Monday, September 17, 2012


And God said, "Let there be light: and there was light." 
GMHA- back field coming home... neither of my jumps

I so want to keep this as simple as possible but, then...  why have a blog?  So, we completed GMHA, did not fall off anywhere on or off the course AND for the first time since we hit the tree at Groton House Farm Horse Trials, Sugar and I had fire in our bellies!

 Watching Sugar in her stall, Friday night, did not give me confidence that this was going to be a good go for us.  In just a mere 3 hours, she managed to develop a deeply fulfilling and all important relationship with a young gelding.  This Cougar could not get enough of her young cabana boy.  She frantically called out her desire as we cruelly separated them in adjoining stalls.  And, as she playfully danced her dance of a love lost, I watched the thousands of dollars in maintenance care and depo shots disappear as she leaped, reared and kicked out her unrequited desire.

Photo used by permission
Dressage was nice... steady and obedient... just one tiny spook.  Just a reminder to all my eventing friends...  immediately after completing one show, find out what dressage test you're doing at the next show.  'Cause, I was "surprised" that I had been doing Test A for months and Test B shows up for this show.  Ooops, sorry for that late transition and excuse me if our circles were cut a teensy weensy bit short.  Ended up 3rd with a 33.8.

Stadium Jumping  was decent.  GMHA, bless their hearts had heard of Sugar's dislike of the lattice, gate, roll top or any jump with stuff and plugged up every piece of the feared material with lovely soft flowers selected for their soothing colors.  We were forward, fast and clean with nary a spook or a discussion on the merits of leaping over colorful poles or boxes.  Double clear - still in 3rd place.

Ahhh, to be a Beginner Novice rider again...  XC was scheduled just minutes before the lights went off and the crowds went home...  3:56.  Wow, that is alot of time to carefully do your course walk for the third time, prepare for the ride home, read three novels, discover the key to world harmony AND to fine tune those nerves to a new level.
Town Hill Farms 9/12
Photo used with permission

Ah yes, the Course Walk with the Event Trainer... When I compete without a coach, I walk the course with the Bestest Eventing Buddy and we invoke our inner Event Trainer - hearing her words and phrases as they relate to our horses.  Well, sometimes, they get a little garbled in self translations because as we walked, I told her what I thought and she tweaked it.  And, sometimes, it was a downright...  "OHHHHH, that makes more sense!" 

And the all time favorite -  "No matter what! Do not take Sugar for granted!  Ride her every step of the way!"

We left the start box as one, no nerves - just two bossy alpha mares going to work.  She had a tiny discussion at the blue house, a bigger question at the yellow house and, then like it had been for years, she was on fire!  She kept telling me to stop nagging her, she knows everything and the faster she ran, the sooner she could be near her lover.  Those things in her way....  "just let me at them, I gotta date in 4.06 minutes".  And, I mostly let her have her way as long as she acknowledged, "rider on board" when I gave her a tug or two.

So the "toughest" jump on the course was 8A (brush jump) and 8B (small coop) on a bending line back to the barn but away from the beautiful galloping hill in front of us.  On the course walk, we had a lovely chat about the rules and what I should do if she jumped big, I lost my stirrups, etc.  The plan - go up to the left and then come down to the coop... do not cross your line. 
Town Hill Farm
photo used with permission
  • "But, ET? Could I not try to turn my handy, athletic mare in the air and make the "sharp" turn? 
  • "Yes, you could if she was completely under you and you executed a plan.", said ET.
So let me remind everyone that just a mere four months ago and for most of the summer, I had no confidence... nada, nothing...  just making it ... barely as an eventer.

So, we come to 8A and I ask my lil' pinto pony to sit on her buttocks and come up under me as we come to the Brush Jump.  She gathered and I gave her just a little nudge with my spur and, um...  she exploded upward, hit the ground and galloped towards the hill in front of us...  And, as I made the motions to turn to the coop, I watched us pass it by.

{GOD this is a long one...  sorry}

Town Hill Farm
photo used with permission
Here's where a being a jump judge can be a little bit problematic.  I stopped Sugar and very carefully turned her so as to not cross our line, trotted the horse length's opening I thought I had to not cross my line and trotted the "normally scary" coop and galloped on.  That little bit of trying to beat the system probably cost me the time faults.

Photo used with permission
Leaping over the final house jump and crossing that finish line was the best fun ever.  I don't care about those 20 points...  We were awesome TOGETHER!  And, yes, I worry my Eventing Trainer some times when I get "cocky" and try more advanced techniques 'cause I think we can rather than just getting the job done.  It's a blast and I can not stop smiling!

Maybe it was the exhaustion from two nights of unresolved lust, maybe it was the reawakening of thousands of dollars in training, maybe it was the place or maybe, just maybe... we're both back... whole again!


Jen said...

I am so happy for you! Congratulations on a successful show:) Great teamwork Ladies!

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

I think you're both back!

Liz Goldsmith said...

Sounds like you got your GRRRR back!

Hannah said...

So glad you guys had a good run! :)