Emma over at ‘Fraidy Cat Eventing is hosting a great contest. Please go check it out – here. This is my entry for the eventing BINGO story. I don’t event (yet) and I am not familiar with all the technicalities of the sport, but it is un to join along and write a story of what would likely happen if Gem and I attempted a show.
GEM GOES EVENTING
Here we are – our first event. Just a schooling show, but you have to start somewhere, right? Gem is all dolled up for dressage – shiny bay coat sparkling in the sun, red and white dressage pad actually clean, black dressage saddle scrubbed within an inch of its life. I’m nervous and couldn’t eat breakfast. Can I even remember my dressage test? We are about to find out.
Its getting close to our test time, so I mount up and head into the warm up arena. It is busier than I anticipated. Horses are everywhere and Gem and I are both high as a kite. I’m supposed to be getting her to relax, but all I really want is about 20 miles of hilly trail to canter her along before hand. Endurance seems easy compared to this!
Circles. And halt transitions. I hope my brain starts functioning so I can actually ride. As I am trying to get her to calm down and show some sort of the training we have put in, Gem catches sight of a plastic bag outside the warm up ring. She freezes for a half a second then drops her shoulder, spins 180 degrees and runs.
There goes my white breeches.
I fall off over her dropped shoulder and land smack into a pile of manure. Great. Thankfully Gem stops right away and I collect my horse, damaged pride and ruined attire with just enough time to mount back up and head into the ring as the steward is calling my number.
With that behind me, things couldn’t get any worse. Hopefully. We go down center line and are mostly, basically straight. Ish. We wiggle our way through the BN test and all is going well for the first half. I decide to start breathing again. I relax. Things should go smoother if I just relax.
Right as I take a deep breath and exhale, Gem sees that damn plastic bag again. I think it is following us. Maybe a competitor attached it to a drone and is flying it around to sabotage us. Are we that good that we need sabotaging? Gem catches it out of the corner of her eye and that is it. Game over. She flails and jumps right out of the arena! All her jumping training has finally paid off, but it was intended to teach her to jump over the small white fence demarcating the dressage court. Are we eliminated?
Thankfully it is a school show and they let us re enter and finish the test. Someone is holding that plastic bag. I hope they throw it in the trash and put a lid on it. Is that an evil smirk I see on the person’s face holding it? I have to be imagining it. Wait…did she just wink at me?!
Dressage finally ends. Who knew 2 minutes could take so long? We do our best square halt and exit with what little pride I can manage. I need to track down that person, but I have no time. I have to get Gem ready for stadium jumping. She stands mostly still while I exchange her dressage tack for jumping. She looks just as sharp in her red jumping gear and brown saddle as she did in her dressage tack. I change out of my white breeches and into clean light tan ones. We are all ready to head back to warm up and I keep my eyes open for any rogue plastic bags.
Warm up goes uneventfully and while she remains her good old stiff self, so do I and we pop over the small fences a few times to get our heads in the game. I think Gem wants this day to be over with and she practically pulls me into the arena for our stadium round.
We cross the timers and head towards the first jump. Its a nice and inviting vertical and we approach it in a nice canter with enough forward momentum, but not crazy. Maybe I will survive this day yet. She launches over the fence and hits the ground on the other side with more energy than before. I find myself with a freight train on the other end of the reins.
Jump two comes at us faster than I thought and just as we approach that plastic bag flies right in front on us. I barely have enough time to register the fact that there is no wind when Gemmie jumps both out of her skin and over the standards! Who knew she could jump that high? We manage to safely land and I am seething mad now. My anger only eggs Gemmie onward and we manage to leave two out of the next line to fly over the jump. the rest of the round is clear, but frightening to both watch and participate in. I don’t know how we finished that course without an injury.
As we make our way back to the trailer to untack I look around for the woman with her plastic bag. I see her mounting up for her turn in the arena. No signs of the bag though. I wonder….