Sunday, December 4, 2011


Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.
-- August Wilson, American Writer
"It was a dark and stormy night..."

Demons... Dementor-like Demons... sucking the energy, ignoring your attempts to, at least, hold them at bay...  Those are thoughts that creep into your mind...  the ones that you push away and move forward only to find that their whispering is taking on new persistency... not necessarily louder but the tone stronger and more steady.  

There are those of you who Just Do It! You approach the jumping phases with childlike energy... excitement over the coming thrills, fearless and cocky... you can not WAIT until dressage is over so you can get to the fun stuff. Maybe you approach dressage the same way or maybe the Dementors swirl just before you come down centerline.

It's been a long year of ups and downs...  some of the downs ...  um, HURT and some were just darn embarrassing.  I entered 2011 with oodles of GRRRR and Mojo and was schooling and planning my move up to Training.  What I lost mostly with some of those downs... was my attitude, my "Git-ur-done"! 
Heading out wit da Home Girls!
Looking Grrr-Like!

Now, to be honest those of you know me, particularly those friends I ask to help out/groom/babysit/kick-my whiny-butt out at Horse Trials know that I was like this before the "Season that Never Really Happened".  The only difference now, is that there is an "I in quit" even though there is alot of energy going forward,

"Not ready!" "You'll be dumped in an embarrassing lump!" "You've lost your mojo!" "You can't handle her!" "What if she spooks and spins?" "What if I can't get her to jump?" "You can't afford to get hurt again!" "What if Eventing Trainer thinks you're a has-been before ever getting started?" "You're fat, ugly and nobody will ever love you! (oops, old demon banished in 1992)"

These were the Demons I brought to my Jumping Intensive this weekend.  Hunting is kind of easy...  you gallop, jumps come up and you really don't have alot of choice...  stay in the middle of her, active leg and Sug jumps through my body...  a total rush of energy.  I don't think - I do and for the most part it is fabulous.  This weekend, I had to earn the right to make it happen... to have the same feeling in the most unnatural of settings - an indoor.

This is real Grrrr... 2012 Preview
Used with permission
My very first step was to admit that I was anxious and that although I know we can do bigger and more complex courses, the most important thing was for me to leave hungry for more.  It was humbling and slightly embarrassing to be in a place where the Demons owned my head. 

And do you know what?  Maybe my patronus is humility because Sugar and I were good together.  Our turns were more balanced,  her canter had more impulsion, my timing got better and when I hiked my stirrups up back to Eventing length, my leg more secure and effective.  It was awesome!  And, after lesson two...  I believe we were both smiling!

It'll come back!  I may never be cocky and fearless but maybe, just maybe, I will be one of those eventers that can't wait to get dressage over so they can jump!  (Trust me, I LOVE the jumping phases but...  um... after I enter the ring or leave the starting box - never before.)

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