Sunday, January 19, 2014


Looking ahead to Spring while living "in the moment"!
Still basking in the post-jump lesson glow, I had a thought...  not necessarily a thought I want to share with the Eventing Trainer but a thought that came to me as clear as a glass of fresh spring water.  And, if this blog is truly a confession as it's title indicates, then I must bring this thought to light here... 

I did not approach this lesson as care-free as my last.  No, this lesson had bouts of anxiety interspaced with excitement. 

It was snowing and I began to hope that the Eventing Trainer would cancel because of the winter weather advisory.  "Next week...  yes!  Next week would be better for me." was the prevailing thought running through my head...  "next week".  And, in true eventer fashion, she made it, snow storm and all, making my "next week" into today! 

Snow covered dressage arena
Spring is coming!
Sugar was animated, excited and spooky.  Our warm up was winding around the jumps using 8 and 10 meter circles, leg yielding and doing tons of transitions.  The intent was to keep her mind so busy that she could not focus on anything to spook at...  Sugar became as supple as our dressage work and for the most part, spook-free.

And we jumped...  she was enthusiastically erratic, eager to jump but twitchy as the zombies reached out from under the jumps to caress her belly.  I worked on our mantra - Rhythm and Flow...  rhythm and flow.  It worked like magic as we did our last line spot-on perfect.  I sat up and softly cooed whoa and she slowed just enough to jump the last jump in perfect stride.  I felt like a million bucks...

Just between us girls, huh?
This morning, the thought hit me...  The cure for Sugar's spookiness is higher jumps.  Yes, I said it!  I am confessing...  I believe that Sugar's spooks will diminish as the jumping get more complex.  {{{Note - diminish not disappear!}}}

And, do you know what?  I'm ready for those bigger jumps.  Although, I'm not ready to actually tell my trainer my little secret.  So, if you know who she is...  keep this between ourselves...  ;)

It's gonna be a good year!

Monday, January 13, 2014


Kind of cute but never quite happy!
So, as the world turns, these are the days of our lives...  Have I ever ranted about those Eeyore type folks?  You know the ones - the Debbie Downers, the "my life is worse than anyone elses" and the "see, everything happens to me" folks?  Have I?

Probably not since I do not tolerate the victimization of folk.  I believe that what you do, how you view life, how you approach things is what defines you.  Ok, I wasn't going to have that rant today...  No, there is a piece of me that wants to fold into my very own inner-Eeyore...

Desensitizing in 2010
Sugar scrambled in the trailer, once, coming home from her Christmas vacation.  She wasn't hurt but tore a huge hole in her galloping boots.  And, this weekend, while trailering a short distance to our dressage clinic, she did it again.  This time she tore through her bell boots and cut her coronary band.  It felt more violent than our Jersey ride.

I started my blog on 4/11/10.  It was a little piece called "Patience will be the Death of Me Yet".  In January 2010, we had a trailering incident coming home in a snow storm.  I believe Sugar got caught in her Lende shipping boots and panicked wildly.

Because of the snow and some road construction, I couldn't pull over to check her. The racket was terrifying. Then she quieted.   I was scared to death and didn't know what to do...  She remained quiet all the way back to the barn.  When I opened the trailer door, she was standing there rigid, drenched in sweat.  With the exception of some bruising on her ribs, she seemed unharmed.

Thank god she's eye candy
Photo used with permission
From that day and for the next 4 months, she would obediently self-load, stand quietly until the doors shut... then she would try to kill herself.  I do not exaggerate.  It was the scariest thing ever!  I worked with an expert for those 4 months to get her back trailering safely.  {{{Trust me, we tried EVERYTHING.}}}  And, one day, she stopped and then trailered well until this scrambling incident.

God, I want to rail at the world...  I want to cry and I just want to bury my head in the ground.  I can not handle this again.  Let me say that again, I can not handle this again! 

Phew!  That felt a little naughty.  And, the ugly truth is, I could go on and even deeper into the "woe is me!"  But, for this moment, I won't!  The truth is that Sugar scrambled in the trailer.  She is not trying to kill herself.  (I'm trying so hard not to add, "YET")

So, I called my trailering expert who offered me advice which I will take.  I pray that it is just a blip and she'll be back on the road again.  You see, it's not a secret but Sugar is a god awful backyard horse.

