Friday, May 20, 2011

Point-two Air Vest

I call bullshit.

I just SCOURED the internet trying to find stats on the vest and I found nothing of good use, except the manufacturers talking it up like its the coolest thing since sliced bread. It's not even BETA approved yet, and is * recommended * to use with a body protector. So, there ya go. 

I for one, think it is ludacris to pay $700 for AIR. Air. Oh and to add to that, $50 every time you fall to replace the CO2.

Air is not going to do anything for you, I'm sorry, but it won't when you hit a solid fence or have a 1,500 lb horse land right on you. I really don't think an inch and a half of freaking air will do anything to protect someone's body, bones or organs against a fall.

Having just fallen, I can tell you that the vest I had on was ample enough protection. Sure, I am sore, but I think if I had * air * in between me and the fence, it really wouldn't have made much of a difference. I'd still be sore and still have paid a retarded amount of money for air that I don't think really would have done much good.

My opinion is that the air vest actually compresses you further, since there is no room for the air to go except into your body. The pockets of the vest are already so inflated, there is no wiggle room upon impact and it will only further compact the body. I think about it like a tire. A good tire you never fill to the max, you always let it be about 7 psi below max, to allow for impacts and such. Same for the vest. 

I don't know, I just think its a pretty big scam and the fact the 6000 US riders have bought them makes me sad for those who have to follow the latest "trend". Its like the stupid mattes half pads. $200 for soft fluffy sheepskin that more than half those horses don't need. People just ran out and bought them cuz they looked pretty, everyone had them, and they "said" it was good for the horse, when in reality, for most, its like stuffing a shoe on with 3 pairs of socks. Not comfortable. Good for horses coming back from a layoff, or a change in workout regimien/muscling in the back since buying a brand new saddle is stupid when you can just use a half pad for a while, then take it off when their backs get more amped. I did that with Yankee when he lacked muscle, then I stopped using it when he gained it back. But I'm ranting about Point Two, not mattes pads, haha.

I just feel it is a  lovely scam to further deplete event riders bank accounts.

If it ever become a requirement like the body protector vests, I swear, I will quit eventing on the spot.

What do you guys think? Thoughts?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

After The Fact

Its been a boring week since my event.

I thank you all for the kind words and comments, you all are such a wonderful support group. Thus why I blog :)

I've been pretty sore this week but each day it gets better. I've been working a ton, since Tuesday I 'm going home for 5 days to visit my dad (and thats like $400+ wages lost and gas to and from...). He got back from overseas the day Osama's death was announced and I'm really excited to see him! The working part has sucked, since I'm stiff and can't lift anything, but I'm hoping I make some extra cash putting in all the hours.

I rode for the first time since my fall yesterday. H is gone for 3 weeks, so R and I have been working her horses. I rode Pronto, Warrior and Yankee and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Sitting the trot was easier on my back actually than rising and the canter wasn't too hateful. I felt really floppy though and was glad no one was there to see me, haha.

As for the showing/jumping business...I will be getting back on track. I've been thinking a lot, and I'm sure I'm not the only one this has happened to. I am stilll absurdly ashamed of my fear and fall, but I'm hoping with Cheryl's coaching I will gain my "ooopmfh" back. I never thought I'd lose my ooompfh. With Spirit, my first eventer, nothing was high enough. I CRAVED running XC. Dressage was for the birds. I am so conflicted now. I want nothing more then to do upper level eventing but the thought of a stinky baby prelim course makes me cringe.

Slow and steady I guess, but it makes me sick. There are riders younger than me going 1* and I can't even get past Training. Even when I had the eventing sickness, I never had the money or a nice enough horse to go farther. I had/have the skills, but I just couldn't afford the show fees. It all really sucks sometimes.

I would really like to do the Novice 3 Day Event in Kansas City, since I don't think I will be ready to do the training level one. I have 3 more events planned, Including Queeny park next month, since those are the only ones not more than 4 hours away. I simply CANNOT afford gas for a show more than 4 hours away. Sucks. 

