First off: Cabal. After my show yesterday, I went down to the U of MN and brought him home. They told me it could go either way, I could bring him back until Monday or he could stay there, but I felt like he would so rather be home, and he would eat if he was home, and I sure did want him at home, so home he came.
Good call. His spirit is good, he's happy, if slightly confused as to why his legs no longer obey him. He's eating hugely. Also good.
I will call his Dr in the morning and we will make a Plan. Also good. He loved having people over today and both he and Lola got lots of love. He's currently sleeping as I type this...
Now, about my VERY FIRST DRESSAGE SHOW. More accurately, my very first Horse Show of any kind. I am pretty sure I can't convey in words exactly what it meant, how cool it was, or what I learned. If you've ever heard me play U2's Running To Stand Still, it was a lot like that. A journey that went a lot of places. With a whole lot of Magic.
It wasn't about WINNING A BLUE RIBBON, this show. It was about winning with myself. I haven't been riding Dressage all that long. I wouldn't have done this of my own volition. It was my trainer, She Who Owns It All's idea. She believed I could do it, and so, therefore, did me too.
I entered in three classes, Equitation where you are judged on how well you ride. It was a training show which means the judge talks to you about how you did, and my comments were mostly about Diagonals and how I messed them up and considering I hadn't really done much work with them, I was ok with that. This was a group class with other riders.
Then there was Training Tests 1 and 2. A test is a routine one does, like a figure skater. Walking trotting and cantering from letter to letters, which are placed about the arena. One does this alone, and gets a score.
And it was there I learned exactly how much I do not know.
I froze on my first test, mucked it up, did pretty much everything wrong. Stiff as a board, no rapport with my horse. No idea why this happened. I'm a performer, I know about being on stage. I'm REALLY good at it. Didn't matter. I felt like, well, horrible. Extremely depressing. Very much what the heck am I doing here. I laughed because what else was I going to do, but sure didn't feel like it. Haven't failed that badly in forever.
Then, as we had 20 or so minutes before my next test, a harder one, my Trainer and I went back to the indoor arena. She and I had a TALK. Not a Russian Gymnast sort of Trainer talk, but one that changed everything. I wish I could tell you the things she teaches me, but it can't be written in words. She told me to go to the place I was when I played music. And then she said "You ride that horse so well..." Which if you know your Irish music is a line from one of my Favorite songs, "Ride On". And everything melted. I could ride. Poor description, but there you have it.
It was wonderful, that second ride, I did it. Sure, made mistakes, but I RODE.
I know now I can do this. I couldn't have done it 8 weeks ago.
I hung my ribbons up, over my soon to be fitting well, honorary Naptown Roller Derby Girl jersey.
And have never been prouder of anything.
Yeah, I can do this. And next time, or the time after, my rainbow will have blue in it.
And it's true.
A little trial by fire never hurt anyone.
Love and Dressage,