Who Is Your Eventing Guardian Angel?

Laura Harris’ eventing guardian angel? Tim Gunn. Who is yours? Photo courtesy of Laura Harris.

Sometimes, occasionally, from time to time, it has been known to happen that things don’t in fact go according to plan. What does the eventer do? She does not cry, he does not complain, they might grab a cold one afterwards, but the eventer finds a way.

Resourcefulness is a hallmark of eventing. The eventer spirit is something enviable. Riders who love the thrill—even though it may make them pee their breeches occasionally—they still get out there and do what they love and scares them in the same breath. With horses that might or might not be of known breeding, age or history, everyone is chasing the same riding high. Three phases to perfect, one chance to get it right. For many of us, it isn’t about the satin, it’s about the number, not the letter. It’s about going out and having a good time. It is about that chance to fly.

But it’s a lotta work to prepare for that flight. In fact, help just might be needed—a flight attendant perhaps? Not just anyone will do, you need to find that person that works for you.

I picture my eventing guardian angel as Project Runway’s Tim Gunn. He is sophisticated, classy and elegant. A spiffy dresser if nothing else! It almost sounds like he would be a Hunter Guardian Angel, right? Polished and perfect. However, he is known for a particular phrase and in that mantra is pure eventer: make it work!

Eventing Guardian Angel Tim Gunn, EGATG if you please, would have you smartly dressed for dressage, braids coifed and leather polished. He mostly likely minored in quarter marks in Angel School. You walk the cross country and stadium courses, and discuss where he may need to be on standby. A good “MAKE IT WORK” at the water may be just what you need.

The magic of EGATG is he teaches you to believe in yourself. He has faith in you when YOU have faith in you. Fortunately, or unfortunately perhaps, he leaves the decisions up to you. It’s not his job to make it work or find the ride, it’s yours. He supports thought out educated risk-taking. And by god, if you disappoint him, a unicorn loses its horn!

Much like Santa, EGATG knows when you’ve been good or bad. Have you put in your gallop sets? Did you learn your dressage test? Can you still math and know your striding? He mightn’t punish you, but you will get a disapproving look only rivaled by bunnies or cats.

When you receive approval, it will be adorably smug, as in, of course, you are washing your pads in a timely manner and promptly cleaning your bridle after use. EGATG is all about self-discipline and personal accountability.

Maybe EGATG isn’t for you? Perhaps you would fare better with EGA Jeeves, whose machinations ensure that you unwittingly always manage success in spite of yourself. Or maybe EGA Tony Stark with all the tech and sarcastic commentary you could ask for. EGA Bruce Lee – “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” EGA Aretha Franklin, R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

Whoever you relate to and helps you make your game stronger, play on!

Go Eventing!