. Ruckus gets to the top of the hill, realizes that was a lot of work and he has no idea where he’s going so he might as well stop and eat some grass. Bless him. I collect my horse, am furious with Tom (because it was his fault) and can’t remember exactly but will give a good guess that I am crying. For the record Tom, I’m sorry I was mad at you, that was just silly. I blamed you because you were trying to teach me something I wasn’t quite ready for, but ultimately needed to improve. I was happy and content with snail pace on cross country, but you can’t jump correctly, improve and move up on snail pace. I know that now but at the time was upset because my bad decision to increase pace at the last minute stemmed from our recent discussions/lessons that I hadn't whole-heartedly accepted as truth just yet. Of course you envisioned me starting with a good pace from the box, not the over-compensation disaster that incurred right before the fence. I'm sure being a trainer has its extremely rewarding moments, but it has its thankless moments too, dealing with irrational, emotional students, who should probably take up golf* or bowling instead.
I untack my horse, throw him in the trailer, pull a hat close down to cover my face and tears, and sit in my truck waiting for the rest of the MAH crew to finish all while trying to decide if my swelling nose is broken or not. Of course NOW the Dodon crew finds us, when all I want to do is wallow in the misery that follows falling off at the first fence on cross country. Tom relays the embarrassing news to Steuart who tries to make me feel better by feeding me bourbon, which in retrospect was a pretty good plan.
I remember everyone trying to cheer me up with stories of their own falls (none of which made me feel better, only the bourbon), a story of Michelle groping the balls of some statue at the Kentucky Horse Park and my pointing out to Tom that Michelle was also wearing blue-ish gray britches.
The last thing I remember about this event was Kerry’s reaction to the news that I fell off at the first fence. “Did he STOP?!?!?!” Oh no. He f*#king went. I didn’t.
Next blog post: What I remember for Waredaca, event attempt #4. (I can't promise this blog will be completed in a timely manner, sorry Mom)
*A year and a half later and I actually have tried golf. It might be the only sport on the face of the planet as equally difficult and frustrating as horseback riding. Albeit less expensive, less dangerous, and less rewarding.