Occasionally I forget how to ride and this happens to be one of the shows where that happened. Although this could be explained by the fact that Tucker and I were still a new team trying to work out all the kinks. At this point we were only into the second month of the full lease and this was only the second off property show of the season. As usual we signed up for a warm up round and as usual it sucked. But I’m totally okay with that. That’s why you do a warm up, to get a feel for how the course rides and especially how the lines are set. At least that’s how I feel now. At the time I remember being disappointed in myself for not riding better. Not being one to shake a mood easily these are not good thoughts to have at the start of the day.
For the warm up round my rhythm to start was slow, which was fine for the quarter line single but I failed to ask for more through the short side and we added in the line. As usual my memory of exact details escapes me but I seem to remember adding in at least one more line, probably at least one launch and probably at least one chip. I may have even picked up the wrong lead at the beginning of the course (I know that I did it at least once that day).
Back down in the warm up ring coach E had me ride more forward into my hand. This all makes sense to fix the problems we had but changing the way that you ride during a show is probably not the best plan. I was anxious and annoyed with myself and Tucker started to act up which made it worse. At one point he decided to protest the changes by threatening to rear. He didn’t go up but he did have both fronts up by inches. NERVES!!!!
The Adult Amateur 2’6″ Hunter was the first division of the day and coach G had put us at the top of the order. This was probably a good thing considering how I was feeling. There’s not a chance in hell I would have made it through the day with all the anxiety. I think that it was at this show we started the tradition of a dirty word or joke on the way into the ring to try to ease the anxiety. E would shout “boobs” or G would say “just fucking do it”. Through the season they got more and more creative with things to say just to make me smile. Smiling is good for the soul and nerves. People probably thought we were nuts.
The three over fences classes went by like a whirlwind. I remember having mistakes in every one of them and each time coming out of the ring feeling more and more upset with myself. I had been told that the very first time Tucker had been to this facility with his previous rider they had won reserve champion. There was no way that was happening for us. That thought just added to the bad feelings.
Out of 13 entries we placed 6th, 8th, and 7th in the over fences classes. No pin in the hack, which was expected as we were still a giraffe and not moving out as well as we could. I guess in hind sight we must not have been as bad as I thought to have placed out of 12 other riders. But I was disappointed in myself for not riding as well as I knew I could. I wasn’t proud of those ribbons because I didn’t feel like we had earned them. We just flopped around the ring and were lucky enough that a handful of people flopped around a bit worse than we did. These are awful negative thoughts that I wish I didn’t have but they happened. Full discloser and full honesty for memories sake.