The Beginning of Obsession

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I was writhing in the middle of the musty truck, smashed between riders much larger, and infinitely older than me.

I was 10 years old, or maybe 11.

 

We were on our way to my very first recognized “Event”. Back then it was called Combined Training, and the smallest division was quite a bit more formidable than today’s “starter” divisions.

“There are 3 phases to this horse show…….”
The adults were explaining the rules to me.

“You can get penalties at each phase………… the person with the lowest score at the end is who wins………. Dressage scores are converted into penalties…… A stop on cross country is 20 penalties, a fall is 65……” (this was back when you could fall TWICE and still keep going)

An example of scores followed, where the rider finished with 110 penalties.

At this point I interrupted the rules recitation and exclaimed,
“How could ANYONE finish with over 100 penalties??!!”
The number was just unfathomable to me.

The response to my question was snickering from all other parties in the truck.

Two days later………… following one refusal and one fall on cross country by …………….

Yours Truly

I endured endless taunting on the equally uncomfortable ride home.
They all echoed, “How ANYONE could finish with more than 100 penalties?!”

Dressage score = 35 penalties
Stop on cross country = 20 penalties
Fall on cross country = 65 penalties
Final Score = Priceless  …..or rather 120 penalties

(that would be OVER 100 penalties in case anyone didn’t notice.)

In spite of my embarrassment……….

As the fanatics who warn against using illegal drugs proclaim, “Even once will make you an addict!”

 

My addiction was born.

You don’t so much hear the words, as you feel them, “4….3….2….1…. Have a nice ride!”

So began, the affliction which has annoyed my parents, competed with my friends, and been the extreme disappointment (and source of jealousy) to my non-horsey significant others over the years…..

 

I was officially an Eventer.

 

I was hooked.

And of course I was BAD at it………………….

 

So began the Tales of a Bad Eventer.

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