Thursday, October 6, 2011


So I kind of need to circle back to Judy Rossi's Four Rules of Eventing:
  1. Leave together and come back together
  2. Don't scare the spectators
  3. No crying in Eventing (unless it's with sheer joy in the moment)
  4. Nobody cares on Monday

You see, this "season" I've kind of violated all the rules...  except #4 'cause I don't care if "Nobody cares on Monday", I tell them any way.  I just can't help myself.

So... um... this is kind of... well... embarrassing.  You see... um...  I... uh... um...  violated #3 big time by having ... uh...  a tad bit of hysteria...  just a little and thus,  (#2) scared the starters at Myopia Hunt Club's Novice Hunter Trials on Sunday.
Full Hunting Attire
Photo used with permission

I fox hunted on Saturday and had an amazing time running, jumping through wooded territory chasing the screaming hounds.  I felt good.  I felt secure in my seat and deep in my heels.  I felt comfortable over mixed and sometime challenging terrain.  I felt like a million bucks.  But I ran the "course" following a herd of horses and a pack of hounds.

The Hunter Trials were different since this was my first XC run after my fall.  It would be just Sugar and I, running through fields and woods navigating natural cross country fences.  The last of the firsts... 

It rained buckets the night before and we had hard drizzle at 5am.  The beautiful footing on my course walk the day before was deep, sticky...  not bad but held Sug's big feet just enough to bother her.  So, sans coach, I warmed up alone.  I could get Sug forward but she had no fire in her belly...  I began to lose the little mojo I brought with me.  And, while sometimes anger helps, today I couldn't muster anything but a half hearted grrrrr.

I continued to warm-up until I was the last to start...  The volunteers happily greeted me and my "pretty-how-do-you-get-her-so-white" horse.   "Start whenever you want to go."  "I'm not ready yet, she's being a bit sticky."  "Oh? She looks so good."  "I'm just coming back from a bad fall and am a little nervous."  "Oh?  What happened?  Did you get hurt?  Take whatever time you need." 

And, then...  I cried... tears and buckets...  every confessional fear...  (well, she did ask).  Her advice was simple...  "Go!  Have fun!  It doesn't count for anything and if you want to gap... go ahead!  Enjoy yourself...  no one cares (Rule #4)...  just do it and you'll never have to start over again."

And, I did..  And, actually I am a good competitor... by starting, I will finish.  Each jump led me to the next jump.  Every log, every coop, every stone wall, log pile...  just got better...

Crossing the finish was cathartic.  I am whole again.  I am alive... 

NBG is very shy
Special Notes:
  • Thanks to the New Barn Girl (NBG).  She showed up and gently pushed my back pedaling buttocks forward.  I can not be more grateful.
  • Thanks to Team Chester for showing up and taking the pony to his second place ribbon.
  • Thanks to the Volunteers for not excusing me for excessive waterworks.
  • Thanks to Sugar for making me work for our first place finish.  If it was easy, I'm not sure I would believe that I'm ok.


Kelly RGF said...

Ohhh! I'm really happy for you guys. You did it! Good on you :) Two thumbs up (and those rules for eventing are great).

Becca said...

Good for you Suzanne!!