When things go Sideways

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It’s been an interesting season.

GRC Photo

I’ve been trucking right along going to competition after competition while some things have been going well and somethings have been a little less than perfect.

It’s the constant shuffle of one step forward, two steps back, two steps forward, one step back.

We’re about to round out the year.

This is the BIG finale.

It’s not really a secret that right before “the big one” things tend to unravel.

Let’s face it. Horses are absolute experts at body language.

And just like dressage judges they just won’t tolerate


When you’ve spent years prepping for a big competition…….. that’s just around the corner…….there might be a wee little bit of tension

As we were doing our last jump school this week before the event things went completely a bit sideways.

If you’ve been following Bad Eventer from the beginning you might know that I started this journey with a horse that didn’t know how to jump trakehners.

No matter how much schooling we did her solution was often to jump into the ditch instead of over it.

Most people would probably find it reasonable that I still have some PTSD from being trapped in a ditch under a log with a thrashing horse.

So when one of my very best jumpers made a mistake this week and put her feet in the ditch of the trakehner and we both went down………..

Let me tell you that brought back every awful memory. The good news was we both got up, no one was injured, I got back on the horse and we jumped it again.

GRC Photo

The next day I was schooling one of my top performers who has not made a mistake or had an issue in a dozen competitions. Right at the beginning of the jump school I missed pretty epically to a decent sized table. She could have possibly taken a long one and instead decided to stop.

In a move that I haven’t done in about 20 years I catapulted over her neck, across the table and somersaulted onto the ground on the other side of the jump.

Let’s just say I did NOT see that one coming.

And now I’m thinking holy shit I just fell off TWICE in 24 hours and “the big one” is coming up!!

After starting the jump school with THAT acrobatic move, it did not get better from there. She was rattled, I was rattled and we couldn’t get together over anything. We were muddling along and while trying to jump a skinny in front of the water, she veered left and I literally rode a tree to the ground.

Are you counting?

That’s my third crash landing in 24 hours. And after finding myself literally under a tree having smacked every branch on the way down I called it a day.

This horse has been absolutely perfect for a couple of years now and this was definitely not our day.

Do you think it had anything to do with falling into the trakehner the day before?

So after I hit the dirt again. The Fearless Leader says that this is so unlike her, let’s just bring her back tomorrow and see what happens. He said he would get on her first and jump a few things and then if she was going to behave I could get on her and we’d have a do-over.

Here’s the problem with that.

This sport is about belief.

You have to believe that you can do it.

You have to convince your horse that you believe they can do it.

And I knew 100% that if he got on her first I wouldn’t believe I could get it done at the show.

Nope. This was going to have to be all BadEventer.

I gave myself a pep talk about being ready and qualified. And then reminded myself how angry I will be if have to throw away ANOTHER $1200 entry fee. Then to top it off I put on my brand new blingy breeches because there was no way I was falling off in those without a fight! (Seriously, whatever works.)

So today I got on her for our rematch. And with all the determination I could muster, she jumped everything I pointed her at.

While 3 falls in 24 hours is less than ideal show prep, having come back and jumped the jumps again I think we’ve got this.

BadEventer may be bad, but she never quits.

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