Sunday, February 20, 2011

Kicking myself for not going! Rocking Horse Winter II horse trials.

     Me..... foolish? Honestly, have I ever cared? Undoubtedly, I would end up looking like I strutted straight out of a loony bin, so she claimed. Evidently, it would be ODD if I'm caught loitering around the horse show with no one close; like a daughter, son or a friend, to spy after. I'd appear to be a bit "deranged" or simply "mad" my unentered in-between horses, stay at the stable rider warned. "People might find it unsettling, you rummaging around," she laughed. Really? I scratched my head. That's ridiculous! She's just being green-eyed. Her jealously was for no reason. Unfortunately, I had to miss the Winter II horse trials that took place at Rocking Horse, in Altoona Florida. In spite of this fail fact, I kept up with the progress through Event Entries and their indubitably desired live scores.
     The competition looked like a spectacular existence, something I really didn't want to overlook. I became even more peeved for turning a blind eye, brushing it aside when I noticed the huge advancement that Advanced level Bonner Carpenter endured. She and her Impeccable horse went from a squatting twentieth place dressage start, to end in second! I'm kicking myself for not going, I could have witnessed first hand Elizabeth Barron and the Graduate, breeze by with their extreme point padding and an untouchable position. Sadly, I skipped out on witnessing a tie! It was in the Open Preliminary A division. The score was nose to nose throughout, between Bruce Davidson Senior, spending time on the Expensive Playmate and C. C. Castillo performing with a Star Act. Final score: they both had a smashing 31.7 but Bruce was closest to the optimum time and deemed the winner. I guess I will never know why, Karen O'Connor withdrew the marvelous Mandiba, that's what I get for not going...
     CONGRATULATIONS to all the First-Class Winners! Jacob Fletcher made a commotion with the Falcon Splash/Danica Moore mapped it with Utah B/Erika Treis Petersen won with Notelo De Rox/Bruce Davidson Sr. went all out on his Expensive Playmate/Leslie Law showed them again, two wins one on Amarna and one on Corinthian Spirit/Marilyn Little-Meredith showed it was only a matter of time for her win on UDonna/Melissa McMaster set it straight with Flagmount's/Suzanne Stevenson walked away with Central Park/Penny Rowland blazed with Northwinds Breeze/Haylie Walker came in first with Caitlin Too/Imatiaz Anees triumphed on Valenta/Maria Brazil was brilliant with Pas de Panique/Heather Wisenecker brought the Sunday's Edition/Victoria New made an impact with Bally Whatnot/Vance Frey was On The Watch/Robin Walker ruled with Canadian Exchange/Lindsey Graulich was lucky with Finders Keepers/Simone Cormier  was dynamite with the Dynatraitor/Darrin Mollett conquered with Dresden Hit/Rowdie Adams was happy to have Hector/Brooke Fravel went swell with LeSalvan/Emily Coulter flourished while riding Antje and obviously Elizabeth Barron has made out with the Graduate!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Everybody walked away fine.....Ocala Horse Trials

