Monday, November 29, 2010

Pine Top Thanksgiving Horse Trials

Once again,Janet and Glenn Wilson and company put on a great show for us all last weekend. Pine Top is a class venue.They were blessed with great weather,bumper entries and a safe weekend for the horses and riders.What more can an event organizer ask for?How grateful we all are and give THANKS to The Wilson team and Pine Top farm.

Team paradise had a great time,though I think Barby was freezing all weekend. She did a wonderful job as usual keeping myself,Arthur and Becca in line and on time for our respective rides.

The A team stayed home over Thanksgiving weekend and watched football in their paddocks while Rasta,Daisy,and Bisto made the trip up and down to Thomson.

Dressage was a success for us all. We are managing to remember tests,keep shoulders up and produce softer rides. As usual,when I like my tests ,they don't score well but ,that's only a matter of opinion!

Rasta buzzed the show jumping literally as I had to beg the officials and Teresa Brookins to switch my ride time so I could help Arthur and Becca with their dressage which all went at the same time.(Can you say multi tasking?)I am more comfortable being very busy than standing around as I do not have time to over think so I was pleased with the way it all worked out.

Becca had a good solid show jumping after a grueling weeks worth of very hard whip cracking at the farm. She had very little Thanksgiving holiday as it was more like marine boot camp for her. Arthur,got the same treatment. At least he has his drivers license and can escape the farm in between lessons!Becca was a true prisoner!Arthur's show jumping showed tons of improvement. Sadly it was one fence short of the required number. Ugh. Time to up the Ginkgo Biloba.

Cross country was a real whiz for Rasta. I got a speeding ticket but ended up with bugs on my teeth for sure and the owner is now requesting a move up.I could not bring myself to pull him back. It simply was too much fun.

Becca and Arthur are climbing the really hard part of the eventing ladder. With each event comes a new damn challenge.Eventing is a really hard sport that takes tremendous tenacity and strength to hang in there and wait for it to come right.There are SO many aspects to the sport,it is VERY VERY difficult to get it right and make things work.Success brings confidence. These gallant riders are very close to making it over the hump.Each of them have mounts that are extremely well suited to their riding styles and abilities.

Horses are our best teachers. I have learned (the hard way) one really has to ride hard and work hard to make it all happen. Good riders create illusions of ease.One has to try to be ready for every ride, every damn step .You just never know when a small surprise will pop out and ruin your day(or make you day ,to be more positive).So Becca and Arthur are dealing with mini surprises that are making them far better riders.Eventing is a game of horse and rider reaction.It is a tortuous combination of being very relaxed ,but with lightning fast reflexes for the unexpected.

I have two other friends that also rode at Pine Top and deserve a mention. Sallie and Christy that braved the big Prelim course.Good on them for their move up and future successes. They both have lovely horses and I shall look forward to seeing their dreams come true.

OK. The eventing year is coming to a close. Though we have lots of horses in work on the farm I am going to try hard to have some sort of slow down period till Christmas.We will still train every day. I would like to hunt some more and see people and do "Christmasy" things.

The February Horse trials is rapidly approaching and then the next season will be upon us.

To be honest ,I will be glad to see the back of 2010.This has not been a great year.This has been the year of learning how to let go.Pickles the wonder horse taught me how to let go of my riding . I rode well this year. I feel much happier with my riding and the confidence that he gave me while in the saddle with him is priceless to me.I cannot let him go. He is with me always.

Letting go of the love of my life plagues me endlessly.I am failing in that department.But I figure,if I can learn to wait and be quiet and patient to the base of a 4'6" square oxer ,into a triple, with a vertical of planks on the other side,I will learn how to relax my hold, breath and go on without him too.I just never wanted to have to let go like that.

Letting go of the Aiken Hounds is easier with each day. At first I was fooled into believing that integrity and honesty would prevail. I was fooled into believing that family history and tradition were important factors into my association with the hunt.But I now know that is a true gift from God above,that I am well away from that association as my interpretation of what drag hunting was all about is obviously incorrect.I am mad at myself for not seeing it sooner.What was I thinking for over 20 years?With each day and each story that I hear, it is very clear to me now why I was no longer welcome there.I have very different views about hunting,history,etiquette,principle , and Aiken than most,that is clear.Not to mention my views on preparing horses and riders for hunting and safety issues. I think we are clear on that as well.WE all know about opinions,they are like........... and everyone has one.

So bring on next year. Bring on the Christmas merriment! I want Santa to bring me strength to help me free myself from the downsides of 2010. Life goes on. I am going to go stare at big oxers some more..........Stay tuned!

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