Turning the Titanic

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The summer break is over and the BadEvent team headed off to our first show of the season to knock the rust off.

What a miss rust looks like on a unicorn……


This was my 2nd Intermediate with the Zebrasaurus. We ended the spring season with our first attempt at the level…….where he was pretty close to perfect.

It felt a little odd to check the box for the red numbers after a break. The WonderPony always insisted we start out a level lower before he was willing to pick his toes up that high again.

But the dino-pony doubles as a real life unicorn so I persuaded myself it would be fine.

This is a horse that jumps the red numbers in a rubber nathe after all, and I’ve never had to take a single pull.



We’ve been working on our dressage so I pulled out the tails and the double bridle. No matter how the test went the photos would be spot on.


It was an excellent test, and ever-the-unicorn he threw in a couple “I’m ready for Rolex Kentucky” moves.



I have yet to convince him that he doesn’t, in fact, earn extra credit for that, but we’ll sort it out eventually.

In spite of the bobble he scored well and placed in the top half of the division.


Next we put in our first clear show jump round at the level. His wings are invisible but they are there!


Good boy.

Let’s talk about our cross country course for a moment.

It was an interesting course.

Here’s a quick description:

Brush wall, skinny, skinny, skinny, trakehner, skinny in water, up bounce bank to skinny, up hill to skinny, bounce bank down to……… you guessed it skinny, skinny in 2nd water, skinny, coffin, skinny, sunken road made of……..skinnies, and at long last jump 16 was a gallop table that wasn’t a skinny…………………

Did you notice a pattern?

I imagined if we survived all those skinnies we’d be ready for anything the next event could possibly throw at us.

I wasn’t worried.

I was climbing onto an unsinkable ship afterall. Aren’t lifeboats a waste of deck space on an unsinkable cruise liner?!


Let’s talk about having a Plan B for a moment.

One thing that drives me C R A Z Y is watching inexperienced riders get eliminated when they didn’t have to. I was at an event and they had added a small drop into the water at training level.

Here’s what happened. Horse after horse after horse came up to the bank & stopped. Then they stopped again, and then……………..again.

I was SO FRUSTRATED because I’m certain if those riders had circled through the water and gotten their worried mount’s feet wet they probably would have popped off the little bank no problem on the next attempt. This is well within the rules and would have kept them in the game. Not one of a dozen riders tried it. I was ranting in the audience, “Who are their coaches?! Why don’t they have a plan B? Why don’t they know what to do when things go wrong?!”


About that…………..

Yesterday I headed out on course with my little Titanic the Zebrasaurus ┬áin our 2nd Intermediate. I had not bothered to look for any alternatives or options because I’ve never had to do anything except Plan A.


We galloped over the first 3 skinnies, the trakehner

& then came down a Man From Snowy River worthy hill.

And that was the first time in our partnership that I sat up to slow down & nothing happened.

Then I took a pull and nothing happened.

Fortunately I had enough time to do some crazy pulley rein action and get him back enough to work out the first water.

I didn’t think much about it & galloped back up the

hill over the next…..yep – another…..skinny!

Then we had a sharp right turn down a bounce bank & a left turn over another skinny.

We dropped down the bank and I went to turn left & I got…………nothing.

I pulled and it was like pulling on a tank with a bungee cord.

Nothing happened & the next thing I know I’m pulling with both hands trying to save it and……………..it didn’t happen.

We went on to jump all the rest of the – decidedly more difficult – jumps on the course.


In my after action review I was telling the fearless leader what happened and he said, “They’re numbered separately right? Why didn’t you just circle?”

Always have a Plan B.


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