I didn't even want to go to college either. I wanted to go full-time training for someone, become a working student. I feel like college is sucking my life away. I'll be 21 when I graduate. Younger than most in my class, but I feel ancient in eventing years. Sarah Mittleider competed at Rolex when she was 19!

I can't get over this funk of jealousy and self loathing. Doesn't help that its supposed to rain for like 5 days straight.

Luckily, I passed College Algebra and Spanish, so no more of that, and I am on track to graduate on time :)

Jumping for off the first tiem since my fall tomorrow maybe. We will see....Cheryl won't be there but her assitant trainer, Emily, will be. Its my only day off too till I go to Ohio. I'm going to miss my ponyface :(

OH, I got an interview at Petsmart for a dog groomer...crosses fingers I can say adios to food service and hello to something I actually enjoy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Well...fudge.

So where to begin..

As you can see, this was our dressage. I was very unhappy with it afterwards, but once I watched the tape I was happier...always looks better than it feels I suppose. I know what I needed to fix but I want to add a massive disclaimer, IT WAS SO EFFING BAD outside. Like, 40 degrees, windy as hell and misting. 

The warm-up was horrid. He spooked out of his skin at everything. Every horse, every squeak, every leaf, everything. I had a few good moments, but mostly I had a 3 year old in a 9 year old body. Even the 4 yr old stud in my division was acting better than him...I was so disapointed. I cannot describe to you how cold and windy it was outside, all the odds were against us.

I went in the hole expecting a 50 or worse on the test. I wanted to get a 35 at most, since my last score was a 40 something, and I KNOW he can score in the high 20s even, but show jitters always get him. Always. This time it was beyond insane. bucking, rearing, running sideways...so awful.

However, the experienced eventer shone through that morning and the INSTANT he saw the judge, he settled right down. Literally the change was crazy...one second, wild eyed, stiff pony from hell, next, a relaxed willing horse. I was baffled so much I almost forgot my test, HA.

So it went pretty ok, I was revved up since he had been a nervous wreck only seconds before and I was shaking from the cold, but overall, it looked really good comparatively to other tests in the past. He broke the canter at B, but he memorized the test (oops) from practice and anticipated. Our free walk sucked, but it always does at shows-can't seem to pay attention to anything but stuff outside the ring. Again, he anticipated the canter transition at K and broke into it in the corner. I decided to keep it since our R lead transitions are usually sucky. We got 7's on both our canter extensions which was generous, since he needs WAY more impulsion. Our R lead ext. was better than the L ( I actually bought a picture of it, it was stunning!). I got a 7 on the extended trot as well. Also, a surprise, a 7 on the stretchy circle! Yay! He did stretch really well near the end of it so I was happy. Not a square halt...but considering the circumstances, I took a 37. I was 8th after dressage, not too shabby, but I was still a little upset with how it went. I got a 7 for rider, which I was happy with since I overshot both my 15m. trot circles and my stirrups were too long, haha.

So not even an hour to get ready for XC, I rushed to get studs in, keep warm, tack up. get time to warm up and maybe stuff some food in me. I barely eat during events...and after last summer...I can barely keep the nerves at bay.

I was almost sick with anxiety and I was killing myself for it. I have NEVER been anxious for XC. I always wanted to rip through it, hungry for higher fences and faster paces. Now, sadly, I shake at the thought of some of the fences I had to jump. Earlier that weekend I had texted Stacey about fence 3AB and my apprehension about it. I couldn't believe how anxious I was, real tears were dripping down my face....I was so conflicted inside...upset I was so nervous and couldn't contain it, upset I was upset, pissed I did this to myself. I was saddened to admit to myself I was scared. Scared of failing, scared of falling, scared of embaressing myself.

Yankee and the weather did not help. I was freezing (forecast was for upper 60s, not lower 40s and I was VERY ill prepared for the weather). My boy was a crazy fool and would not stop rearing, but was jumping well, which gave me a lil boost of confidence.

