So here it is….. number 1. The first one of 2017!!
Back to Friday, I was nervous as hell. Having to sit in a quiet office all day, not overly busy, made my nerves worse. I had so much to do post 4.30pm and I was getting increasingly tittery about wanting to run out the door and to the cross country course. On arrival at Munstead, I was pleasantly greeted by beautiful going, evening sun and one of my best mates to hold my hand around the course.
Now, I’m not a fan of course walking, it gives me plenty to worry about, I hated number 6 – a trappy yellow jump of mortality, number 10 – the owlhole of uncertainty and number 13 – big with a bloody great ditch under it!! There was, however, not enough time to worry too much as it was then 6pm and I had to pick up my hire lorry at 7!!! By 9.30pm, Pat was plaited, the lorry was packed and we were in the pub for my last glass of wine before almost certain death!
4am… bloody 4am… the alarm was set for 5.30, why oh why are you awake this early!? Daddy Carrot was awake too!! Bugger it, got up, made a cuppa, piled make up on (so no one can see how bloody green I am under it!!) and sat on the toilet until we needed to leave!!
Everything loaded up, at 6.15, we set off on our 45 minute trip to Munstead. We were the 5th lorry there!! I was 3rd to go in my section at 8.12am so relieved to see I wasn’t too early or too late. – I am still very new to this whole process, unsure how much time to leave and not really clued up on etiquette yet!! Lit another ciggie, had a coffee and got him ready.
Ah crap, I was doing his studs, literally TREMBLING!! I was terrified at this stage, the worst I’ve been for a long time, but I got on, warmed up and headed off into the arena to meet my maker!! Now, I smile. You know I do. I smile like Miss UK on speed, but it seems eventing judges haven’t taken us to seriously in the past, maybe for this reason. So my new tactic was to ride in a much more ‘prelim’ frame and not smile quite so much…. looking back at the photos, there are just somethings you can’t change!!! I beamed like a retard the whole way through!! I felt it deserved a 31, I’d have been happy with that.
Next up – the ‘shit yourself phase’. I really do dislike showjumping. It’s too easy to mess up, I’m very inexperienced at it, I get tense and scared and I just want to get off now please!!! But, he warmed up so bloody well, I remembered everything from my lesson two weeks ago, didn’t shut the canter down, BRILLIANT!!! In the ring however, apparently someone ever so discreetly, gave me an epidural, because by all accounts, I was paralysed from the waist down!!!! And clinging on like a monkey on his last banana, I rode appalling around what was actually a VERY nice course! I really did look like a total bloody limpet. I deserved the two poles we demolished, well and truly. But I came out smiling, mostly because it was over, but also because I got a 26 dressage, kindly announced as I sailed over fence one!!!!!!!
Phew…. that’s the worst bit done!! Not likely…. all of a sudden, I’m crapping it again!! No time, no time… get changed, get on, wander down to the death zone waving my husband goodbye. Jumped a couple of practice fences that he backed off like a bastard at. He is not a confident cross country horse yet, so I have to pretend to be a confident cross country rider that shows him the way ??? like hell!!
Start box, oh how I loath thee. “You’ve got 10 seconds” has to be the single most terrifying four words I face in life. Holy Moses, off we go. Sailed the first, sticky wicket at the second. Nearly had a stop but that dear horse does go if I tell him enough and go he did!! 3, 4, 5 went by with nothing to report – 6 I barely kicked I was so bloody scared of it… he jumped it for me. He took over for that split second, if I wasn’t about to remove a lung from my mouth at this stage, I’d have sobbed with pride. 7, 8, 9, nothing to report apart from my lack of fitness. 10, I needed a rest at but Holy McOwlhole was coming to get us, he backed off a touch but went sailing through no problems. 11, 12, all flying, 13 that bloody great ditch…. forget it, I lifted his head, kicked like stink and we soared it, so big I almost left out of the rear exit!!! The rest of the course jumped beautifully, over the last and galloping through those final sets of red and white flag, I burst with love and pride and sheer elation. We’ve done it boy, we’ve done it!! (I can barely see to type, crikey it’s emotional).
I seriously cannot put into words what this means for me to be able to be doing this. I’ve come from the darkest place of fear to get here, here finishing this 1st event of the season, safe, alive and happier than ever.
I have to say, there are so so many people involved that make it so truly special. Yesterday my husband made the worlds best groom, best friend and best daddy carrot I could have ever wished for. My darling friends that surprised me with how wonderfully supporting people can be. My sponsors, I mean, I feel odd even writing that, but boy did we look and feel the bloody big balls yesterday!! My yard chums, the preparation that goes in for weeks leading up to eventing season, they really have been so helpful. I can’t tell you how amazing I feel right now.
Today we are giving back to the sport that I have fallen so madly in love with, daddy carrot and I are fence judging! ?? but not before I go and give my horse the biggest squeeze of his life. Thank you all for everything, you too, are the reason we came 7th yesterday …. oh wait… yep you heard it right… a 26 dressage and 8 show jumping with a clear inside the time cross country, meant that we attended prize giving, got a big fat rosette and a cheque for £30!!! Bloody elated doesn’t even come close!!!!
Love as always
Vic and Pat xxxxxxx