Sunday, October 14, 2012


Let's just take a moment out and honor the history recorded in Facebook posts:

Photo used with permission
10/10/12 @ 8:59pm   - "Suzanne had a great ride tonight and is contemplating dressage... Uh HUH!
  • Dressage lesson was powerful, precise.  I had a loose, supple obedient horse with jump in her canter and loft in her trot.  A heady feeling of oneness and moments of true partnership.
10/11/12 @ 8:37pm - "Suzanne is really working on lowering her expectations for Course Brook Horse Trials this weekend... after two fabulous rides on her pinto pony...  She is out of control!
  • On my own, I continued to capture the feeling of suppleness, relaxation while maintaining the power of a beautiful horse.  I could see the win in our brilliant return to Novice (emphasis on brilliant).
10/12/12 @ 10:30am - "Suzanne thinks there is a better way to do a pre-show jumping lesson than being dumped twice... {{{Note to self - do not test a stronger bit the day before said show!}}}
Old bit
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  • So, since she was soo strong at GMHA AND I use a Pelham hunting with great results, we decided to try it out for Eventing. She was delightful on the flat and appeared to move into the bit when asked to move forward.  I blamed the first fall on perhaps me leaning on the approach although my trainer wasn't sure what happened.  We continued jumping small stuff at a trot and all seemed well.  
  • The second fall was at the first approach to a bigger oxer...  Sug raised up, coming off the ground and then collapsed in the center of the oxer and then leapt up again to clear the second rail.  I did not clear the first one.  Clearly overbitted!!!
  • We finished the lesson in her old bit feeling confident that she was over the trauma...
10/12/12 @ 9:21pm - "Suzanne has, for the first time EVAH, not bathed Ms Sugar for her show tomorrow. She has curried and brushed to cleanse but not to wet the pinto pony.  Hopefully, she will be grateful and carry on well tomorrow.
  • The atrocity of it all...  really?  You did not bathe a white horse?  Really?  Who cares that the temp was dropping and would be 28 overnight!  Is she not the "How-do-you-get-her-so-white" horse?  {{{Appalled}}}
10/13/12 @ 2:42pm - Suzanne must go back to basics and set her goal to complete AND stay on... Just sayin'!
Not white...

That was one long lead in to say that Eventing is truly a sport designed to keep a girl humble.  There are a million ways to win and as many, to lose.  If you don't love every single bit of it, then it would be best to find another sport or hobby... 

You see, the horse that I rode that day was full of power...  not that beautiful power of a floaty trot or a springy canter but the power of a ticking time bomb.  As you ride your warm up, you're spending time figuring out which wires you need to cut to stop the ticking while avoiding the ones that accelerate the destruction.  The test was done while the ticking continued yet never reaching the point of explosion.  The judge was a bit harsh - 52.5.

Just a second to talk about what a 52.5 should look like 'cause I have ridden that test more than once in our past.  It should've have looked like a spooking, spinning mare who flips her leads with ease and grace while protesting forward motion.  This 52.5 was nothing near that.

The hat trick came in Stadium Jumping.   I had a jumping horse underneath me in the warm up and I felt calm and confident (after the normal pre-show meltdown).  Yes, there were spooky things but, I had the encouragement of my big girl spurs.  I was gonna enjoy the ride but ride every stride.

Um, jump one and two felt awesome...  three had just a hint of hesitation but Sug went when asked.  Four was the first oxer in a combination...   I did not give her the best approach but certainly not a bad one for a horse with Ivy League training.  She went up and finished  in the middle of the oxer.  I almost came off but happily stayed on.  
Working hard...

After they repaired the fence, I went back with more leg and determination....  this time I did not stick the landing.  And thus ended my move back to Novice.

Was it the bad jump school?  Did Sugar lose her confidence?  Should I retire her from Eventing 'cause, as some say, maybe she just wants to be a hunt horse?  The last question is mine to answer...  And, today...  the answer is, "No...  not yet...  No...  not yet!"

The great thing is that I am back to being like every other Eventer.  I had a bad show...  it wasn't our day...  My confidence is still intact!  I still have my GRRRR!  The desire still runs thickly through my body...  It just wasn't our day...  that's it!  Now, let's get back in the game...  one last time!

And, I'll end on a Facebook moment:

"Riding is like flying...  anyday you can walk away was a good flight!"  Pingree Hill Farm

Uh Huh!!!


Laura said...

Great outlook! It always knocks my confidence a bit for a while after a fall! Good luck for next time!

Kate said...

You go girl. Back to the drawing board, and on to kicking @ss another day!

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

I think that is just horses in general. Whether you do eventing, dressage, hunters, reining, whatever - some days you win and some days you don't. I will say on the days I don't I tend to not win in a rather spectacular fashion. It also seems these are always the time when I actually had someone on hand to video my rides . . .