Hope springs eternal…you’d think I would learn

Well, the grapes are officially toast. Actually, they are the opposite of toast, but frost leaves them burned looking so we will stick with toast. I drove to work this morning with the windows down in the 28 degree weather so I could get a clear view of the white vines and crystal buds. But to quote dear Scarlett – “I’ll think about that tomorrow”.

At the same time, I drafted the show calendar today. I feel like Rylee when she knows she is in trouble but can’t stop the body wag. I have jumped Ries a few times with no swelling in his front legs the day after. I also obsessively ice his legs after (thank you Bates for the Christmas gift – it turned into ice boots). Ries jumps like a cat. He is incredible adjustable and lands so lightly. The loss of that was what cued me into the tendon strain last year. We will build back slowly with painstaking attention to his fitness work as well. So it with great fear and respect for Murphy’s Law that I started looking at the eventing omnibus for this upcoming season. Its been five years since I did a real event. I hung up my vest and sold Tweed when I was pregnant and for a variety of reasons, have not managed to get back to it. I picked up one catch ride for another trainer for the mini event, but that is it. The whole point of buying Ries was to event again, and he has such potential both in terms of his ability and his mind.

Going to Rolex to watch will only turn me into an over enthusiastic nut to get back to eventing. If you have not gone cross country, you can’t imagine the adrenaline rush. Getting to do it on a horse that you have a good partnership with (versus one with deep seated and bizarre psychological issues) is amazing. Even with the horse with more issues than Time magazine will keep you coming back for more punishment.

Eventers are a weird breed. It does not matter if they are going walk/trot over poles on the ground or riding for a medal, there is something about it that they all relate to. The walk/trotters (or as we saw last year at Erie – the walk/walkers) will measure out their courses, walk the cross country, obsess over studs and conditioning, lament dressage and nit pick the technical merits of the stadium course with the same intensity as the riders that go by first name only due to their fame, such as Buck or Boyd or Jimmy. I can’t explain it, but I get it.

As a coach, I still find cross country riveting, but somewhat terrifying. My abs are exhausted by the time the girls are done. I ride each fence with them, I run in between fences to see as much of their course as possible, and I worry like crazy for them. I preen like an Olympian when they are safely across the finish line (one fell off at the walk after the finish line, but that didn’t stress me out too much. Really, you do have to breath during cross country). I also turn green with envy since the memories are nearly tangible.

So keep your fingers crossed for the whole group, yours truly included. Image

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