Horses are certainly a life style. It's not something that you go and do and then put out of your mind. It's something that follows you, haunts your footsteps and takes over your mind. It randomly hijacks your thoughts with images of galloping, jumping, and wondering what your horse is up to at that moment.
This weekend was dedicated to horses in a way that hasn't occurred since Fiona shipped out to Aiken. On Saturday I rode the Jumping Machine (aka Ruby), which was a nice day. It's therapeutic to go and spend a lot of time grooming, then have a nice jumping school. It was the first time I got a chance to ride Ruby and she was just as good as her reputation suggested. There's no horse in the barn that is more honest and loves jumping more than Ruby. She was a complete delight and left me grinning ear to ear. Of course, it's spring so she's doing just a bit of shedding.
I could have knit another pony.
Today I rode in a Jump/Critique/Jump with Ruby at Novice. Video is pending, so that should be an interesting show. We actually did pretty well, all things considered. Ruby is having some issues with her right lead, and I was still getting used to her and her saddle (the judge commented about how it was pitching me forward), but Novice wasn't an issue. It was excellent for my confidence, to go hop around at that height. We got some sharp feedback, but it was all justified. Just difficult to hear when I've been out of practice jumping courses at that height.
I got home and checked the Live Scores to see how Fiona's weekend was going. I had to reload twice and go get my reading glasses to be sure of what I was seeing.
Fiona was eliminated on cross country. Talking to my trainer revealed that she was eliminated due to refusals. She wasn't focusing and locking on to fences at all. Fiona, the cross country machine who never had a cross country penalty (even at schooling shows) got eliminated.
I feel like my world got tipped on it's side.
Of course it's possible. She's green, she's young, and horses will be horses. Today wasn't her day, all horses have bad days. I know this, but I'm still processing. I have complete faith in my trainer so I know this will be fixed. It's just a road bump, every horse has one. It's just more of a surprise when she's been so damn good. My trainer is taking her back to Paradise to school the course again Wednesday and then we'll decide whether or not the rest of her season will play out as planned.
You win some, you lose some. It's just worse when it's a complete surprise.