Can someone give me more hours in the day please?
Despite the lack of posts I AM STILL RIDING AND EVERYTHING IS STILL GOING WELL (touch wood).
On one hand, I am that time poor, trying to write blog posts (which I will generally do on the sneaky at work), has not been happening. Full time work, full time honours, full time ESA committee, full time horse and dog parent and mysteriously absent girlfriend/friend.
I don’t know the last time I was home for dinner.
On the other hand, even if I did write a blog post it would have pretty much no media. I ride alone 99% of the time, so you know, it’d be like here’s a long blog post with no pictures and lots of text.
How fun for you.
This means that I save blogging for when I have actually done something exciting and managed to capture photographic evidence of said exciting thing.
Well today is your lucky day because the stars aligned and not only did I actually do something different, but there are photos to prove it! (Courtesy of the wonderful Petrina White).
On the 17/18 March I had entered B and I into an eventing clinic at the local course, which was super exciting because we hadn’t XC schooled since Albury at the end of January where he was a freaking rockstar, and because the HT is running on this course in May and I wanted to test the waters with the idea of I don’t know… entering him.
Flashback to Albury, because #rockstar.
It is still stupidly hot here (welcome to outback Australia, guys. Summer never ends…), so I was pretty stoked to find I was in the 8am-10am time slot for 2 days of back to back XC.
I had never trained with this guy before but had heard *mostly* good things and with my unwavering faith in my lil’ man off we went.
Quick insert here to just gush about how well B travels, it makes my life so easy when I am loading in the semi-darkness alone and he just goes straight on and stands still while I pack him in/trailer him/unload him/tie him up etc.
He was a bit tense in the new surroundings (unsurprising), but was fine to tack up and hop on, letting me warm him up before the trainer arrived. Tense, but manageable tense. It was a little surprising as Albury he had given not one fuck about anything.
But there were also 4 more horses there than Albury, and it was fresh in the cold morning air, not suffocatingly hot.
Trainer arrived and well… I wish I could say our experience was a good one, but honestly?
Maybe it was me, maybe it was him, maybe it was a combination of all of us but I just didn’t really get him or his message. I felt like he was pretty tough on us considering we had done XC once before, as B still benefits from a trot approach in at least once before cantering into the fence.
Nope, this time we had to start cantering in straight away. And, well….
He jumped it.
And I kind of sat there like,
Totally not fine.
So we come into it again and I get told to “just go with him a bit more this time”…
….yeah, look, getting launched wasn’t really on the agenda for me last time, I promise I am doing my best.
Everything kind of went down hill from there. I got flustered as I felt I was being told 1 million different things and B, to his credit, settled down beautifully but when rider is confused he hasn’t got a hope in hell of figuring it out without me.
I was impressed with him, at any rate.
I left feeling as though I had my arse thoroughly handed to me and that I didn’t deserve this horse at all.
My facial expression game when jumping is next level. Just wait for it.
In fact, I was even told as much.
No not this one either, it gets better.
I was told my horse deserved better than a sloppy passenger.
Whomp, there it is.
I was told if I ever wanted my horse to stop going like crap, perhaps I should stop riding like crap.
I try not to be a “petal” about those kinds of things because, true, but I also find it difficult to wrap my head around why people think you can hammer someone you don’t know like that.
Say it, but say it right.
If my regular trainer turned to me and said “what the hell, you’re riding like crap what is this?” I would probably be like, goddamit I need to lift my game.
When someone I don’t know who has seen me ride for all of 10 minutes in total starts raining down on me and the horse I have had going for 3 months because we aren’t as advanced as expected and don’t possess enough gears to play with in the canter (so when I am told to bring him back before a drop he… stops), or enough confidence to jump all the things first time from a canter I just kind of check out.
Half my problem is, if you think something I did was bad, there is a 1568461582% chance I am already killing myself over it in my head.
No one is harder on me than me.
So, the whole day left me feeling super deflated.
I went home.
I took a nap.
I felt sorry for myself.
And then I geared up to do it all again the next day.
Part of me wanted to say whatever and just get through the day, and part of me wanted to go back and make him eat his words.
And I stood there like…
TOTALLY NOT FINE!
Of course, this happened once everything was loaded and my horse was in the float. I had just wanted to jump in and check on him being tied up when the wind just took my door half off.
I looked at the door, then I looked at B.
B looked at me, then looked at the door.
The door didn’t look at anything cos, it’s a door, and instead flailed uselessly in the wind.
So I unloaded him and tried to let them know I would not be attending on the Sunday, before promptly driving home, crawling into bed and going to sleep until 1pm.
A splendid use of time when you’re already this time poor, but clearly my body needed it because I was out like a light by 9pm that night too.
So this last week has been me, attempting to forgive myself for being an awful rider and trying to get excited about the next clinic (27/28 March on the same course – but different clinician), and hope we can be marginally less crap.