This post has been written about a dozens times now and each time I start rambling off in some odd direction I didn’t mean to. There was just so much happening in my brain as we drove home Sunday.
First and most important, I absolutely loved this show, the venue and all the people. Everyone kept telling me how awesome eventers are, but honestly I was very skeptical as I had been told that about other horse disciplines and rarely found it to be true. Not this time though! Everyone I spoke to, from the German guy who has competed at Bromont (no clue what his name was but everyone else seemed to know him), to the older lady who had just completed her first dressage test in 18 years, was not only pleasant and polite, but was genuinely nice and helpful. I had a mini panic attack when it was time to tack up and I had no clue where to put my bridle number. Google brought up anything from “always on the left” to “always on the right” to “whichever side will face the judge at C on your first turn”. I finally just stopped a lady walking by and asked and she said she always puts hers on the right, so I did. (Later Trainer said she always does it on the left, so I am thinking it honestly doesn’t matter).
Even the ring stewards were overly friendly. By the time my division went it had been a long and hot day for everyone and yet the dressage steward took the extra time to pluck the grass out of Gem’s mouth to make her look pretty for the judge and came over to me after the test telling me I looked good int he test and hoping I came back for more in the future. The jump steward was hilarious and kept me calm. It was an amazing experience filled with people who were out there doing what they loved. Even those who had a bad round just chalked it up to a bad day, still smiled and went on to watch and encourage others.
Coming from the world of endurance where people are oh so happy to put the word “just” in front of limited distance or claim you aren’t doing real endurance if it isn’t a 50 miler (something that really really really pisses me off), being in the amoeba division and having those from the earlier intermediate division come over and congratulate me and comment on my mare was refreshing. Maybe this attitude goes away at recognized trials, but there was never once a feeling of being thought of as less due to the division I chose to compete it. Everyone was happy that people were out doing what they enjoy doing with their horse.
Second, this sport has so much potential that I felt even more energized and motivated after than before. I want to improve. I want to grow. I want to go out there and kick some major butt and do it all over again. In fact, had we not been the very last division, I would have easily dropped the money to add in another jump round or two. I loved it. Loved, loved loved.
There was a third, but now I forget what it was. Basically, I achieved all my pre show goals, I’ve fallen in love with this sport, Gem was happy and relaxed the entire day and looked gorgeous all dolled up with her mane in a braid and I felt really proud of what we accomplished by the end of the day. I have a ton of home work to work on, I can’t wait until my next lesson to talk to Trainer about my new goals and see what the future holds for us.