Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stop, Look and Listen......it'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