Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Groton House Farms Horse Trials completed Sunday...  I did not.

It wasn't because I couldn't do a Training Level Stadium Course or that I wussed out and withdrew because of torrential rain or thunder and lightening.  I believe it was because I did not realize that landmarks used to determine your XC route could also be ...  um... obstacles to avoid. 

Oh, the stories that could be told and may never be told are vast...  it was an EPIC weekend.  Not the kind of epic weekend where you are given lovely fruit dipped in exquisite chocolate by your masseuse or where you are seated in a beautiful restaurant overlooking the San Francisco Bay with the man of your dreams.  Nope...  not that!

Dressage was our best of the season - 33.6   And, I'm sure it could've been better if I hadn't thrown two Novice transitions in as a bonus to my Training Test A.  What made me happy was that Sugar was present, obedient and I was able to get some brilliance.  The afternoon made me smile.

Groton House Farm HT is absolutely fabulous!  The XC course is made for galloping and jumping in stride.  The jumps are big natural obstacles... and the questions asked are fair.  I've dreamed of riding it for 6 years and it was going to be mine soon. 

Jonah completing GHF's Novice XC
No pictures of Sug and I...
As I walked the course with my coach and fellow rider, I could not stop feeling the thrill of the run.  I could not wait. 

My warmup was awesome...  Sug and I had fire in our bellies...  we were prepared and ready to roll.  Out of the startbox and on to the course...  just she and I...  Over the first jump, in stride and off to jump #2 a nice oxer...  up and over.  Life was looking really good and I was having a blast.

Here's where the course walks come in.  Jump #3 was a log jump with a slight down hill landing which ended up down hill.  The plan was to half halt at the entrance of the woods, then ride a forward show jumping approach...  treat it almost like a drop, then run down hill left of the tree.  Then make a gradual right hand turn to gallop to the fourth jump.

Note the landmark...  TREE.  You see, when walking one's course... one might also view said landmark as an obstacle to avoid.  That's right...  a tree.   Now this tree is about three strides from the jump and to the right of the novice landing.  Sugar has run this course four times with professionals (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009) at Training Level.  I am sure that the Pro went right after the jump to take the short approach to the next fence.

So, we landed... I executed my plan to go straight ahead the same time that Sugar turned right to go directly to fence 4.  Surely the slight downhill played a part in my catapulting into the landmark - TREE - thus ending my Groton House Farm dream.

Four broken ribs and bruising that rivals a motorcycle accident are the consolation prizes. My already lumpy middle aged buttocks has taken on a whole new shape and color.  I swear it has its own zip code now...

I was disappointed that I never got to ride Groton House or prove that I can do a Training Level Stadium Jumping course.   Yes I was...  I can not lie.

Friends make everything ok!
What has made me teary (not a side affect of percocet) is how everyone has come together to help me.  The Chase Farm Crew for taking care of Sugar and packing everything up to come home, Groton House Volunteers/EMTS/TDs/Organizers for being kind and insistent that I go to the ER despite me being sure that all I did was pull a pectoral muscle, to the Devil Child for shuttling off to the hospital with me and listening to my chattery, to all my friends and family who said kind words to sooth my savage ego. 

You know...  the world is a very good place filled with awesome people.  I am lucky to be a part of it!  I will ride GHF one day...  knowing that there is much love out there!  And one must not let landmarks become obtacles!


eventer79 said...

Having ended my first and most recent HT with two fractured leg bones and a horse with a pulled back during SJ, I am deeply sympathetic! One can definitely never take any part of an event for granted! I hope you are healed up and back in the saddle again in no time!

Holly Ratcliff said...

Suzanne, I'm so sorry to read this! I'm glad you are ok and I wish you (and eventer79, it would seem) a very speedy recovery!

Now Thats A Trot! said...

Yikes! This seems to be a season with a lot of broken bones... Several others I know have had similar injuries lately. Hopefully you heal up quickly!

Anonymous said...

Goodness! Sorry to hear about the mishap... but glad to hear you are doing OK (well... despite broken ribs and what sounds like horrific bruising!!!). Get well soon!

Kate said...

Oh my goodness, feel better soon. You'll be out there again before you know it!

SprinklerBandit said...

It's a cool way to go, though. Want to start a club?

SAF said...

You have my sympathy. I was a fence judge at GHF last weekend, and I'm sorry you never made it to my fence! Hope to see you and your horse there next year. Glad you took the advice to go get checked out at the hospital.