Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Colorado Day 6 – Suckage & not so much Suckage

We all know that a green horse can be like living in a Forrest Gump movie, an adventure at every turn.  And we all know that DC has certainly had his green moments over the last 6 months.  But what we haven’t covered is how much it sucks to have a horse that is downright awesome and amazing and perfect in every way, but your riding is so bad that you feel like you should take up tennis.   If only I had any eye hand coordination at all, that might have been my back up plan for Day 6. 

Since TJ had already done double duty of a derby and rusty stirrup, Matt and I decided that it would be best for me to not do a division on him.  No real need to tire him out further, and he had another day of rusty stirrup yet to do in finishing his division. 

This left me with a plan to only show DC, and a warm up and two hunters to do.  I got to the show a bit early, and decided that due to a burned forehead the day before, I needed to buy a hat.  And buy a hat I did.

I know, everyone is jealous of my pink and orange visor, seriously cool there. 

Since DC was being so great, we chose not to hack and save a little energy for my classes.  Amazingly enough, there was absolutely no drama getting ready for my classes.   For once I simply got on, walked to the ring, and warmed up.  Perhaps the lack of stress and panic was my downfall, as I can honestly say that my riding was just flat out terrible.  My first class started with a left lead going away from the gate.  I kicked for all of my might for a gap, and then did the sensible and logical thing and abandoned the leg at the base and dove up the neck  in an incredibly graceful way.  Cardinal sin of jumping, abandon the leg and jump up the neck.  My saint of a gray horse faithfully leapt of the ground as best he could with the monkey clinging to his ears.  I’d love to say this was the biggest issue of the day, but it was not.  I saw nothing, I rode to nothing, I was underpowered when I needed to be supportive, I was overpowered when I needed a soft ride, I was just bad. 

Walking out of the ring Matt was no where in sight.  When Matt is truly disappointed in you, he wanders away from the in gate, and takes a minute to provide feedback.  I tell myself it is to give the rider a minute to compose before discussion, but in reality it’s likely more a combination of shame and a desire to collect himself and try to find some sort of inkling of a positive thing to say.  This day, he was across the aisle and over by the warm up ring.  I knew that was a bad sign. 

Me: “There you are.”

Matt: “yes, here.”

Me: “so um.”

Matt: “yes, um is just what I was thinking.”

Me: “right.”

Matt: “your canter started well?  That’s about all I’ve got.”

From there we had a long discussion about how I am not trusting my decisions, second guessing myself, and generally look like a lost puppy atop a horse. 

I went in for my second round with much trepidation.  There’s nothing more mentally crippling for me than not trusting a decision, changing my mind, and having a worse outcome which then results in not trusting my decision. You can see this is a vicious cycle that I have a hard time climbing out of. 

My second trip did improve for the first three jumps, and then one of those tricky long approaches to an in and out had me making about four different decisions at once.  Once again it was ugly, I won’t talk about how ugly but a winning round it did not make. 

For my last round, we had a handy.  Matt tried a different tactic telling me to just relax and have fun!  In my ever so bizarre place of that day, I then put the utmost amount of pressure on myself to GO HAVE FUN.  I plastered a smile on my face that would rival Toddlers and Tiaras and cantered into the ring determined to HAVE FUN.  It was fine, not great, not even good, but no major horrible mistakes and I’m sure that I HAD FUN.  Or something. 

I ended up jogging 5th and 5th, so I mean it wasn’t world ending, but I certainly didn’t feel successful. 

Thankfully I had a full day of agenda left including…..

Watching TJ bring home the rusty stirrup champion AND win the classic!

Ice cream social!

Admiring Tino for his love and care of my beasties

Watching the pre-Grand Prix entertainment

Seriously these guys were crazy.

I think I was so mesmerized by the flying flag horses that I forgot to get any pictures of the Grand Prix, but I didn’t.

The day finished up with what is probably my favorite part of the Colorado shows, and that would be the exhibitor party.  They had a camp cookout for the entire show, live music, roping demonstrations, and a MECHANICAL BULL.

The evening winded down (or up? depends on your perspective) to a campfire in the camper park.

Other than that whole sucking at riding stuff, pretty much a perfect day in Colorado.  


  1. Haha, love Matt's response. Sometimes you just have to get back on and try again.

  2. Sometimes it's just a wash... we all have those days, some of us more frequently than other ;-)

  3. I have off days too, and while they are certainly frustrating, they also make success taste that much sweeter :-)

  4. Amazing! I've heard Colorado is super fun for exhibitors.

    and those mental mistake cycles are crippling. I have a fantastic tendency to hold for the add, then abandon that choice at the last possible moment and chase for the gap. My poor, poor, mare, how she hasn't dumped me yet, I do not know.

  5. Bummer that your riding day was off but sounds like a blast in the evening!