Don’t Give Up, Just Turn Up!

Last Sunday Biasini and I were awarded the Reserve Championship for the FEI Freestyle classe Adult Amateur division. . The White Fences Championship Series consists of five shows starting in December and continuing to the end of April. I have competed in the January and February shows and this past weekend in the March show.

I did not win Reserve Champion by getting fabulous scores or winning the classes. I won the Reserve by turning up and riding down that centerline. This past weekend the show was a bigger educational experience than any I have previously experienced.

FRIDAY Covid-19 strikes the horse show world.

At midday we heard the news. All competitions sanctioned by the US Equestrian Federation were cancelled. Cancelled for 30 days. Cancelled. Those currently taking place could continue but all competition had to end by Monday March 16. Soon after we learned that the Dressage and Show Jumping World Cup competitions in Las Vegas were also cancelled. The Winter Equestrian Festival and the Adequan Global Dressage Festival were also stopping two weeks early. The horse world was following all major sports in the US, Canada and the UK. How did this affect the White Fences Championship series? It meant that this current show would be the last and the results would determine the Championship results.

Late afternoon Biasini and I entered the ring to do our Freestyle. I was walking past the judges stand to let Biasini have a look at the videographer when BOOM! Biasini leapt into the air and flew about 6 feet backwards and sideways! What?? There was nothing that the judge or scribe or I could see that had set him off. The judge asked if I was ok. I said yes and we then walked past another time and took up our position to signal for the start of the music. Our test was abysmal! I was struggling with Biasini throughout. He pulled like a freight train and acted as if every aid I gave him was something he was just not going to comply with. It was the Brigadier General Bully Biasini back again. He has been absent for about 4 years and I was not happy to meet him again.

All the work we have put in over that last year had gone right out the window. This was not about him being nervous. I had no sense of nervousness from him. I am not nervous in competition and I know myself well enough to know that.

I talked with Coach Lou and it was decided that the next day he would ride Biasini and do the Intermediare 1 technical test. The issue with Biasini was in the show ring and not when he was ridden at home. For me it meant a lot that Lou offered to ride Biasini. He has not ridden him since December and he has never done tempi changes with Biasini. To have a professional rider prepared to go into the ring on a horse he is not that familiar with is courageous. Not that Biasini would do anything dangerous but it could be difficult to ride a good test.

SATURDAY Lou rides Biasini.

I watched them closely in the warm up. I could see Biasini was trying his best to get the better of Coach Lou. But Lou is so quick and nimble that he could outsmart Biasini. Then they went in the ring for the test.

I could see how fast and decisive Lou’s corrections were. I observed carefully and knew I had to use the same corrections to not allow the Brigadier General take over. And Lou got the tempi changes as well!

After the test we talked about how Lou’s ride had gone. I was relieved when he told me that Biasini is a very tricky ride and not at all easy. So it is not just that I am a poor rider.

SUNDAY- Once more unto the breach!

Sunday I knew I had to get on and get back into the ring with Biasini. In the late morning he was resting peacefully in his stall. Was he resting up to have the energy to get the better of me? Or was he having a calm and peaceful day?

We warmed up and as it was a hot afternoon we kept it to a short warm up. Then into the ring. I walked him around the edge of the arena. The judge signalled for us to start. The music began. I remembered Lou’s quick corrections. I did my best to stay on top of where Biasini was and if needed give him those quick corrections. Also I knew that before every movement I had to have him balanced. Achieving this cost us several strides at the start of all the tempi changes and we did not get the required 5 changes. But other movements went well. At the end of the test I was happy with our recovery. Biasini had redeemed himself. Here is a video mistakes and all.

When Biasini had his braids out and was bathed, another of Lou’s students offered me a glass of champagne. Yes! She had brought champagne for Team Denizard to celebrate with!

Well I drank that glass and celebrated the fact that I had overcome my anger and disappointment in our Friday ride,my concerns about the uncalled for spook and had been able to ride, a not a perfect, but decent test. I did not quit. I turned up and I rode.

Then my husband David came to tell me that I was the Reserve Champion in the FEI Freestyle division! Competitors in this class can ride a Grand Prix or an Intermediare 1 freestyle test. The Champion was Kim Jackson who had ridden Grand Prix tests . I was thrilled to take Biasini over to collect our spectacular ribbon and prize, a lovely bridle bag.

Look at the detail in this rosette!!

Carmen Elisa Franco, one of the Championship organizers, had managed,on short notice, to tally all the results for the numerous classes and give out the ribbons and awards to all the Championship series competitors. Thank you Carmen I certainly appreciate all your work!