     Speculation seduction time! This is a review of the Winter II (over 450) horse trials that took place in Ocala Florida this past Valentines weekend. The pony pats and people hugs proved that love was in the air. There were plenty of leash pulling puppies and golf cart riding dogs to fill up any empty heart. Heavily talked about chicken sandwiches along with graciously grilled cheeseburgers were presented deliciously at the newly constructed concession stand. Yeah, finally warm showers if you would like. Our Sunday was lovely, open and free, no where on earth I'd rather be!
     Then it came to me, positively stimulating my thoughts like a hot pesky poker. "Our thoughts are what program our reality."  I have never been more sure of this statement, until now....since hooking up with Eventing riders. All of our opinions, suspicions and hunches clip like suspenders holding up what ends up happening to us. Beliefs create our emotional state. They affect our health. Thoughts affect what we do and say to people.
     If a rider says "my horse saves me every time!" What do you believe that rider has convinced themselves of?  All of a sudden, brainwashed horse controller really doesn't have to ride perfectly anymore. No need for exact set-ups and committed striding, because the horse will adjust and fix everything. "Maybe" but eventually "maybe not". The horse and rider might just end up taking a nasty viewable rotational fall. It's bad jumping positions, and wrong decisions that  no one likes to see. Now, I don't know exactly what caused the young preliminary rider and her horse to turn over with a tumble over the jump. However, after the impact grunts, through the horizontal head shaking, I could see that both members of that team had popped up off the ground. Gladly, they both shook-off and walked away fine. It's a delicate thing, awareness of thoughts.
     Trainers that ride while competing with showing students all around have got to control their own thoughts as well as understand what their crew is thinking about. How are their riding students feeling and are they using a bit or some other untested equipment? The reason is not exactly completely know as to why that horse regressed to full speed racing. It was obvious that the gray gallop~er was running away with his rider. Even from our far distance we could all see their jet-speed dust billowing as her eyebrows began to peel off of her face.... After the "up the bank, one stride, then down the bank" was done in a bounce the officials called her out. She had to STOP! They were halted from taking even one more stride across the country. At least she wasn't swearing and cussing the entire way, like my rider when that crap happened to her. Luckily, all was well just bewildered, I guess.
     CONGRATULATIONS to all the LOVELY WINNERS: Susannah Lansdale riding Buck Naked/Caroline Martin had the Classic Touch/Lesley Law did with two:Rehy Lux and Asterion/Sarah Stinneford lit the Roman Candle/Melissa Schielein showed Cavelier's Sealilly/Ellen Doughty obeyed well with Sir Oberon/Kate Brown downed it with her Mojito/William Ward was Just Talk'n/M. Kendalyne Overway did it on Collegiate Sweet Leila/Amy Bowers couldn't of been Sappier/Heather Morris tackled it with two: Sportsfield Maisie Grey AND the Poet II/Sable Giesler gobbled it up with the Evil Munchkin/Alexis Brown had no frown riding Hillary W/Robin Walker couldn't do it without the Canadian Exchange/Tom Borthwick unmasked Mischief's Replica/Alex Reed stared with Orion's Bold Belle/Crossroad was taken by Tuuli Juurikkala/Imtiaz Anees won with Valenta/Katlyn Hewson felt no green on Jack's Irish Z/Lauren Kieffer came out with Dipnsnuff/Annie Yeager amused everyone with her Walk On The Moon/Brook Pickering rode Abbey Rhode/Stephanie Baer prevailed with Zohar/Jacqueline Bradshaw danced with her Russian Go Go And Clark Montgomery would have a Stellor King. Nice show put on by Equiventures. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"That's NOT happening for me"

    It's easy to see that there are two very different stories involved with die hard equestrians. There are the "expense is no object,  get me THE horse" players, against the  "that's NOT happening for me" crew. In the   second group, that's where you will find my rider. Her name appears amongst the lopsided,  struggle harder,  hundred-to-one contenders. This penniless posse has no choice, but to rely on be some impenetrably powerful passion, no less!
     It's a pity for her and the many other poor eventing horseback riders, slaving as working students, jumping over hoops trying to make "the horsey life" happen. Her newly transformed country life is extremely challenging, which holds true for the other four stable girls as well. Most sweat painstakingly over riding. Routine running gets added, in order to look good wearing their sexy full seat riding pants. They forsake party's, abandon boyfriends/girlfriends, forfeit computers, cell phones and television. They put off school, stop eating Twinkies, toss out their high heels just to ride horses. Many of them, beat up the "crack of dawn" daily in order to hold on tight to their "someday" Olympic dreams. Oh yeah, also my childs' five ring stardom vision gallops even farther: to be "an eventer" on the cover of the Sports Illustrated magazine. By this point, in her young 20 years of living, she is well~aware that life is not fair. Her path is going to demand focused determination and a bucket full of blistering hard work. That reminds me, she needs some more band-aids.
     These are GIGANTIC goals for a lady with no equestrian bloodline, never a large enough back yard and no helpful ancestral horsey people trotting about. Frankly, I have no idea where her equine desire came from, surely not me. I was a paranoid petrified human avoiding horses. All six of us kids believed those trotters were dangerous! If opportunity allowed, those horses would chew off our fingers! We were told never to feed them. Besides, if there was any extra cash, it surly wouldn't go to a horse, since the dragster living in our laundry room, was the money pit. The only way my rider was able to obtain her five year old "off the track thoroughbred" was because her older sister started to mimic a tramp. My taller girl was constantly wearing trashy clothes, skipping school and toilet papering houses. The Cops would call.  That daughters' bad actor behavior totally unnerved us. "For the love of God....and yourself~ girl, cover up!" I remember us pleading. We were responsible parents.
     The carrot had to be dangled. You know, give the second daughter a horse, with the hope that she would never follow out the window, in her older sisters footsteps. In all fairness: this older offspring straighten out when I dragged her ass out of Utah,  relocated to Florida. The sunshine state is a better spot for the rider anyway. We all know there are gobs of good top quality riders in Ocala, so it's bound to be at the very least, a great launching pad. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stop, Look and's Eventing!

