Defeat, Doubts & Decisions

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When I quit my job this summer to pursue my “Olympic” quest

I made a competition plan for the rest of the year.

Maryland 3 star at the beginning of July

New Jersey 3 star at the end of July

StableView 3 star in September

FairHill 3 star in October.

Easy peasy right?

I was going to “check some boxes” and move right along with my plan.

Maryland 3 star went well for SpiderWoman.

GRC Photo

It was actually our first Intermediate together and it really couldn’t have gone any better. She stormed around the big Ian Stark course and made it feel easy.

GRC Photo


The Zebrasaurus, though truly unicorn like, tends to launch off drops. The epic drop at jump 4 on the course was more than he was willing to try.

After the event I walked out there on a line to see what he’d do and the little monster he hopped off the drop without any hesitation.

Doesn’t that just make you crazy?! Of course the fact that he had no issue with it without a jockey  means the problem isn’t him……..

So Maryland 3 star was a 50% success.

Next was New Jersey!

I have to be honest. The course was intimidating,

heck the state is intimidating! You can’t pump your own diesel, and all the restaurants were BYOB.

When we arrived after a massive storm to no power or water it just topped off an  experience that was a bit rough.

The Zebrasaurus was first on course and after an awkward jump at the spooky ditch brush

he was less than enthusiastic about the very looky water jump. We had some trouble and walked home.

I was a bit stunned. He’s a unicorn after all, and we have solid experience at the level.

SpiderWoman was next on course. The first 4 jumps were fine.

Jump 5 was a weird hedge with a bunch of mulch piled on it and then 4 strides to one of those “it’s so skinny my horse better hold its breath” chevrons. The hedge didn’t jump very well, and then the  chevron surprised my beast of a XC horse and she used her cat-like skills to dodge around it.

Now I was in total disbelief.

I’m not sure this mare has ever had a stop in her entire eventing career. She certainly had never had one with me.

I wasn’t even sure whether to try it again.

I thought about it for several seconds and then made a half hearted circle and sort of pointed her at the chevron again. I was definitely not in-it-to-win-it. We ducked around it a second time and I walked my second 3* horse off the course.


I had driven a gazillion miles to “check the boxes” on four 3 stars of which I completed


It sat me down hard.

I added up how many dollars I had just spent.

I looked at the event calendar and realized how few FEI events are even on the calendar in general.

And I had to really think about what my goals and plan were.

Was it worth it?

Did these goals and dreams even matter?

It took me 30 years to get to Preliminary. Shouldn’t a couple three successful 3*s be enough?

I was left to do some serious soul searching………

Maybe BadEventer should switch to BadShowJumper……………

Or go back to endurance, that was certainly simpler……

and bonus, there are no dressage judges in show jumping or endurance!

Defeat, Doubts and Decisions……..

This was different than getting hurt. Getting hurt can happen any time with horses.

This was just……… failure.

And while contemplating whether BadEventer would or should continue eventing….

something else, completely unexpected, happened…..

To be continued……………

See Part Two

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