This is a series written by me, about me, and my return to eventing. We’ve (that’s me and my horse Plaid who has been chronically lame for 5 years) been away awhile, so sometimes we need a little help with the unknowns. Read Part I, II, III, and IV if you so desire.
Wow, it’s been a long time since I did one of these! In the beginning of the season, it’s because I was so amped up to be out competing and riding and lessoning and schooling, but lately it’s because I haven’t been able to do any of those things, and that makes me thoroughly depressed. Readers Digest version: My horse Plaid has been lame on and off for over a month. We made the what seemed like monumental leap to Training level in July, and had a whole plan mapped out for the fall. This is where most of you are laughing at me. Yes, I am a newbie, I made plans. We all make mistakes. Anyway, the season has brought up MANY questions:
- Is it normal for an (unnamed) professional to gallop into the arena during a scheduled course walk because he (or she, ok it’s a he) missed his scheduled time?
- What’s the research like on whether or not having Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie” stuck in your head could mess up your cross-country mojo?
- Were any children scarred at me yelling expletives to my out-of-control horse during the Morven Park spring event? If so, provide your name and address, and I’ll have him send a written apology.
- When your “sweet girl” voice doesn’t work when you ask the TD to double check your cross-country times, what’s the next move? A mean event evaluation form seems passive aggressive, but tire slashing is too extreme.
- Why did I have to ride in my friend’s amazingly balanced cross-country saddle at Plantation, thus forcing me to spend all the money I saved up on one exactly like it?
- Is designing helmet covers and calling your friends to check on color schemes a smart way to spend time and energy?
- Is it weird to consider training with a certain dressage judge simply so you won’t be allowed to be judged by her again?
- When your trainer says, “I’d just like you to get through without stopping” in the lesson before your big move-up event, and then your horse stops at everything, should you sell your horse, give up riding and go get a job at a bank?
- What’s the appropriate response when you get the e-mail saying you qualified for the AECs? I’m guessing it’s not to break down crying because your horse is hurt and also it’s in Texas.
- What’s the best way to force your friends to eat well before their cross-country ride? I told them the story about me having gummy bear vomit in warm-up, but that just seemed to make them more sick.