What happened to the Velociraptor?

The Velociraptor made a brief appearance in the BadEventer Tales…….

Here’s the blog that mentioned him the most – Fear or Fitness

He was the 3rd member of my dinosaur herd…..

The first dino-pony…..OF COURSE….

being Baby T-Rex,

my monstrously huge baby horse who dominated her first season at Beginner Novice this year.

The 2nd is the Zebrasaurus….

Another Jurassic sized pony who just stormed around our first CCI1* in perfect form!

Then there’s the Velociraptor…….

Small, tidy, faster than lightning…….

And wouldn’t jump so much as a cross rail for BadEventer.

This is a difficult story to tell……

As a long time business owner, with the over-the-top 7 day per week commitment business ownership brings….. I unexpectedly had the chance to become a non-business-owner & I took it! 

This gave me a small window of time to pursue my riding (i.e. become the oldest working student in history) & just maybe buy “the horse of a lifetime”. 

People talk about “ticking biological clocks”……

And I certainly have one. But it’s not a count down in the traditional family-starting way, it’s a countdown to reach Advanced……..

5 years ago I was buying the mare that eventually took me around my first Prelim. The seller (a top notch 4* rider) asked me what my goal was? My reply, “Rolex.” Her quick response, “How old are you?” 

followed by dubious look, math on fingers………and a reluctant, “Maybe………You might get there……….”

If my clock wasn’t already ticking by then – boy did it start after that conversation!!!!

So back to my current story…….I had become the oldest working student – and I had a chance to buy ONE super star horse in hopes of getting to the top.

 and before I believed this was really, actually, seriously happening……. I was on a plane to look at horses overseas.

This was…….the adventure of a lifetime.

And I believed this truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

I could buy one horse, ONE special horse. 

And realistically,  on my fabulous new non- business ownership / working student non-income…….. It would never happen again.

And that is how I came home with the Velociraptor .

Fancy, talented, fast on his feet, decent record, could jump the moon…….

I had some misgivings…… but he seemed to be “the one” & I brought him home…..

and then it took me approximately 3 jump lessons to go from here…..

To here…..

To here……

In my decades of riding I’ve had a lot of chances to feel like a failure….

More than I can count…….


But flying overseas & coming back with a super star horse that I promptly………

…….R U I N E D……


may be my biggest failure so far.

It wasn’t more than a couple weeks before I found myself sitting on my “once in a lifetime” super star horse…….

I wasn’t good enough. I was massively “over horsed.” I wasn’t accurate enough or brave enough.

This horse clearly had big success with other riders……

But he wasn’t going to with me.

I pulled out all the stops.

As many lessons as I could cram in, different tack, different bits, more rein, less rein, in the tack, out of the tack, gymnastics, canter poles, little jumps, schooling shows, saddle fit……..

Horse cookies, lots & lots of cookies……..etc, etc, etc…….

We dropped down FOUR divisions!

And 3 weeks after things started unraveling…….. the diagnosis was in……

We were at our 2nd show. 

I “very defensively” cantered the 1st  18″ cross rail.

He jumped it.

I came around for the 2nd warm up jump, the very same cross rail we had just jumped…… and this time I tried to ride it like I wasn’t jumping into the head of the lake at Rolex. Still with head up, heels down, rear in the tack….. but less defensively…..

And he didn’t  “just” stop.

He sits, spins, drops me on top of the itty bitty cross rail & gallops away!!

If that’s not feed back I don’t know what is.

The diagnosis was official = BAD MATCH

“I’m not sure why you two don’t get along, but it’s not working, and it’s time to quit.”

I tried to hide the effect this had on me ……. but I was devastated. I had my once in a life time chance to ride an incredibly talented, competitive horse, and I didn’t measure up.

I really was BadEventer.

I had to do a lot of soul searching.

After 35yrs in the tack, would I ever be good enough? 

Was it time to stop wasting time, spending my life savings, and go do something I’m actually good at?

This was such a soul crushing event in my life, that it’s taken a long time, a VERY long time,  to tell this story. Long enough, that you already know I didn’t run away & become the “Bad Snowboarder”.

BadEventer may be bad & may feel like a failure……… But BadEventer doesn’t quit.

When it comes down to it, there are just some horse & rider partnerships that aren’t meant to be. 

This wasn’t my first bad partnership!

It was massively unfortunate that the big-shot pony I imported happened to be one of those bad combinations.

It’s interesting that my super star mare 

that took me around my first Prelim,

that someone else had imported, had been a horrible combination with her previous owner. 

But that mare would jump anything in the world for me.

So I’ve been on both sides of this equation.

The Velociraptor found himself a new owner who he hopefully adores.

And after ending my working student life & going back to work…… I flew back overseas & bought another one.

I feel a lot better about this one! Here’s hoping it’s a better match!

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