Patience will be the death of me yet...  {{{SIGH!}}} 

{{{psst, I don't think I can handle this again!}}}

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Was it Sug's Christmas vacation where she was "owned" by a 15 year old Teen? Was it me watching her jumping video where it looked easy and the two of them so free?  Maybe it was the two months of no jumping at all, unless it was in a hunt field?  Maybe it was just that night?  Or perhaps, maybe... something really did click in my brain and the neurons for anxiety weren't firing leaving the fun ones electric?  Maybe...  just maybe!

Used with Permission
Our first jumping lesson since our "interesting" conclusion to the eventing season was FANTASTIC!  Sugar came into the indoor all fired up - her body too stiff, her neck rigid but her gaits were air bound and her canter coming from her hind end and up. 

Yeah, when I noted how great she felt, the Eventing Trainer chided me not to accept half the horse and to continue to ask for suppleness.  And, no great surprise, her body should be as supple jumping as it is in dressage.  Yet, her excitement was intoxicating (Sugar's not the Eventing Trainer). 

There is a fine line between excitement and anxiety and between electric and unrideable  We rocked that line on the side of excitement and electric.  When we landed after a jump, Sug leaped and bounded.  I did not punish her exuberance but channeled it...  She was not being bossy or rude and I wanted to evoke the energy of that Teen jumping for the fun of it.

Used with permission
The jumps were not huge and we did have to remove some of the "scary" components.  This ride was about beginnings and there would be time to challenge us with "scary".  Yet, the height of the jumps were promising...  we are getting there.

I did not whine...  I did not provide my dear, patient Eventing Trainer a list of reasons and conditions to how the lesson should go...  I promised myself to trust that she knew what I needed far more than I know what I need.  (OK, there was one tiny moment of "panic" at the very beginning but I stopped myself and smiled internally and said...  "Trust her!")

And for the first time in a long time, when asked if I wanted to do more, I said yes.  I wanted to get a straight line after the gymnastic and balance around the turn (I believe we did a bit of careening) and then finish the course with a straight line after the vertical (rather than let Sugar finish the ride trying to avoid the ground pole).  I wanted to...  do you hear that?  I wanted to...  And that is a gift!

So what was the reason?  I think about it and then really, I don't really care.  If you live in the moment, ride the horse that shows up...  the past, the reasons why don't matter...  And that, folks, is where I hope to live in this year of 2014!

Thursday, January 2, 2014


So, it's snowing outside, the temperature is dropping rapidly and is predicted to be  -11 with winds gusting to 50 mph.  Poor me, I was sent home from work early due to our Governor calling a state of emergency.  So, I ponder...

Hear ye!
You see, New Year's celebrations have come and gone.  It's January 2nd and, resolutions have been made and some have even been broken.  Inspirational sayings proliferated Facebook to get us in the mood.  Most did nothing for me but there was one quote that continues to roll around in my mind:


I'm not a big resolution kind of girl, mostly because I forget about them too quickly or break them too easily.  And, most of my old ones were really all self gratifying.  (Shhhh, I am all for self gratification as long as its also given freely away...  just sayin!)
Photo used with permission
{{{{Oh and when I mean giving it away freely, I don't mean anything naughty...  I mean doing good things for others...  and, well being naughty isn't really bad, 'specially if you're not charging for it.)  (Oh my.... did I say all that? Must switch to decaf the next time!)}}}
That quote is about action...  Write your destiny and make it happen.  I like that 'cause I'm an action kind of girl who believes that my choices and how I see things define my future.  If I see myself as successful, I do things that promote success...  And all of that!
What I love most about winter is that everything is possible....  EVERYTHING!  And I am filled with excitement about the coming year.  As of today, no one yelled at me for not making my sales goals!  Sugar and I are having fabulous rides in and out of lessons.  And, I said to a friend on the eve of the New Year that I believed I could do Training by years end.
Photo used with permission
It wasn't spoken boldly and it wasn't done without thought.  It just came out with a positive resolve that I haven't felt since hitting the tree.  Beginner Novice in the spring, maybe hitting Area 2 to get an early start.  Novice for the Summer and, my last event at Training...  That is what was said... calmly with resolve.
Why now?  Maybe watching the Teen jump my "spooky" horse over and over again really helped.  Maybe some other round peg found a round hole in my brain and something clicked.  And, maybe I'm writing a new book. 
{{{Of course, it may just be that extra cuppa coffee I had to keep warm...  well, maybe.}}}  It's all good...  let's kick on!