Monday, May 22, 2017

Overly Ambitious Part 1

I cannot realistically cover every step of this unimaginably crazy day but I will attempt to get the point across without making 20 posts about a single day.  We must first start with a recap of the cast of characters that are my tribe.  This will make writing and reading a bit easier in the long run.  Remember I have so many children and animals that even I am unable to keep them all straight.  Most the time they are referred to as That One and Her.  Names are hard.  This story contains myself and my wild steed Steady.  Elaina the 14 year old with lovely Lego she will herein be referred to as BE= Big E.  Macy the 12 year old and Lily the Happy Haflinger= MM=Middle Macy.  Kelcie the 10 year old and the pouncy Penny Pincher= LK= Little Kelcie.

It started out with a cheap and very close one day HT being put on by a local Pony Club.  I couldn't pass up this rare opportunity and signed each of us up.  Myself for the Novice HT and Training Level 3 test. BE for the Novice HT.  LK for Starter HT and an extra dressage test.  MM for a dressage and 2' jumper class because they aren't quite ready for XC yet.  That is 13 rides between the 4 of us in one day.  Things I didn't think about before mailing the entries: That I am their coach and thus need to be available to warm them up for each ride, walk 4 stadium courses and 3 XC courses and still be able to groom, tack up, warm up and ride my own horse.  See if you haven't seen a theme with me I have a tendency to underestimate and over extend myself pretty regularly.  Also I failed to mention that having a 3 horse trailer and 4 horses meant I had to make 2 trips in the morning just to get everyone there.

The day started with getting dressed and kids starting to wash ponies.  I helped wash a pony then we started with load #1 while BE stayed behind to wash the other 2 horses so they were ready when I returned. I dropped MM and LK off with their ponies and headed back home.  On the drive back it all the sudden hit me that while I knew we would be short on time to get tacked up and to dressage that I had not yet once looked at my dressage test.  I made a sad attempt to glance at it on the drive back.  Great Prep right?  Who has time to think about your own test when you have a bajillion kids and ponies to worry about.  Picked up BE and remaining 2 horses.

We arrived with the final trip at approx. 9:45 and the day began.

Here is the ride schedule for the day:
Me Dress. 10:23, Stadium 12:11, XC 3:54, Dress 4:54
BE-Dress. 10:32, Stadium 12:06, XC 3:45
MM- Jumper 10:30, Dress 1:51
LK-Dress 11:40, Stadium 12:51, XC 1:45, Dress 1:45

I quickly came to the harsh reality that I am a complete dumbass for thinking any of this was a good idea when 3 of us needed to be on our horses ready to go into our tests within 45 min of arriving plus the Jumper course walked with MM. I did the course walk with her told her to go over it again until she was confident then come back and tack up, get on, warm up WTC and wait until I get out of my test and I'll send her over some warm up jumps.  Don't worry kid, I am not feeding you to the sharks I promise, you'll be fine. I still needed to get my show clothes on so I put LK on saddling Steady. Elaina was already on and warming up and finding out how Lego was going to behave that day.  I am nearly done getting ready when I hear a big ruckus outside. I come out and LK is holding Steady by the halter.  She had tightened his girth too quickly and he set back and broke his halter and busted his lip.  No time to fret it was fine. I loosened his girth and  bridled him.  Then I put it up one hole when I was about to mount and my goddam horse almost fainted, fell backwards and pulled away from me.  WTF?!  He didn't go any where and was quite stunned himself.  This has happened maybe 4 times in the 7 years I've had him but as long as you go up one hole at a time he us usually fine.  I grab him and go to walk to the mounting block and he does it again.  Except this time I was even more caught off guard, I had my back to him so when he fell back he drug me backwards.  I spun around only to see both of his front shoes a foot or so from my face.  I was already off balance and the reins were yanked once more and I hit the ground.  Thankfully on my butt.  He came down, again quite stunned and I got up as quickly as I could and ran over to loosen his girth.  I was rattled to say the least.  I was now even more behind and thankfully the ring steward was nice enough to switch BE and my ride times which gave me a few more minutes to make it on time.  I left the girth looser than I'd normally but I was NOT tightening that again.  Did I mention I had my white FITS breeches on?  Of course, spend a stupid amount of money on a pair of pants and roll around in dirt and gravel before you even mount the horse, awesome.  I mounted and headed over the ring.  I watch BE and Lego go and they put in a very respectable test.   No thanks to me.  They were on their own %100 but I knew they could handle it and they did.  They have improved tremendously in the 1 year she has had him and they will continue to work on his dressage this summer as she is now a working student for a biggg name dressage trainer.


