I'm the type of person who likes to give things names. For example when jumping there Long Spots, Deep Spots, Close Your Eyes/Pray To God Spots, Training Distances (which incorporate the afore mentioned, and most often used when I'm attempting to look good even tho I missed!). And of course there's the Perfect Distance, which obviously I see a lot (I wish!). Then there are Hot Attached Guys (the bane of my existence), Hot Gay Guys (loads of fun and super trendy) and Hot Available/Interested Guys (a VERY rare species!). Then there are drives. Just Up The Road to PA to compete. Just Down The Road to a jumper show in NC. Floating Home On Air when I've won. Finally there's the Long Drive Home. The most dreaded of all and the absolutely demoralising. Unfortunately I'm had to experience this one quite a few times, fortunately I've experienced the opposite WAY more times! And although over time my good:bad ratio has improved considerably (as it should), the bad ones are still there... And let me tell you, the pain certainly does not diminish with time and experience. Of course this is a LONG story to update you on my latest show, Jersey Fresh CCI with Cole. From the beginning it didn't go well. The dressage test was one best left in the past. I made a couple of mistakes for which I won't forgive myself, as my horse did try quite hard. If you're a regular reader you will understand the challenges and improvements we've made in the short time we've been together. His owner/s are super supportive and have enabled me to seek further help in this area, for which I'm immensely grateful. However it was seriously depressing none the less, just ask the couple of unfortunate recipients of my distressed calls immediately after I got off! I decided to run cross country as it would still be a qualifier and this horse has far bigger fish to fry at a higher level to get too worked up. He is super solid cross country and seems to just read my mind on course. Either that or he's been checking out the course map while I'm not looking and already knows what to do before hand! So I was mindful that to finish on our dressage score, very likely given his record and current fitness, would at least put us in the top ten and also give us the qualifier. So with that in mind we headed off to cross country. As always, no matter how straight forward a course seems, I gave it my utmost attention (given that it's possible to trip over even a 2 foot fence, and that's embarrassing). There were definately plenty of questions, but none that Cole wasn't prepared for. So it came as a bit of a shock to come out of the first water (ominously named the Jersey Shore) on a half stride and have a run out at the skinny. In the midst of the utter disappointment I at least still retained some common sense. Let's leave it for another day, Bromont is in a month, he can go there and we get a second chance. So back to the barn we went (certainly not something I thought I'd be doing 3 mins earlier, I'd pictured myself at that point jumping up the banks), me incredibly disappointed with myself but still very happy to have a healthy, sound horse underneath me. Always it's onwards and upwards to the next show (Liberty and Ti at VA Horse Trials this weekend), but still very depressing indeed. No amount of consoling myself with 'at least it wasn't at Rolex', or 'at least I'm not starving in Africa', or 'at least there weren't any hot guys in the crowd' helped. I know I lead a very charmed existence but it's all relative, I didn't smile all week.
I probably should have seen this coming tho, Cole has very definatley made it clear in the past that he can't stand the Jersey Shore (he's scared of Snooki, as am I), and he's very much more interested in the class and fevour of the French (even if it's French-Canadian) so Bromont it is! Plus he gets to hang out with Liberty (who's also going) for a week. . The next few weeks for us will see us jumping with Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin and Marilyn Meredith-Little and dressaging a LOT. It is fair to mention that the same jump caught out an Olympic gold medalist, a 3 time Rolex winner and several other very good riders. Not an excuse in any way, but a tiny tiny comfort. Every tunnel has it's end and eventingnation posted a clip of Cole and I jumping clear at Fair Hill CIC 2 star (thanks Julie Scott for alerting me!) and I was smiling ear to ear and ready for our next challenge!
O, I nearly forgot, it was a Long Drive Home from Jersey.......
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