Thursday 13 October 2011


Here I sit, on a Thursday night, watching a truly awful episode of the 2011 version of Charlie's Angels.  It's only redeeming feature, perhaps, is that the women have real boobs - real, as in, non existent, which is entirely appropriate for 5'11" women who weight 120lbs, yet rarely seen in Hollywood.

And what does this have to do with dressage, you are undoubtedly wondering?

It has everything to do with dressage.  Because the reason I am inside, watching Charlie's Angels, is because my horse is 2 hours away, at a beautiful barn in the middle of nowhere, being sold.  Because I am finished my "journey" or "pilgrimage" or "Odyssey" or whatever trendy and heartfelt word you prefer to use to describe the 8 years and $50,000++ I have spent to become that elusive beast... the insanely naive Adult Amateur who bought a 2 year old and stuck with the creature, through thick, thin, and alarming gobs of money, to eventually ride down centre line wearing the ole' top hat and tails and show PSG.   (This all occurred pre 2011.  Now it would be tails and approved helmet.  Whatever, you get the gist).

And yes, I sucked.  Yes, I scored in the 50's. (So the catty among you can feel entirely free to bash me on EMG, I am fully aware of my inadequacies).  Yes, I lacked the basic ability to count to 4, and instead proudly rode perfect 3's across the diagonal with a smile on my face which dissolved to confusion when the judge blew the "what the hell are you doing" whistle.  Yes, my ass bounced alarmingly as I held on for dear life and tried to ride some form of extended trot across the diagonal.  And so on.  Good times, good times.

I remember the excitement of looking at the first class order of go to see who was in my "PSG Adult Amateur Class.." then seeing that Balmoral, a horse shown to Grand Prix by Jacquie Brooks was in my class, and realizing that me and my 9 yr old greenie to FEI had not a flying hope in any burning version of hell of coming within 10% of first place...

I remember leaving the ring sweating and defeated at training level on my wound up 4 year old, and seeing the next competitor enter the ring and ride around like clockwork, never missing a beat, depressing the living shit out of me... only to hear her friend ask her upon leaving "Hey Suzie!  Wow, great ride!  Congratulations!  How old IS Spunky now?" and hearing the answer "Well, he is rising 17!"  And realizing that I only had to put in another 13 years before my horse could walk, trot and canter as though nearly dead, so that I too could win Adult Amateur Training level 1...

And so on.  Once again.

Anyways, what brings me to write here tonight?  (Besides numbing the pain of bad Charlie's Angels, goes without saying).  Well, I feel that I have something to offer to others who are starting the same journey.  Those among you who believe that if you get the *right* classical coach, do Pilates, get a Schleese saddle, ride a schoolmaster, do longe lessons, try Parelli, buy a Lusitano, save an OTTB,  try a dressage pony, or follow the sage words of Gallop on Ultimate Dressage... what-freaking-ever... you will make it there too.  Maybe you will.  But maybe on the way, I can make you laugh with some of the incredible failures... and great successes... I had on my own journey...

Tune in!  Drink wine!  I can assure you I will...


  1. Don't you DARE quit. Comedy gold and most of us in good old southern Ontario can readily identify the players. LOL If someone needs a slap to the head, by all means give it.

  2. You are soooo funny!!! I just sent a link to this to my girlfriend. We are both 60. She is no longer competing, but I know she'll relate. I'm just getting started, BUT you are making me feel way better about my attitude!!! I have a quarter horse and before dressage, we did reining. Let me tell you, the experience isn't a whole lot different. You need to write a book!

    I did get the Schleese saddle!