As misleading as it may seem, this isn’t a blog on how to decide to move up a level. Nor is it a blog on what you should or shouldn’t know. My best advice, be bored silly at the level you are at, and then be bored a little longer, and then, ask your horse if he is bored….then your trainer. Then yourself. But enough about that.
No, this is what it takes for us to move up a level. For this weekend, for the first time in 3 years, Melissa rode intermediate. Now, don’t get me wrong, I rode intermediate too. By Sunday I had ridden 3 dressage tests, about 2o stadium rounds, and minimally 200 xc jumps. You have seen us, the Mom’s who kick, pull, half-halt, on the sidelines. Praying our kid gets around, and giving those signals. There is a viral video of a man on the side of the ring as his kid rides a jumper round. Funny thing is, we actually know John, and he is the son of the famed Henry. But again, this is about our move up.
Anyone who shows can tell you that it is NEVER easy to get to a show. But compared to a lot of our shows, this one was MAJOR easy. If you discount the emergency coggins first thing Thursday or leaving 2 hours late. But no serious injuries, no serious car-malfunctions, no working students finking out at the last moment, no employee’s leaving at the 11th hour, NOTHING…which in and of itself, is basically a MIRACLE.
We left in sun, hot and balmy, and headed north. Missy in her truck. Pulling the three horses. I was in my car, about 4 hours behind, due to Codi having her awards ceremony at school, Jeremy riding with me.
We left behind Jenn, who started working for us a few weeks earlier, with instructions out the, you know where. Phone numbers. She is an amazing find, and we are SOOO excited to FINALLY have someone we can count on. But it’s boring, being the one left behind, and most of the time a thankless job. So I want to take a moment and say, without you, it wouldn’t have happened I could go. So thank you and thank you and thank you.
Kevin 12 hours behind, because, well, he is a vet, and well, they have emergencies.
Bill, her Dad, the next day, from Illinois. Melanie, her groom, anxiously awaiting a phone call she had arrived. So, quiz, did you count how many cars headed to Chatt Hills for one rider showing a horse at Intermediate? How many people need to be there anyway?
So I arrived in time to be somewhat useful and organize her tack stall. YAY. For those who don’t know, my favorite thing in the world is organizing. Events, tack rooms,
barns….laundry rooms. So I felt useful, and helped to get her all set up for the three horses. Not only was she going to do Open Intermediate, but had two horses doing training. Plus she was signed up for bareback puissance. Jumping as high as you can, while bareback. And a mechanical bull-riding competition. So it promised to be a fun-filled weekend.
First day of competition was dressage. Melissa was a nervous wreck, I was a nervous wreck, the horse was a nervous wreck. Poor Melanie and Kevin and Codi paid the higher price. Anyone who is a backup for a rider, be it mom, groom, kid, owner, or someone who just follows on Facebook. Dealing with the nerves of the rider, the horse, and in this case, the MOM…tough. And just know, we REALLY appreciate it!
We muddled thru the dressage. Muddle would be a good term. It wasn’t the worst and it wasn’t the best. Lots of places we could have gained a few points. Nice to know. It will get better.
Stadium wasn’t much better. It was a tricky course, and we have homework.
The next day, the fun begins. We started off on XC. Paddy was AMAZING on xc. AMAZING. He ran around that intermediate course like it was nothing. Like he had done it all his life. Meanwhile, the Mom, the Dad, the Brother, the Daughter, the Boyfriend, the Groom, the Coach, all stood with held breaths, and sweaty palms, and she proved the rider she is. She took him around and was spot on, at all the questions. I couldn’t have been prouder hearing the announcer say over and over that they were making it look easy.
Click below to watch video, just stare at the yellow log in distance. Unfortunate how far that was, it was by far, the hardest jump he has ever done.
After is always the biggest high, and such jubilation. From the support group, it is that they are safe. From the rider, the rush of jumping jumps nearly 4′ tall, solid, and beating it.
There was more to the day. Dressage to ride on the training horses.
THAN….bareback puissance. Oh was that fun fun fun. There is nothing like watching 9 riders competing over a jump that quickly was over 4′, and just kept going. Paddy was one of the last out. His scope is incredible, especially given, he just ran intermediate 4 hours earlier. How incredible is that.
So it was, a great show. What does it take to move up? Ask the Mom who drove 6 hours, or the Dad who drove 9, Or the Vet who took off for the weekend and drove all night, or the brother who sweated out 3 days in the heat. Or the daughter who is just 10, and is always out on the course yelling “go mom”. Or the groom who walks and walks and walks the horses, and keeps the rider organized. Ask the Owner, whose horse is out on xc, and they LOVE them. Ask the trainer, who had to sit in a dressage booth and judge, or couldn’t help. Ask the coach who volunteered their time to warm her up for XC.
So, what does it take? A team, a wonderful, loving, and giving team. Now, to move on up….get the stadium to stay in the cups, the points to fall off for dressage, or pile up, whichever way you wanna look at it, and onward to some more xc questions
wonderful, loving, and giving team. Now, to move on up….get the stadium to stay in the cups, the points to fall off for dressage, or pile up, whichever way you wanna look at it, and onward to some more xc questions
And may team MMC stay strong, and move on.