An Ode to Ride Times

Today, Olls and I went to a local schooling jumper show with Felicia and Mandy. You know, just to get out and test the ol’ balls and see how Ollie behaved in public post-bootcamp. Two days ago, he was Spookmaster 3000 in our jump arena at home (I mean, seriously, Olls? You’re not a spooky horse), so I wasn’t feeling super awesome about today despite a great ride yesterday.

When we were loading up at the barn, Ollie looked like this:Sleepy

Totally asleep. This was to be an omen for the day.

We got there and, being a schooling show, they let us warm up in the jumper ring and go over the jumps. God bless schooling shows. I was doing the 2′ to 2’3″ division, as the next division was 2’6″ to 2’9″, and I’m not yet ready to vomit my way over 2’9″ jumps in the show ring. Beginner Novice height is my show max-out right now, y’all. Don’t get crazy.

So we warmed up, went over some fences, and Olls was being so super duper lopey and asleep. It’s like he was so asleep that he didn’t know where we were and that it was time to activate the Shenaniganator. I of course knew all too well where we were: the pit of terror.

By the clock, schooling time was about to end, so we exited, learned our courses and waited.

And waited.

And waited.



I have become so accustomed to ride times in Eventerland that I had forgotten the abomination that is waiting around at hunter/jumper shows. I mean, really. Let’s get this shit moving and stop staring at each other. I’m very uncomfortable with lots of people standing around staring at each other. OMG, are they judging me? Do I have a booger? Does Ollie have a booger? Does Ollie have butt juice again? (The answer to that is usually yes. He’s really creatively disgusting like that). A group of ladies did say that Ollie looked like a foxhunter. I said, “well, close enough… we’re eventers.” And when a kid asked what he was, I of course said a Percheron/TB cross. After I turned away, I heard her say to her mom, “I just don’t see where the TB is in him….”  Me neither, kid. Me neither. I’ll give you a dollar if you can find it.

We were apparently waiting for a trainer with a ring conflict. And then after that, I have no idea what for. We must have been waiting for Godot. The second coming of Christ. Waiting to exhale. I dunno. Waiting for something. So we stood there awkwardly until things got moving, and then it was my turn to go in after a few rounds.

Ollie was just so amazingly good. His ears must have grown back, as he listened. He turned. He went at the pace I told him to, even when it wasn’t a good idea (OMG SLOW). He didn’t really fight me like he tends to. He took two rails during our three rounds, as he was just being lazy. But he was super good the rest of the time. He even saved my ass when we were about to totally eat an oxer with the closest spot you’ve ever seen, and he jumped from a near standstill, heaving over. Despite all his faults, he can be a super ass-saving honest pony. Lesser horses would have totally flipped the finger and said, “You’ve got to be kidding me. I hate you. Let’s eat hay.”

The whole time, I was imagining a tiny Angela on my shoulder telling me, “GOOD CANTER or else trot. GOOD CANTER OR TROT.” So we trotted in many places until we could get a good canter back without his head on the ground, and nice and balanced. We cantered mostly, but sometimes that meant we trotted big sections and into the jump. Don’t mind us, spectators. Just out for a leisurely stroll. DON’T YOU JUDGE ME.

In the end, there were no ribbons. But much balls rewarming, and much-improved performance from Ollie. I couldn’t have been prouder of how he did today, and Angela deserves so much credit for helping turn us back around.

Imma end this with a little love for ride times. They’re like my best friend I’ve been taking for granted, and I want to show my appreciation for them, as they are a thing of beauty. Plus, it’s Valentine’s Day, so I gotta show some love.

An Ode to Ride Times

Standing and waiting is never fun
In the cold and rain, or in the sun
Waiting and waiting for trainers to come
To supervise clients whose brains come undone

Why we waiting? This shit is so stupid
I’m fairly certain all these riders are lucid
Let’s get in the ring! Go jump! Get ‘er done!
‘Cause this waiting crap really is not fun

Ride times, oh ride times, how much better are thee
Stadium! Dressage! Cross country makes three
We can sleep in, be cray, eat, drink or rest
I gotta say, Eventers do it best

Oh ride times, dears, you magnificent beasts
Allowing us time to go drink and feast
And time to vomit that breakfast right out
As we don’t all waste time standing about

Jumperland, I really do like your shows
But really, truly, that waiting just blows
We all despise sitting on our asses
Picking our wedgies before our classes

Ride times oh ride times, I’m truly in love
You’re really a gift from heaven above
To you, we eventers all say “hear hear!”
I’ll go use my time to drink a cold beer

Oh, and a few photos from the day of Ollie and his Ollie-ness. Hungry boy was hungry and OMG TIRED.