We had a nice weekend here, where my plan of having no plans mostly worked. I hope you all enjoyed your Labor Day festivities just as much. Also, my husband bought himself a truck!
Anyways, on to the topic of today, and my pondering of contradictions. Eventers are supposed to be the crazy ones, brave enough to jump solid fences knowing the potential consequences, and just doing the damn thing anyway. Cross country fields are where we are supposed to be at home, and trail riding comes as easily to us as white on rice.
Not for this weenie.
I used to be a rock-star trail rider before I got into competing and eventing. I was lucky enough to grow up on a small farm that was a short trek from the most amazing trail system- 180 acres of broad paths up and down hills, around ponds, over bridges, and through creeks. Every day I would throw a bareback pad (or not) on my trusty Haflinger, Tanner, and head out for some R&R. We’d canter all over the place, enjoying being out and about like all was well with the world.
Then one day, I was cantering Tanner down a hill, and he lost his footing and tripped. He slid down the hill on his back, chucking me into the trees. When I came to, my vision was in black and white, and the only clear thing to me were the shadows of the trees. I felt around for Tanner, who had miraculously stood up and was waiting right there, and climbed back on. I remember panicking a bit for the 10 minutes that it took my vision to come back- I was miles from the nearest person at the time. I never told my parents about what I now realize was probably a nasty concussion, but started borrowing a cell phone with me whenever I went out on the trails by myself.
Fast forward to my graduation to real horses, and competing for realz. I tried going out on the trails, but couldn’t trust them the way I did Tanner. They, being more sensitive types, felt my tension and would start looking for the threat they thought I perceived. Enter spooking at things that did not really exist. I just couldn’t find a way back to the relaxed trail rides, instead, trail rides meant channeling all my energy into calming myself down, which of course, is really hard to do.
To this day, I do not care for trail riding. Give me a job- warming up, jumping, focusing on maintaining a rhythmic gallop, and I’m good to go. Tell me to chill the heck out and walk around on the buckle, and I tense up. Pretty much the most contradictory thing for an eventer, but that’s me, and that’s the baggage I carry with me.
What about you guys? Do you struggle with contradictory skills? Do you fumble over cross-rails, but glory over bigger fences? Hate the grooming process, but bought a white horse?