     Horses were packed in like a sardine sandwich. The Winter 1 Horse Trials were in full gallop! "There were trailers to the left of me, dressage rings to the right, stuck in the middle with you." I was singing my own version of that Steve Miller Band song, excited to be there. Slowly I proceeded down the familiar Rocking Horse entrance.  Amazing flashbacks plus great memories, many not so good, intimidated my nerves and sent me straight to the port-a-potty.                                                 
     I thought about how, often after dressage, we (riding daughter, horse and me) would stand far away from all the other riders so no one would witness disappointment making our eyes leak. If she didn't pick up those damn hitchhiking butterflies, we probably would of been able to skip that part of the show. The worried willies wouldn't ever leave. History of our ex racehorses' blow-ups and unsteadiness was impossible for her experience level to contain. My videos of her dressage were shakier than those of them running across the country. Now that's not quite true, but close. Unfortunately the doctor confirmed our horse was in pain. That being said dressage was always a disaster.
     The smell of bacon and toast, coffee and horse piles was just what I was craving for. Listening to the feminine  announcer, I could hear recognizable rider names blaring through the speaker. I had made it in time to see the BIG guns go. It was the highest level of the day. I gathered my breakfast sandwich, the rest of my crap including my bagged chair, a hat and headed towards the cross country field. At that moment, a young pretty teenage gal came leading an extremely powerful lovely looking horse. I was so enamored by his spirit and spunk, my goodness, he was all legs. He pushed her and she pulled him, as they made their way, away. I followed, I had to see more. The young owner looked a bit pissed off at how fussy he was acting. The pony was super curious, looking all around while walking on top of her. He absolutely wasn't listening to her boss hand.  My guess was he was green. All of a sudden this entire group of people swung their heads around, bullet stared... as if to say" Who goes there?"  "Uh hem, hi.."  yikes, I dare move no further. "He's gorgeous," I said knowing the frown would turn upside down. Everyone loves to hear about their horse. The young teenager girl smiled proudly and sweetly told me his name, "Tucker." Prior to the glee, I bet she was calling him the bad word that rhymes.
     I continued on my quest when all of a sudden people started yelling "LOOSE HORSE!"  and "WATCH OUT!"  That always means STOP, LOOK and LISTEN! Sure enough a different young spunky naked chestnut horse comes bouncing through the trailers. Ears up,eyes wide, head was flailing, he was kicking out, running and having a fantastic time. Immediately following were fast walking girls wearing caps, clasping rope hollering for help! Damn, I dropped everything, started in the direction of the action. "Oh No this is his first show, people kept apologizing. What was I going to do I had nothing to lasso him with. I still walked that way.  They had him cornered in the corner. Got him!
     Now can I get on with my plan, I thought? I went to the car to get another water. Panic started settling in with each pat of an empty pocket, where were my keys? Oh for Crying Out Loud! My legs hiked back where I had dropped all of my crap to run for the horse. Found them on the hood of my car. Finally I was able to sit down. Enjoyed watching the riders get rugged over some gnarly big ass jumps. "I had the time of my life, and I'd do it all again,"  voice started singing again.
     Congratulations to all the winners:Jeanie Clark/Ashley Conner/Buck Davidson/Christa Gandolfo/Michael Godfrey/Ashleigh Hallmark/Cherye Huber/Megan Johnston/Lauren Kieffer/Marcia Kulak/Leslie Law/Kendal Lehari/Melissa Miller/Heather Morris/Lynne Partridge/Kerry Sachs/Robin Walker/William Ward/John Williams and Clarissa Wilmerding

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I hold my breath and hang on tight, every time they gallop across the country. Mother of an EVENTER