Who's got 4 hooves and hates dressage? RedMare, that's who.

So RedMare and I have been blasting through this summer and if ever there was an eventing stereotype, it's us. We loves us xc, we respect stadium, and we hates the dressage.

So far we've competed in 4 BN schooling/mini-trials. I should rephrase that. We've competed in AND COMPLETED 4 BN schooling/mini-trials.

Read that - 4 BN schooling/mini-trials. RedMare is a beast on xc and hates touching rails. Like I mentioned, she also hates dressage. So.... win some, lose some?

Of those, 3 times we finished on our dressage score and the other time we had a rail added. In NONE of them were we last! Not that it's bad being last, it's just that all last year we were last and now we're moving up! We've taken home two ribbons (6th and 7th I think) and I am MAD PROUD of them.

Twice now we've schooled Novice XC - I think we're actually getting a little bored at BN which is NOT what I would ever have imagined at the start of the year, or even two months ago. Now that we've done more, even though our dressage is nothing to be proud of (see video), I want to do the more complex stuff, so here's hoping I can do a Novice mini-trials before the year ends. She's more than capable of it, that's for sure.

We had a huge argument before this fence. I said slow down, she said "BLOW ME" and like a noob I grabbed her face right up through take-off. 

See Sarah, stay out of my f-ing face pleaseandthankyou


Water is not an issue, at all. RedMare charges right in and canters right out. Hallelujah.

Not all is rosy - I came off on the xc phase in an HT. She spooked at spectators BUT it was between fences so I was able to get right back on and finish. Thank God for knowing the rules.

Here's a number for you: 39,827,640 - this is the number of times she trumpeted for her lover boy (a big handsome TB) Joey over the past 4 trials. We travel with Joey and AC to these events and they are like moonstruck lovers. She sticks to him like glue. It's annoying AF.

So here's a video demonstrating how much she hates dressage. This was not her worst test - it's fairly average. Anytime you see her NOT bobbing her head she's bearing down on the bit and trying to rip the reins out of my hands. Naturally the dressage school we had two days before this was beeeeeyuteful. She was up, she was polite, she did not care to repeat this last Saturday.

There you have it. A quick recap.

But that's the pretty stuff.

The not so pretty stuff?

The stuff in between consists of a hurt heart, ugly crying over losing a life, the death of dreams and hopes, eating sorrow away with gummy bears and frozen yogurt and waking up wondering why my pants fit tighter. There's been lots of self-loathing interspersed with valiant attempts at courage and agency.

Lots of guilt for leaving the dog at home when I go to the barn. Thankfully he's a bum anyway and lazes around with no problem. But I still feel so guilty for leaving him at home alone.

Lots of hating my tiny apartment and pissed off at not being able to find a home where I want for how much I'm willing to spend.

Lots of shame for watching my bank account drain away in retail therapy and entry fees.

Surprisingly, I have zero shame over eating cereal, popcorn, or tortilla chips for dinner.

I've gone on a handful of dates. None of them had any potential but they have all been very nice guys and I've appreciated the experience.

So maybe a better way of looking at the summer is to view it through my "Both And" lens.

It's been both hard and rewarding.
I've felt both loss and freedom.
Both shame and confidence
Both anger and joy
Both grief and hope
Both anxiety and peace.
Both alone and safe
Both exhilarating and scary
Both And.


  1. I'm glad the riding has been going so well (feelings on dressage aside). Here's hoping the rest slowly follows suit too.

  2. Life is tough sometimes. You eat those tortilla chips and have some extra guac.

  3. #1 GET IT GIRL!! What a fantastic competitive season you're having! And hugs for the rest of it. Oof. Feelings are rough.

    1. Thanks so much! I'm so grateful - for it all.


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