Thursday, February 12, 2015

WEF Day 1 (2015)

A quick synopses of the day after our arrival in Wellington:

  1. Go to barn, check on horses
  2. TJ isn’t eating, generally seems unwell, and is dehydrated. Panic panic panic, make a million phone calls, panic panic some more, rush around to find the meds that I (accidentally left at home), panic panic.
  3. DC is pacing and pawing. Panic panic, he’s not going to settle, panic panic
  4. Realize I’m about to miss my plane, panic panic, oh God, my flight leaves in a half hour panic panic

Right, so that went well….

On to day 1!

Honestly? I’d prefer if I didn’t have to call this day one given how well day 2 went (foreshadowing), but nevertheless….

You can imagine my excitement as I arrived to the show grounds bright and early, with such confidence as I

  • Knew my way around and
  • Had nothing but glowing reports about DC all week

We were starting in the unassuming Rost arena, where we had had much success in the previous year.

With this confidence, I walked to my stalls only to get a (ping!) text from Matt. “You’ve been moved to Grand, make sure you hack there.”

I can promise you, at this moment a few choice words were muttered by yours truly. Grand was where the epic melt down happened in the previous year. And although horses might not have memories like Elephants, I do.

With trepidation, I walked to the Grand to do my morning hack, and joined about 5,000 of my closest friends

Immediately I was reminded that although a “fancy” horse, DC has NOTHING on the quality you see of the average competitor at WEF. Cresty necked beauties that were 10 movers (if you think you’ve seen a 10 mover, think again) sauntered merrily around the ring looking all perfect.

Meanwhile me and a DC tried to manage a reasonable hack without

  • Biting anyone around us
  • Squealing with joy at the sight of the pretty bay horses (him, not me)
  •   Making a general fool of ourselves.

I had obtained success and was feeling generally good about my hack. I should learn to be less confident.

As we walked around sniffing the jumps and thinking about how amazing we were going to be later in the day, we walked up to a particular jump that had a nice astroturf ground line. Great, fine, all good, and then as I turned him to walk to the next jump, he thought maybe the ground line was actually meant to be stepped on. Except it wasn’t. His knee buckled he fell over himself taking a walking step, and we ended up on our knees blinking stupidly as he couldn’t quite figure out how he went from standing perfectly nicely to on his knees on the ground.

Please note that my #1 goal for this year was to not make a fool of myself at WEF.

This is why I do not make goals.

For our plan for the first show day was to do the Ariat adult  medal as a nice warm up for the A/O. Fantastic plan. Until it wasn’t. Honestly, I’ve not had a worse moment of absentee-riding in my entire life. I walked into the ring and froze. Call it PTSD, call it nerves, call it the horrific. Whatever it is, it was bad. I will save you the recount of the horribleness fence by fence, but know that we had one stop, one run chip, one pull pull pull and nothing, and a horse that was grinding his teeth in anger by the time I walked out of the ring.

Please note that my #1 goal for this year was to not make a fool of myself at WEF.

This is why I do not make goals.

I came away feeling like I should either quit riding, drive myself and my horses back to Texas with my tail between my legs, or at very least, drop down a division. Matt loves when my confidence plummets. It’s his favorite part of having me as a customer, I promise.

A series of pep talks and a little ride on my favorite TJ, and we decided to stick with the plan of the 3’3 A/Os on both horses. For that, I am thankful, as we will all find out about in DAY 2!!!!!


  1. As we all know the successes we achieve after the muck-ups totally make all the embarrassments that much sweeter! (Foreshadowing ;-) lol)

  2. Unpleasant days like those make the good ones shine brighter. Onwards and upwards, greatness awaits you guys...i can feel it *hugs*