Stadium day was basically a mess. A rushed mess. Mostly because this time I wanted Dandy’s braids to be perfect so I was not accepting any mistakes on my part. By the time I was on the last few braids, N, was rushing me to get my horse tacked up so that JLE would have enough time to warm up.
In the end, I ended up being very happy with his braids. By the end of the season I will, hopefully and especially if Dandy keeps going into Stadium in top 8, be a master at them. Ideally I’ll be able to do them faster as well.
Even rushing, we got down to warm-up with plenty of time. Especially because Dandy was being such a gentleman. JLE didn’t want to over do it with the warm up so she just let Dandy stand at the rail and take in everything that was going on. Finally Dandy was just a few horses up so JLE popped him over the warm-up fences and then came back to get him all cleaned up when she was the next horse in. That’s when we realized something was very very wrong.
To my eventing friends, look at the bottom pictures. Do you notice anything wrong? Maybe something missing?
If you said that JLE was missing her medical arm band, you are correct. Just before Dandy was supposed to go in the ring, JLE looks down at her arm and says to me, “I’m missing my arm band.” I swore and took off running for the barn.
A few things: one) I hate running. I haven’t run in forever and two) I’m wearing my Dubarrys which are not great running boots and three) the barn is like a half mile away from the rings. Even when I was in my best shape ever the fastest I did the mile was 10:00. How the heck was I suppose to get to our stabling, grab the arm band, and run back all in the 1:30 while the horse before JLE went in the ring. But I had to try.
My lungs were on fire by the time I got to the barn isle. Everyone started asking me how Dandy had done but all I could squeeze out was “Armband!” I found JLE’s helmet bag, found the armband and took off running back to the rings. Maybe I could make it.
Alas, it was not to be. Because of the Dubarrys, or because I was dying inside, or because I am just a klutz, I tripped over a log and went sprawling into the gravel. Immediately I pushed myself up but remember those lungs on fire? Yeah, now they felt like they were broken. I spent a moment on my hands and knees trying to catch my breath. Two young girls on their bikes in front of me started asking if I was alright. I was but the tears were starting to well up. Dandy was doing so good and he was going to get disqualified. No. I had to keep trying.
I got to my feet, and there, just yards away was JLE and Dandy. “Are you alright?” She called as they trotted towards us. I nodded that I was and handed her the armband. She had gotten the second place person to switch ride go with her and figured it would be faster if she came and got it herself. With the armband now firmly in place, JLE and Dandy trotted off only to go straight into the ring.
I limped along (apparently I hit my knee pretty badly) and was able to catch most of the ride.
And they jumped clear. Better than clear because there had been a really tight two stride (which Dandy is infamous for bouncing) and he not only didn’t bounce it, he got the strides and let JLE sit him back.
We were both very proud of him. And while I don’t like to gain on other people’s misfortune, the horse in the lead after XC had two rails down so Dandy moved up to second place.
In just two weeks, Dandy will be going Novice at Aspen. I can’t believe how well he did at his very first event, the second place was just icing on the cake. And I can’t wait until it’s me up there!