The phone conversation went a little like this:
Me: (from a horse show in Maryland) Hi Mom! We just finished our over fences in the 2’3” schooling hunter, he was completely awesome! … (insert more gushing and horse jargon) … Yeah, so I think I’m only going to do the two equitations on the flat and not the over fences at 2’6”… (insert excuses here, like he’s been so good why push our luck, he’s tired, etc.) … do you think I’m being a wimp?
Mom: (from Wisconsin) That’s great! But you know it’s just you, he doesn’t care, right?
Me: Well, I have to go yell at the kid trying to give my dog a heart attack, call ya later, love you!
A few minutes later three of us participated in a mad dash – we thought the previous class had more horses – so tack was thrown on our ponies and we rushed to the ring while still tucking in shirts and buttoning collars. The two equitation flat classes were supposed to go first and then the over fences at 2’6”, so I had time to ponder my apparent hesitation versus my mother’s subtle, yet telling, push. I could totally justify my scratching the jumping class after he was once again a good boy on the flat.
We arrived at the ring ready to ride and the gatekeeper asked, “which of you are jumping?” On a whim, with Mom’s voice in the back of my head (and thinking I still had time to change my mind!) I said, “I am!” She asked if I wanted to go first, I agreed, and then she said, “Okay, you can go in.”
Wait, what??? We flat first! Apparently not, as they had switched it up while we were resting back at the barn.
Deep breath. Course starts on the long run to the single, we can do this… right Jorge? Walk into the ring, sitting trot into canter, get your rhythm… 1, 2, 1, 2
And then it happened. We nailed it! Every step was perfect, every distance right on the money, every lead change smooth as silk. I’m sure I looked like an idiot grinning ear to ear as we flowed down the last diagonal line, knowing that we owned that round.
After everyone competed in the jumping phase it was announced that we won the class.
Damn you, Mom!!! 🙂
Even from a thousand miles away she knew. Just like she always does, in horses and in life.
Do you moms come with some sort of extra sense once you have a child? One that allows you to read just about any situation and push just enough so that your kid knows what they should do but allows them to still make it their choice? And how do you resist using it on others, for good or evil, from time to time?
It was like the time I was 7 and she made me ride in the pony medal for the first time after I put up one helluva fight. I went on to win that class and declared my love of equitation from that day forward. Or more recently when she knew that if we just waited Jorge out and he got bored enough, eventually he would get in the trailer. And the time when I crashed my pony at Ledges and she knew I needed to see someone else get her around the course before I got back on to do it again.
She just knows. Sometimes it is maddening, but most of the time it kicks me in the ass and gets me to where I need to be.
I wish she could have been there with us this weekend. Jorge was absolutely amazing at this show – calm, collected, and once again taking everything in stride like he always does. I know she was sharing in my pride and even celebrated our 6th place under saddle ribbon against much fancier warmbloods and such by explaining to her employees what that meant. (I’m sure they were thrilled to hear yet another horse story…
I’m extremely proud of all my ribbons this weekend, each one was earned and represents a great step forward for us. But I feel like I should dedicate the blue ribbon in the equitation to my mom – if not for her, it wouldn’t be hanging off my mantel right now. And I wouldn’t be trying to figure out exactly when we will be ready to try the 2’9” at a show…
But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves!