Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Of blood and floods and everything in between.

Thank you for your replies to my last post and for your suggestions.  I can assure you I won't be heading to hunter/jumper land...lol.  Been there, done that for about 10 years.  Over it.  Not to say I wouldn't go to a little local show that offered those type classes because I most likely will do some of that this summer because that seems to be all the shows that are around here. But after showing on a hunter circuit for a decade the idea of becoming a serious competitor in that discipline has no draw to me.  After writing the post I realized I miss worded my feelings.  I am NOT bored with eventing it is the dressage phase that bores me.  The reason this is significant is because I have pretty strong feelings about over jumping so I do not jump often.  Which leaves us to going around in circles a lot.  I am also in a completely new phase of training and I need to find my way around.  While the struggles of bringing along a difficult green horse can be a long rough road I knew the next step. I never actually contemplated getting to the end of that road.  Not at all saying that we don't have a hell of a lot to learn to go farther. NOT at all.  But the super duper green phase is pretty much over.  NOw what we should really be doing is going out and competing and getting show miles in horse trials and racking up some serious competition experience.  Problem?  I am not in that phase right now.  I am  not in a place where campaigning a super cool horse is on my priority list.  So I feel a little stuck.  Not sure where to go.  Need to place a wanted ad.  ISO incredible rider with a bunch of money wanting to compete someone else's horse.  But has to be local and able to share the ride with me.
Now that would be the ideal situation.   Anyways enough rambling.

Saturday was an interesting day.  Some good stuff, some bad stuff and some crazy ass weather.  First with the bad.

The Bad

1. If you didn't read about it on "Chasing the Dream" you really need to read her account of it.  She does a much better job than I could.  After that I felt a lot like just calling it a day and heading back home the all of a 3 min. Drive from her house that it is. Blood and bone and dangling skin is NEVER the way anyone's day should start. But I had agreed to meet another friend and they were already on their way.  AND my daughter was incredibly excited to go XC schooling and I would feel like a complete ass disappointing her.  Even though I knew she would completely understand.  We decided to head out and not stand up my friend and her grandson.

2. The weather was batshit crazy.  As we were loading up the trailer at the house in the blazing sun it started POURING.  Pouring and blazing sunshine.  I felt like I was in Florida.  The only place I have ever been that it can do both those things at the same time.  Apparently it can do that in Ohio too. 2 seconds before loading my horse he got soaked then rolled in the mud.  Real cool asshole, reeeal cool.
A nice solid coating on all sides.

I guess the muddy dude had an itch.

3. We got to Twin Towers we got tacked up and made our way out.  About 3 second after we got out on the back of the course the wind picked up and started blowing like crazy and it got really, really dark.  We high tailed it BACK to the trailers.  It started raining before we made it back then the horses started FREAKING out so we all jumped off and literally ran on foot, horses in hand back.  Thankfully they have a barn there that we took shelter in the isle way because the heavens opened up!  Listen to that rain!  The other two in the video were our friends we met up with.


After about 10 minutes it did stop.  So we remounted and tried again.

4. When we were nearly finished and we had been out for about an hour, someone looked around and said, "those clouds looked really dark".  Oh shit here we go again.  So we once again made our way back.  This time it wasn't quite so dramatic because we did notice earlier than the last time but we did make haste.  Because we wanted to get untacked and on the road before it hit.  We had a race to untack and load then headed out.  We weren't on the road for more than 2 minutes before I had this feeling we were driving directly into a tornado.  We had a tornado locally like the day before that threw several vehicles and that is all that was going through my head.  Branches were flying across the road, I could barely see and the wind was so strong it was rocking the trailer.  I was watching for funnel clouds, wondering what I would even do if I saw one.  This lasted for about half the trip and then as quickly as it came it was gone.  I was stressed driving in it, thinking, "what the hell am I doing?"  I am not easily stressed AT ALL so for me to be stressed you know it had to have been wicked. 

That feeling that you are driving directly into death.

See? Who needs to see when driving a huge ass trailer?

5. As soon as I parked the trailer in our driveway it started raining and blowing again.  So we unloaded in the rain, put the horses in their stalls and took cover in the house.  I was DONE for the day!

The Good

With the way the day started I was not feeling like doing a whole lot.  I wasn't sure my nerves could handle it if my horse got too amped up as he often does on XC.  Then being responsible for another life I figured I'd be doing good if I could keep my horse level headed and calm for the entirety of the ride and make sure my daughter had a successful XC school.  Then that would be enough accomplished for the day.  Being a child's mother and coach is a unique experience that not too many people can handle. That could be a post of it's own on how one goes about that but I couldn't emotionally be Mom, Coach and horse trainer on this day so I chose the first two and kept the last one very low key.  I figured it was still an invaluable lesson for Steady to go around a XC course like it was just a hack. 

1. What we did do.  I jumped a little BN coop and some ditches and that is about it.  The idea with both were that, "you can do this AND still be chill before, during and after."  Mission accomplished.

2. The kid and the Haffy.  Lily has really come out this year and been a solid citizen. I am quite proud.  And any antics she has pulled(the occasional bucking/bolting fit or green jumping issues) my daughter has proven she is able to deal with and work through with grace.  And I couldn't ask for more than that.  The Haffy is willing and brave.  She tackles pretty much everything.  She is a push ride and it has been good for the kid to learn how to ride that because last year she rode Penny who is the opposite.  She drags you to a fence.  While Lily is happy to jump anything you point her at but she needs help having the momentum to make it a nice jump.  I watched as the kid accomplished something I have been trying to teach her for a while now.  It is not really a teachable trait.  I mean you can tell someone but it is such a feeling aspect of riding that until they figure it out there is not much anyone can do to really get it though to someone.  They were having a particular difficult time with a Novice size Coop.  It was a tough little jump because the line upon landing was angled and straight ahead was a tree line.  After they struggled with a run out to each side I realized how it rode and could see exactly what the problem was.  If you looked at the "way out" upon landing it was to the right which then pretty much opened the door to run out and that was what kept happening.  I explained to her that she need to ride the jump as if she was going to ride straight into the bushes.  I assured her that she would have plenty of time to turn upon landing but that the jump had to be ridden into the bushes.  Pony already knew the way "out" so she would need to ride extra solid and straight and not let her slip out through that shoulder.  And then I watched as a real rider was being born.  On approach pony backed off a bit and I see her start to wiggle.  E felt it and rode the shit out of that jump.  She got a warning smack to go on then a little wiggle to the right at the base pony got a "oh no you're not" smack on the shoulder.  All at the precise second that it needed to happen.  Now that "feel" ladies and gentlemen must be learned through lots of practice and cannot be taught in a book or explained.  She got it.  She finally got it!  As I explained to her.  I could care less that that jump was not perfect she rode it exactly the way she should have without anyone having to tell her how it should be done.  And THAT is riding.  And she proved to that pony that even when she is unclear of the right answer that she can trust her rider to give her the right answer.  Day made!

It is an indescribably feeling watching your child be awesome.

Be still my  heart

Her leg is ridiculously solid.  It NEVER moves!  I am working on teaching her how to close her hip angle a bit but that is one down side of your mother being your coach.  You are overly cautious of neck climbing and teach her a very defensive jump position. No Mama wants to watch as their child lawn darts their head into a solid object.  But she is NOT a hunter but an eventer so it works.

3. And lastly my goal with Steady was accomplished.  He stayed quiet and relaxed the entire time.   Not needing to anticipate what he should be doing. And though the day wasn't all sunshine and roses we did find a few bright spots.

Speaking of spots this pony's dapples are ridiculous!


  1. those storms are definitely nerve wracking (as was the experience of trying to load B - definitely no fun!). sounds like you managed to pull a great day out of it all the same!

  2. it sounds like a good day. As for the finding the fire- take a break and do what you like. Or not. I got so bored with hunter but am rarely bored with dressage so it's a matter of finding the match. I do have a desire to try working equitation. That looks like a blast.

  3. I would have crapped my pants at that weather! You are just a total badass and it appears your kids are going to follow your example. So cool to watch! :) Miss you guys!

  4. Holly crap that rain! At least you got a few good jumps out of it. :)

  5. YAY Steady and Lilly and daughter :D I'm quite bummed I missed it, but very happy Steady boy is living up to his name more and more

  6. Sounds like parts of it were really, really fun. The other parts, eh, not so much. You lived!

  7. Oh, and randomly: if dressage is boring, you need to take a lesson. Then it can be frustrating too! In all seriousness, there is always so much to work on. IF you can at all swing a lesson, it sounds like the right timing for you.

  8. Wow that storm would have been terrifying!!

    All in all it sounds like it all worked out okay, especially for your daughter. She is a rock star! Look at her go!!!


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