We all get a bit nervous or excited before the first event of the season. From remembering what to pack to trying to wake yourself up at 3 in the morning there’s things we tend to forget about a competition! I went to my first event of the season last week, I always get excited and definitely a bit nervous for the first time back out no matter what horse I’m riding. I had 3 horses to compete in the event- 2 the first day and 1 the second. The first day I had Ella my top horse in the Intermediate and Crackle one of my youngsters in the 100. Ella and myself have done 2 star for a few years now and are ready to move up but even still walking that XC course I just kept thinking ‘holly crap these jumps are huge, I don’t remember them being this big… Can she jump this big?” I know that was just the nerves talking and as soon as I was on Ella I knew how amazing she was and my thoughts changed to “we got this”. Sitting in warm-up of the XC there were 4 star riders going over the course 2 even 3 times with each other and it just reminds us that we’re human. The next day on my Novice horse Turtle the rust had been knocked off and we ended with a great dressage and double clear- no nerves just excitement.
At the end of the day whether you’re a top level rider or its your first event we’re all human and we all get a bit rusty but just keep a positive mindset and trust your horse and watch the hard work pay off!
In horses nothing goes to plan, especially eventing. It is different than any other sport, you have two athletes and that can get pretty difficult sometimes… Or should I say most of the time. For me, I seem to have the worst luck. I tried running my very first Advanced two weeks ago, I was how anyone would be running their first BE 3 star, excited!! And also very very nervous… Everything went wrong that day. Orion’s studs weren’t working, I was so unorganized (not like me), but worst of all I forgot my tails! I thought you could wear a normal jacket… Apparently not!! I was one horse away from going in the ring when I was informed I needed tails or would have been eliminated. My fantastic grooms ran (something they don’t enjoy might I add) to find tails, while the man that was in the ring before me finishing his test, his mom was offering me his tails! It was going to have to be a quick switch, luckily my grooms made it back with event rider Laura Colletts jacket! Dressage was saved!
Show jumping Orion didn’t feel himself, then to the cross country he still felt off. Halfway through the course I thought to myself I’ll jump another fence and see what happens before retiring, then we had an unplanned dismount.. It was at that moment I was positive something was up. The vet looked at him and there was something up with him. He wasn’t feeling good, a bit anemic, etc…
So after all the running around, the lead up to the advance and all its preparation, the stress and panic to find a jacket and Orion wasn’t himself. Disappointing? Yes, but honestly I couldn’t care less as long as my horse was okay! And he was a few days later, now we repeat everything again… More preparation, hard work, and this time I won’t forget the wrong jacket! That’s horses and without those learning curb moments you will never know how to be perfect in the future!
Looking at the British Eventing schedule for the summer and planning when I would be returning back to Canada had me thinking. I have been away from home for almost 3 years. That’s a long time…
It’s harder than you think. You lose touch with friends and family even though you talk to them it’s not the same. I haven’t had the easiest time over here… I’m so lucky to have the support of everyone to have gotten me through some of the worst times of my life.
But I have also had some of the best times as well, days when I realized that everything I have given up or sacrificed to be where I am was worth it. Where the 3 am starts for competitions, managing 4 horses on my own with school, and working hard has payed off and made the littlest bit of success worth every tear or drop of sweat.
Being afraid of success or not putting in the effort with something you love whether it’s a sport or a commitment can haunt you. If you had just put in a bit more effort or tried one last time things could be different. Don’t make that mistake, give the extra 10 percent, take a chance on something or someone, work a bit harder because in the end it might just lead to everything you’ve hoped.
Life is going to be hard. Success isn’t going to come easy, and anything you dream up might seem impossible to those around you, but it’s not. You might have to sacrifice going out with friends to be up early the next morning, or push aside a relationship to spend more time with your horses. You have to decide what you want in life and just how far you’d go or how hard you would work to get there.
As the year came to an end I am so thankful for all the amazing friends, family, and strangers supporting me, without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. 2016 is going to be full of its own ups and downs but I am determined to make it one of the best years, from producing results in competitions and fitness of myself and the horses. This is my first post on my new website and I will be posting informative blog posts that can help you and your horses in all aspects of your riding. Thank you for your continuous support and I hope I can make you proud in the New Year.