With the best of humor I offer you my show diary from this past weekend.
Friday: Follow the Signs.
I awoke with a bad case of the dizzies. This is something that pops up perhaps once in two years with me. A little granule in my inner ear decided to go walk about and my brain did not know which end was up. But I know from past experience that it always improves as the day goes on. So off to the show we go!
On arrival I find that Biasini has hives on both of his shoulders. Well, I always believe in the indigenous adage of “follow the signs” and to me these signs meant it would be best to scratch from riding that day. I still had another day on Saturday. Luckily the vet, who saw Biasini back in January for hives, was at the show to see another horse and tended to Biasini’s hives. By afternoon I was feeling fine so I had a training session with Coach Lou. Biasini is never affected by the hives so he was fine to work .
Saturday: The Slough of Despond.
I had a good sleep and awoke feeling fine . Biasini was without hives and in good spirits. We prepared to show. I also had noticed that someone in the Sunday FEI Freestyle class had scratched so I went to the show office and they put me in. I would have two chances to ride after all.
My goal for my test was to keep Biasini’s balance in an uphill frame. I went in the ring and rode with that as my top priority. I did accomplish some of my goal but we also had some expensive mistakes. On our score sheet I could see that the judge had not much liked our freestyle. Music and choreography are personal preferences and ours were not hers. And we had those mistakes. Fair enough. But I felt myself descend into the Slough of Despond. Was I never going to get this balance thing right? How long have I been working my butt off to improve this? Years ! And still I do not seem to get it! Is it because I am too old? Too incapable?
Well, you can see where I was going with all that! My husband, David, who was there helping me,suggested we go and have dinner at Denny’s on the way home. He knew that would cheer me up. We both ordered Grand Slam plates ( bacon, eggs, sausage, pancakes with syrup or French toast with syrup) . Don’t wrinkle your noses and think this is not ideal food for someone in the middle of a sports competition. Or ideal food for two senior citizens who should be thinking about their cholesterol. To heck with that! I ate mine all up and after all the Grand Slams do include at least two food groups.
Sunday: I’ll take it as a win!
I woke up and resolved to press on and not scratch from my class due to being down in the Slough of Despond and being a hopeless rider. Yup, I was still down in that black hole. But then I saw a text message from Coach Lou. He told me the pirouettes in Saturday’s test had been the best he had ever seen us do in competition! Well that made me feel better! So off to the show we went.
Midday I was braiding Biasini. I really enjoy braiding as it is a nice quiet time with my horse and I find it relaxing. As I braided it came to me: what the heck is the matter with me? Why should I be in a black hole because of one test ? It is a beautiful day. The sun is shining and the temperature is perfect for riding. I have a talented horse to ride. I have a coach who believes in me and pushes me to do my best. I have a supportive husband, who although he is not financially responsible for the horse side of my life, is tirelessly supportive and comes all day, every day of the show, to assist. The show grounds at White Fences Equestrian could not be nicer and the show is well run and well organized with everything in place to assist the riders in having a good experience. I am so very lucky. At that precise moment I decided that what I was going to do in my test was have fun. Focus and have fun. And that is just what I did. I only made one mistake and I came out of the ring feeling happy with how Biasini and I had done.
We did not win the class. We did not get a fabulous score. The judge did not love everything we did. But it was a distinct improvement over the day before. The young rider who had helped me by coming in the morning and taking Biasini out for a handwalk asked me how I had done. When I told her she replied: “As long as there is improvement from the day before I like to take it as a win.”
She is right. And so….I took it as a win!
Thank you to Carmen Franco (aka Queca) who was at the show to take some photos of Coach Lou and kindly also snapped some moments of Biasini and me.
Rainbow at the end of the day over the White Fences Equestrian Showgrounds.