Dear Colby, WHOA!!!

No matter how hard you try, there are certain things you can never and will never be able to control.  You can have a plan.  You can have an agenda.  In most cases, when it comes to horses, you can throw all that out the window.

This summer has been a mix of ups and down for Colby and I… We have had moments of greatness… aaannnnnd moments of not so greatness.  We have had beautiful dressage tests/events in general… aaaannnnd not so beautiful dressage tests/events in general.  Most recently, I thought I would try to trick the judge and ride the ‘wrong’ test at our last event.

In my defence however, the test’s first movement had changed and I was obviously completely unaware of that fact.  So, as the horse prior to me was exiting the arena, Colby decided to throw a temper tantrum, a Prelim horse galloped by 6 feet from the arena, I heard my bell, we entered at ‘A’ and  got dinged 7 seconds in.  Oh – I also received back to back 3s as another Prelim horse blew by us in the middle of our test which resulted in another temper tantrum.  Thumbs up.  (I also had a rail in SJ and a stop on xc. I think I even said ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’ when she stopped.  She never stops….in a nutshell, it just wasn’t our day.  At all.)  And, while I enjoy Colby’s enthusiasm for taking me to the jumps, this specific performance has resulted in me requiring more breaks as she also thinks it is a great idea to pull through my half halts and then fling herself over the jumps.

Dear Colby, I wish this moment was actually part of our tests – and not moments prior to you having a temper tantrum.

Not to be too discouraged – **Note to self, do not try to explain to your non horsey husband why you are upset as a result of things not going to plan because you will not like the answer you get back and in turn become more upset**

This is after all, what I consider to be a training year for her. I figured I would enter Glenarden Farms, run by Pippa and Jay Hambly, Fall Horse Trials on October 6.  Where our very own CRD will be the TD!  Okay, new event to countdown to – we have a plan – let’s make it happen….

About 2 weeks ago, I show up to the barn for a lesson after having a fabulous week of rides.  As soon as we start trotting, my coach goes ‘Is she off?’ at the same time I go ‘She doesn’t feel right’.  Sure enough, there is a sore spot under her right hip – she had gotten kicked or bit or something.  Awesome.  While not lame, she was definitely sore.  So,  our lesson and subsequent week of rides got turned into a week of trotting in straight lines and me attempting not to get bucked off as Colby tried on numerous occasions to half pass/half rear/buck through the corn field at a lovely collect trot/bolt.  Wicked.

Then, about a week ago, I underwent a last minute medical procedure that prevented me from riding for a further week – pas de panic, I am 100% okay – and lost yet another week of schooling.  I am very thankful to those who helped me out and kept Colby in work during that time…although there was spooking, half rearing, bucking and temper tantrums to contend with…. At least, I know she treats all riders equally and it isn’t just me!

This past weekend, I got in the saddle for the first time in a week – and really schooled her for the first time in 2.  She felt great!  I was pumped for our lesson on Monday (September 24).  Monday happens and it is cold, wet, windy and overall u.g.l.y. outside.  The outdoor ring where all the pretty jumps are set up was sloppy.  We decide to pass on our lesson and reschedule until Tuesday (September 25).  I’m at home for about an hour when I get a phone call: ‘Ummmm, I think you need to come back to the barn, because Colby is bleeding and she has a gash on her leg.”  This is a joke right?

Dear Colby, I swear you do these things to me on purpose!!

Sure enough, as the horses were galloping in from the far corner of the field for dinner, she managed to clip the inside of her front left below her ankle.  While not deep or swollen, it was ugly, radiating heat and bleeding a lot.  Cold hose, clean, apply dressing/covering, wrap her fronts (as a precaution only, there was no swelling or heat anywhere in her legs – I am just being uber careful), dinner, back outside.

The good thing, is that she hasn’t taken a lame step.  The bad thing, is the cut is in a spot that will make it challenging to keep clean and free of infection.  The other bad thing, is there is no way I can ride her until at least Friday – at the earliest…at which point, I will have lost a week of schooling and only have 6 days to prepare for Glenarden – IF she’s 100%.

Have I mentioned I haven’t jumped an xc fence in a month?  Have I also mentioned that I haven’t really schooled her in almost 3 weeks because of the series of unfortunate events listed above?  Have I mentioned that on the way home from the barn on Monday, I dropped my entry and $150 fee into the mail for Glenarden?  Have I also mentioned that Colby’s older uglier brothers – Lurch and Bob –  have set a standard which she needs to beat match?

Oh – and I have already given CRD TD the heads-up that I plan to ask to be allowed to continue to compete after I get bucked off in dressage.  Her comment: ‘you’d better not because it will be a lot of paperwork for me.  Actually, why don’t you just try not to fall off in general?’ Thanks for the tip!!

Carrie