I evented as a child…. BADLY.
I evented as a teenager…. pretty badly.
I evented in college…..and was even worse………….
I took a break to compete in a sport I was good at.
But when it came down to it, all I’ve ever really wanted to do was
jump around Rolex event.
So when I started eventing again after a 15 year break…….true to form – I sucked.
Got the big E at my first 3 horse trials with 2 rider falls and an E in stadium. We won’t talk about the very first event where I paid extra to move up a level because Novice looked too easy…………… and then fell off at the first jump.
Yeah, I do live up to my name.
I’m not sure why I haven’t found a sport I’m better at honestly, but I think I get an A+ for dedication & determination.
In my quest to overcome my “Bad Eventer” status I’ve gone through a small series of instructors. Finding a good coach is the subject of another post I’m working on, so I’ll spare the details here and suffice to say:
Finding someone who knows what they are doing, and is willing to put up with a student like me is …….challenging.
As my mother likes to tell me, “You’re not the easiest person to get along with!!”
After searching the world over, I found someone qualified, accepting new students, and willing to put up with me for at least a little while.
(I guess no one warned him. Here’s hoping he never pulls up my show record!)
So I promised dedication and explained what a good student I am. We discussed that I was willing to put in the time to haul distances to ride with him, if he would put in the time and commit to teaching me. (I don’t think he really knew what he was agreeing to.)
I had my first lesson, and things went rather……… well. If not falling off or blowing my air vest counts as “well.”
I got a bit of a sermon about not ripping my horses face off clutching the reins. (Yeah, I know.)
And while I was getting said “lecture” another student asked, “Why are you being so nice to her?!”
The response of course was, “She’s new.”
This was my very first lesson and I had to wonder how long the “new” status would last.
That’s how long.
So on my 3rd lesson I got a bit of a “talking to” about turn out. Clean horse, clean tack, manes & tails pulled, you get the point right?
I’ve spent A LOT of time in the past 15 years with people who rather snubbed the clean horses & tack, and thought they were the ones who probably had the least skills.
It is usually the shiniest horse that acts the worst. Right?
Well, this was not that group. This was the best of the best, so skills AND turn out mattered.
I was determined to measure up and I prepared for my next lesson with great effort. I cleaned tack, polished boots, pulled manes, pulled tails, I even washed my horse trailer.
I didn’t expect any kudos for the shiny horse & equipment, but I was determined to show that I’m a good student that listens and follows directions.
The day came & I arrived with my shiny horse, tack and trailer.
My new coach walks up, greets me warmly, and then after taking a polite gaze says,
“Did you know your shirt is on inside out?”
Yes, I do surgery, and I’m good at it. Really!