Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Oh and I almost forgot....

....  to tell you about the funniest part of the day.

(Alicia's probably going to kill me for this, but I don't care.  She can't stay mad at me for long.  And it's really funny.)

For those of you following along (a little too closely) at home, the first round and third round in yesterday's post are supposed to be identical.  You'll note that there's one jump missing, the long approach single diagonal oxer -- otherwise known as the jump that measures how patient one can be.  ("One, Two, Three, Four, Don't, Change, A, Thing, One, Two, Three, Four..."). 

So as I turn the corner to jump this fence, I see Kathleen standing in the in-gate jumping up and down with her hands above her head and her pony tail swinging, clearly elated by my near-perfect round.  Just one problem:  there's one jump left.  So I'm cantering up to this oxer and my only thought is "awww, man, she didn't video."  (It hasn't occurred to me yet that they think I am done.  I think she is just cheering me on down the home stretch, or perhaps guiding me in like those guys directing planes at the airport.) 

And as I'm cantering further along down this long approach to the single oxer, I see something else.  My trainer is walking down the side of the ring.  I should pause here to explain that due to some adjustments in the schedule and moving the 3' Equitation to the jumper ring, Alicia had three students on three horses showing in three different rings at the exact same time.  She handled all of it with her usual poise... well, almost all of it. 

My gaze turns away from the oxer and turns toward her.  What the heck is she doing walking through my ring in the middle of my course? Is something wrong?  I hear some kind of commotion from the in-gate.  They are telling her something.  She stops, starts walking back toward the in-gate.  What the -- OH RIGHT THE OXER.  That's going to be kind of short, eek, sorry Tucker!

Tucker rolls his eyes:  "HELLOOOOO?  Are you even still up there???  I'm concentrating here, the least you could do is look at the fence we're about to jump,"Mom" (if that's even your real name).  Aren't we supposed to be a team here?  No, no, no, please, don't worry about me, I'll just find the distance for us.  You go ahead and look at the crazy lady walking through the ring, I'll handle the rest.  Don't let me having to jump an oxer all by myself underneath you interrupt anything.  By all means, look wherever you want.

Of course he jumped it great, and he actually did find the distance for us -- no thanks to yours truly.  We ended up second in the class (perhaps I should leave things up to his judgment more often?).  I landed from the fence and hear Alicia behind me as I'm cantering around the corner:  "I'm so sorry!  That was so great!  I was just so excited... but... Julia... other ring... I gotta go..."  At this point I'm outright laughing and shaking my head and Kathleen is in a fit of laughter.  I finished my closing circle literally giggling like a little kid and waved Alicia on to go finish up with Julia.  I yelled to her that she's fired, but I'm pretty sure everyone could tell that I was kidding given all the giggles.  Besides after a horse show like that how could you possibly fire your trainer?

The funny part of all this is that -- due to all the ring conflicts and all the time I had with Tucker walking around in circles and waiting by the ring -- I had totally gotten in my own head and psyched myself out.  I was barely speaking before I went in the ring I was so nervous.  I had basically convinced myself that everyone else showing in my division rode way better than me, I had no place doing this division, after all 3 feet is my goal height and I'm not really riding at goal level am I?  Shouldn't we be waiting til I ride better?  More accurately?  More confindently?  More something? 

But of course it all went well and everything was fine.  I just need to remember for next time not to get so nervous, because I could end the day giggling through my last closing circle.  Sigh.  Gotta love a horse show.


  1. Your account reminds me of this book:

    In the Company of Horses: A Year on the Road With Horseman Mark Rashid by Kathleen Lindley.

    She actually has interesting things to say about horses picking the distance themselves - most of it is over my head since I don't jump my horse (on purpose, anyway), but you might find it interesting.

    Congrats again on a great ride!

  2. Being able to laugh at a horse show - great! Glad Tucker had things under control!

  3. I can so totally picture Tucker's conversation with you! And to be able to laugh - and not panic - at a show is priceless. Congratulations!


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