Sunday, May 29, 2011


Um, not quite true...  I really thought I would win.  On the ride home, sitting in the DWSB next to my bestest Eventing Buddy, we got to evaluating the day at Mystic Valley Hunt Club Horse Trials.  We drew one conclusion - I have to lower my expectations.  Maybe, an unremarkable dressage test set the bar too high.  Maybe, the next show should be just about completing one movement without a diva moment....  maybe....

Mystic Valley Hunt Club Horse Trials is a fabulous event for the Beginner Novice and Novice competitor.  I decided to enter because I needed a couple of events before my move to Novice Training at Groton House.  MVHC offers very serious professional/formal dressage rings and a stadium jumping course beautifully laid out with lovely, colorful and varied jumps.   It was exactly what I needed.

Sometimes preparing a show mare feels a bit like being Mariah Carey's agent on tour.  She doesn't really tell me what she needs, isn't quite satisfied with what she gets and is always looking for the thing to set her off.  I scurry about making sure everything is to her liking...  would her highness like Ulcerguard before her ride?  Is your stall bedded deeply enough?  If that horse is staring at you in the warm up, should I turn her away?  I'm sorry, was that mosquito bothering you?  Is the weather to your liking?  Please madam, would you allow me to serve you?  By the way, would you be willing to enter the dressage ring calmly, rhythmically and finish each movement with all four feet performing the same way?

We finished the most remarkable dressage test with a 54.  And, it wasn't the scoring and it wasn't that the judge didn't like my horse and it wasn't the babbling brook next to the ring.  No, it was because Mariah did not wanna...  not wanna at all.  And, I am not going to conduct Lyme tests, have her see a vet, talk to a communicator...  nope.  I just need to be a better rider and channel the diva energy  into  the performer she really, truly is....  That is my goal.

We are close!  That is why I really thought I would win!  We are just that close.  And, when it happens...  watch out...  it will be that good!

Stadium was all about riding a distracted horse.  I made the mistake of riding my way instead of the horse under me at fence three...  That got me a spook across the arena, one refusal and 14 time faults putting us back on track.

Happy Together Again
Photo by
Thank God for Cross Country.  We galloped off with a tap of the crop at the first jump (heeding my friend's advice) and from that point on I was riding a XC machine.  Gallop, jump, gallop, jump...  almost everything in stride.  And, I kicked the down bank in the buttocks ....  we cantered off.  It was my personal victory. 

At the finish...  every earlier faux pas, every minute of frustration and disappointment disappeared.  Sugar redeemed herself!  I bursting with joy and filled hope for the next one.  Sugar makes me a better rider and, it is my nature to find the solution...  so, if you are Mariah Carey's agent...  Let's talk!  I think we can do it!

Yeah...  Love is conditional!  Off to the barn to give her carrots....  thinking... NEXT TIME!


Barbara said...


Kate said...

"And, I am not going to conduct Lyme tests, have her see a vet, talk to a communicator... nope. I just need to be a better rider and channel the diva energy into the performer she really, truly is...."

I think I love you.

It drives me BATTY when my horse is a huge beyotch (yes, I am owned by an opinionated mare, too) and instead of accepting that my horse is just being a PITA, everyone says, "oh have you had her teeth checked? Lyme titre pulled? Stomach scoped? Chiro out? Saddle fitter out? Have you spent every last dime you have doing every diagnostic possible?

Because the funny thing is I have done ALL of those, and she's STILL a highly opinionated princess.