The gift of eventing | An Eventful Life

The gift of eventing

      Things were going well in the lead up to the event at SIEC .........


Well the eventing season has begun, and the anticipation for it was immense!  I’ve been so looking forward to seeing out there again.  I’ve put myself through the extremes to get ready – I’ve been doing dressage days to try and convince myself that dressage isn’t actually a necessary evil, and is in fact an enjoyable experience, which goes towards creating a more harmonious – oh hang ON – who am I kidding!

I was getting fed up with coming last so decided to do something about it.  Things were going well in the lead up to the event at SIEC – I’d had several clinics with Sam Lyle (at Lynton and here at Canberra) and despite having a discussions about what speed is acceptable to approach a jump, we had a great time at both.  My ride on Friday, prior to SIEC was great – I felt everything click into place.

Saturday morning dawned with a chilly start – and our friends were visiting with their hot air balloon, so I helped motivate the 3 sleepy children out of bed at 5am (no mean feat I can assure you) and sent them on their merry way, and I drove up to meet John to load Chaka onto the already packed float. 

Chaka however decided that running around the paddock with Astro and his mates was a much more preferable way to start the day and we spent 10 minutes watching them burn off some excess energy – even Ellie our little Shetland joined in!



Finally we got him loaded and off we set up the road to Sydney with John driving and me giving my tack the pre-event treatment (read - only time they get cleaned).  Bacon and egg pie demolished as well en-route.  Our warm up for dressage felt terrific and I was actually feeling very optimistic (yes I know this is a permanent state for me in regards to most matters, but rarely for dressage).

But, as per usual, the minute I start trotting around the arena – my brain leaves the building and the horse and rider combo that were strutting their stuff in the warmup was a far cry from what was presented to the judge.  But I came out feeling overall positive as I felt we had made a definite improvement on previous tests – but you guessed it – the judge didn’t think so, so we started the competition in the same place we were in the draw – last. 

Needless to say I was just a tad cranky – such that when I walked the course nothing on it bothered me – as I had no more room in me for any more negative thoughts!  It appears though that my brain really wasn’t functioning particularly well, as my back number was 140, but somehow I thought it was 130.  So when in the XC warm up I saw 137 and 138 warming up I panicked and only jumped a few jumps and said I’ll go to the start ( they were short on horses)  I realised my girth was still loose, and was still doing it up at the end of the countdown!  Off we set and my plan was – now that I really can’t do any worse than I am – let’s use this round as a training experience. 

Sam Lyle’s mantra to me has been “be patient and let the jump come to you”.  So I did – and it appears that when I do that Chaka takes great offence and runs off.  So we had two stops. 

What a great way to start the season.  Show jumping was the following day, and after spending the morning pencilling for dressage, I got ready to jump and of course, he stepped on his hind shoe and tore it off.  I really was feeling that I should just pack up and go home.  At this point, my trusty friends reminded me that the alternative was being at home, being a parent to three children while Mack goes fishing.  That was enough to put those thoughts of packing up WAAAAAY back.  He jumped well and I am so pleased that they convinced me to stay. 


      The view from the dressage penciller's office

Amongst working part time, and trying to bring up three respectable human beings, I’ve been getting things organised for the CIC event in Canberra –  growing 320 pansies/sponsorship/ribbons/rugs/entries/trying to find officials/etc etc etc.  Can’t wait for it to be over!  Then it’s off to Lynton to enjoy someone else’s hard work!

Hopefully in my next blog I can share some better results – but whatever the result I need to remember that today is called the present, and that is a gift and I am grateful to be involved in the sport of eventing as it truly is a group of terrific people (who may or may not be totally crazy!)