As I sat there in the nasty muddy warm up area deciding that my only warm up would be the walk to the ring and maybe 90 seconds of trot work at the end of the arena before the bell was rung.  I also realize that vaguely reading through your dressage test once while driving down the road is probably NOT the best show prep plan.  But I could do nothing about it at that moment except go in and hope for the best.

My test- I would like to post the video but it's really quite painful to watch.  You must be kind and remember I am slightly insane and really had no business being out there in the first place.  I could take the time to edit it and make it look like we are rock stars but I don't have patience or time for that and I am sorry people but my life is fucking real and if I have to face reality of when I really screw shit up then that is what you get to see.

 I can pick the whole test apart but the worst part about it is that I forgot the test and couldn't get my head on straight and figure out where to go.  UGH!!!  I was SO rattled still from what just happened with Steady just a few minutes ago, I was shaking and my head was not in that ring.  I rode crappy.  What's with my hands?  Why are they in my lap?  Why won't they give?  Over all it was a complete mess in my mind.  My kids watching their Momma completely flub it up.  Proud moment.  But remember I have ZERO time to wallow. I have poor MM waiting to get warmed up for her class.  I jumped off because Steady started hopping and being stupid and I could not mentally handle him at that moment.  I handed him off to LK and headed to jump warm up.

Lily was a bit rowdy after the first warm up jump so I had Macy put her on a tight figure 8 until she decided it was not worth the work to get excited.  Best thing about having a horse since she was 8 months old is you know the exact buttons to get what you want.  The rest of her warm up went  great and we headed over to the ring.  It was the first jumping class of the day and the stewards didn't really have it together yet so they were randomly sending people in.  First kid goes, maybe early teens and after an ugly jump at jump 3 she hits the ground HARD.  She ended up getting up and being OK but I could see Macy's face start to worry.  Next rider goes in, she's an older lady with her coach hollering at the in gate.  Same jump #3 has a refusal.  There is NOTHING interesting about this jump and completely coincidental that these two went before Macy and had problems.  She then has 2 more refusals and is excused.  MM eyes kept getting  Poor kid she has the least experience of all the kids and this is not a great way to build confidence.  As we watched I assured her that they are %100 prepared and that nothing in that course concerned me in the least.  I knew they would be fine.  She wasn't as sure about it as me but she did go in.  And of course did awesome then went straight into their jump off round and did awesome!  It was kinda cool for her too when they announced that she was the first clear round of the day!  She comes out beaming!  At least something went right that day so far.

Not from the show but same kid same pony <3

The more I thought about it the more I didn't want to continue for the day.  It just seemed like the best decision to scratch the rest of my day and just focus on the kids.  I was shaken up.  Though I had no time to process what had happened at the trailer with Steady it was one of the most dangerous things that has happened to me with a horse.  I could have been hurt very badly and was still unsure how I wasn't either kicked in the face and/or landed on, on the ground.  I was pushing it to get to a show after only being back on for maybe 2 months after an 8 month recovery.  I was out of shape and out of practice and it was not going smoothly.  Not to mention that this is supposed to be fun.  My mind was made up and I was going to scratch.  Only 3 rides down, 10 more to go and I already felt like I was stick a fork in me d.o.n.e.


  1. The ONLY reason you pulled this off is because you have raised such wonderful independent kiddos! Still tho, you crazy! lol


Steady and I love your feedback, so don't be shy!