As I made my way to the start box, I mentally prepared myself for 5 minutes and 32 seconds of galloping and 27 fences total to tackle. I was wary of 3AB (weldons wall, 2 strides down a hill and up to a large rolltop) and fence 16, a MASSSSSSSSIVE table. I am pretty sure that was prelim height, it was huge, but I was ready. Nerves gone, I shook it. 

Yankee still wasn't calm, and would not walk straight at all. I hoped he would loosen up over the first few fences and settle into the pace. As the started counted down, I concentrated on keeping him in the box. 3...2...1...GO! I gave him the signal and he flew..WHOO boy did not expect that. He DRAGGED me over the first fence, a hanging log, but I was actually glad. He wasn't backing off the fences like he usually does. He settled into the gallop nicely and jumped fence two, big barrels really well.

Up the hill to fence 3AB and damn were there a ton of ppl there. UGH, great. Yankee hates spectators and spooks hard at them. I had to really sit and keep my leg on him to the A part of 3. He was not wavering or showing signs of stopping, so I breathed a sigh as I felt him lift off. Then, suddenly, I felt him jerk to the left and I saw the white flag rushing to meet me.

I thought to myself, "shit this is NOT happening. I'm dreaming, this is a dream, this isn't real" ( all within .02 secs). Then I hit the fence, HARD, rolled off onto the ground, cracked my head on something hard and saw Yankee's front foot about 1 inch from my face. LITERALLY, my life flashed before my eyes. It really does happen. The I saw him haul his massive body away from me and in a athletic twist, he managed to avoid me.

First thought that ran through my brain was...oh my god, I broke my back. I couldn't move or feel my legs. Inside, I was flipping out. SO many thoughts swimming through my head. Shame, agony, apprehension, anguish, fear, happiness, anger...then I saw the EMT running full tilt to me but all I could think about after the whirl of emotions was my horse...where is he? He actualy only ran 3 strides and came right back, but someone took a hold of him and led him away. The next thought was Brandon, I could only imagine he was freaking out once he heard over the intercom....all this happened in about 45 seconds by the way. Whirl of activity.. 

I was in a daze. Sobbing my eyes out in anger. NFW I just fell off my horse at fence effing three!!! three!? I've NEVER fallen off Yankee, let alone at a competition. Also, I still couldn't get up and I was terrified I broke my back. It hurt so bad, I didn't think there was a way I didn't break it.

The EMT's helped me up, asked me some questions, examined myself, my helmet and my vest (THANK god for those, or I might've really broken something or died) and deemed me 'healthy' enough to ride...

WTF, rider fall was Elimination right? I was really confused, the jump judge was asking me if I wanted to get back on and finish and I was so annoyed that she kept asking me, I was like, woman, I'm not allowed, don't you know the rules?? Plus I was still pissed at everything and in serious agony. I never did figure out if the rules changed or if she was just smoking something...

Brandon helped me get back on Yankee to walk me to the stable and it was the most painful of all things I have ever felt (and I've done quite a bit to myself). Not gonna lie I sobbed the entire way back. SO angry, hurt and sad. WHY?? WHY!

WE are better than this. SO much better, but last summer apparently engrained some psychotic fear into my brain that won't let me remember how good my horse and I are.

So, after some brooding and self hatred, I decided to drop to Novice at Queeny Park. I HATE myself for it, since I consider it a failure and the chickens way out, but I think I really need it. Also, I am going to begin taking lesson form Cheryl. I have been without a coach for 4 years, and I think it is time to have someone else there while I am riding.

I am still hating myself for failing so dismally., espechially after the final scores...I would have been second! First place had a 29 and second had a 49, I most likely would have beat that 49 even with a possible one rail in stadium.

I was only angry with Yankee for about 15 minutes...who starts to jump a fence then decides halfway over, no thanks? Apparently my beast does. I can't hate him though, after all his is my ponyface and only a horse. He seemed really sorry and I swear, he had an apologetic look on his face right after. Poor guy.


Yes, I still love you beast.


All I want is to be romping about and doing this again with confidence....


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