What on God's Green Earth was going through my head when I set out on XC in the North Carolina heat slash humidity with bare hands? I've done plenty of stupid things in my life (trust me, plenty) but that ranks right on up there. No gloves? Honestly, Jennifer (as my dearly departed mom used to say).
I started to realize I was an ignoramus in warm-up. By the time I reached the 3rd fence I was chasing greased piglets through my fingers, by the 5th fence they were buttered noodles. Coby is a very strong horse XC and I have to have a constant feel of the bit to come to an agreement, kind of like letting steam through a pressure cooker. Each time I chased the wet herrings in my hands he took off like a rocket.
But, as they say, it is what one does when things aren't going well that defines you; and if trying times build character then I built one hell of a lot of it on September 8, 2012. For example:
My dressage trainer says that the 20 meter circle benefits everyone, so I maybe did a few on course (just to make her proud. Ahem.). I did think about pulling up when I was struggling so much with the reins but the circles got him back (though only nearly after he locked onto this Intermediate table) and I'm just so damned stubborn. In hindsight should I have pulled up? Probably. But I lived with my decision and tried to make chicken salad out of chicken shit. Ended up with a heaping pile of time faults and a very questionable stop at the drop into the water.
Experience is what you get 10 minutes after you needed it.
However, redemption on day 2:
I took the liberty of calculating that every rider in my division could knock down every rail and I would still be dead last. Sigh. Worst part is we were in 2nd place after dressage. Life's lessons have to be swallowed with a large slice of humility pie.