When we got back to Silver Drache Farm I hung Biasini’s ribbons on his stall including the Championship ribbon. He was quite proud of himself.

At the end of the day I reflected on the Covid-19 that is disrupting the entire world and causing havoc and chaos. But at the White Fences show ground there are some flowers that inspired me. Here is an orchid which has been placed into the crook of a tree and survives and blooms without a pot or fertilizer. Look how beautiful it is! I believe we will survive Covid-19 and recover to bloom again. Perhaps, we will come through with some changed perspectives about what matters in our lives.

39 Comments Add yours

  1. I knew this will happen. Enjoyed watching the video with my younger daughter, she was asking something which I couldn’t answer. Thanks for letting us know beautiful things happening in this beautiful world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I am so glad you and your daughter enjoyed the video!

      Like

  2. Congratulations, Anne and Biasini! All creatures have their bad days, I’m sure. Maybe he subconsciously reacted to the stress of current events. He does look quite proud of his award!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I think you are right Terri. He may well have been reacting to current events as his difficult day was on the day when the cancellation of all shows was announced. All the humans were talking about it and he may have picked up some negative energy and it affected him. Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. JD says:

    Brava, Anne! Bravo, Biasini! Your candor in your posts is always wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you JD. I always feel it is important to be honest in what I write about and not gloss over the rough patches.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good work. Take care and stay healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you and I wish the same good health to you and yours

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sandyjwhite says:

    Bravo to the dynamic duo. Glad things came together!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. dprastka says:

    Congratulations! Oh boy, I’ve sooo been there with showing and having the other side of my horse (like why are you rearing your ugly head side!) And it’s so frustrating! So glad Lou rode as I think that ride was a good “lesson” for Mr General.

    How BEAUTIFUL you came back and put together a nice test, errors and all! ❀️🐴

    Thank you always for sharing the good, the bad, the struggles and the WINS!! Stay safe out there, we will all land on our feet!! ❀️ Save travels back home! Love, Diana πŸ₯°

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you so much Diana. I think it is important to share both the ups and the downs. Riding and competing in any discipline is not for the faint of heart! And thank you for your good wishes for our return trip to home .πŸ’•πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Judy says:

    Well done! And wow! I can’t say I’ve ever seen an orchid growing wild. Cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulation, Anne and Biasini. You are both amazing! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Avery says:

    I love seeing Carmen’s orchids <3. Good on you my friend! Sit up and ride. Just ride. Well done. He indeed does look proud. I need to catch up on all your blogs!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks for this supportive comment Avery. I appreciate it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Alli Farkas says:

    Everything) came together for your ultimate success! Really special that Lou rode and you got to see some strategies for managing the General. I dislike trying to write anything on my phone, which decided to spasm and break this comment into 2 disjointed parts. Good thing you ride a whole lot better than I type! Congrats on a hard-earned but well-deserved FEI win!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I hear you about phones
      Mine is the same and it gets the jitters sometimes. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Alli Farkas says:

    How wonderful the way everything (well, almost e

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Awesome!!! Great job! So many lessons from pushing ahead with your boy :)) And what a beautiful Freestyle ride!!! I’d say you two earned it :)) :)) Dawn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Dawn I really appreciate your enthusiastic comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And what a beautiful setting for your show — reminds me of Hawaii :)) It’s so human of us to be upset at trifles of error, rather than appreciate our vast accomplishments. All the love, the years of work and dedication between you, sure show. I think you two are doing just great — as well as inspiring others along the way!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          It is a beautiful setting for a show and it also has good stabling and excellent footing in all the rings. And,most importantly, there is a nice relaxed and positive atmosphere with good show organization as well.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. Congratulations for your award, and for your story of perseverance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Robert for taking the time to read and comment.

      Like

  14. linda book says:

    Really good work Anne. Good for you to know what to do and when to do it. You didn’t beat yourself up and you didn’t quit. What an example for all of us. Best of all, I could hear the calm resolve and “go forward” attitude in your writing. I am inspired.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. etikser says:

    Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Robyn says:

    Wow, that is great! Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Congratulations. You both are amazing πŸ₯‡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Susie. Our gym here in Palm City closed yesterday
      We are heading home as soon as I can get Biasini’s expprt papers done. He will ship home next Monday.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Will miss your Florida winter/spring blog.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Congratulations dear Anne and Biasini, so happy for you both! πŸ€—πŸ’–πŸŽ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Xenia. It is a remarkable journey with Biasini !

      Liked by 1 person

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