Monday, October 4, 2010

The Take Away From WEG in a Single Word:

Hunger.

That was the feeling I came away from WEG with. It was not necessarily hunger to compete at WEG or even at the CCI**** level per se (though I will admit that I allowed myself several fantasies of putting myself in those riders' shoes: how amazing it would be cross the finish with your country's flag on your saddle pad for the first time, to trot into an arena and have 50,000 people go crazy for the simple reason that YOU and your horse are in it). Rather, it's the hunger to keep striving forward, to keep getting better, to be an even better horseman every single time I get the great privilege to be around a horse than I was the time before. It's the hunger to reach that next peak in training, to get closer to my equine partner and discover things I never knew we could achieve before.

(I love watching Mary King because she always just radiates love and admiration for her horses - a true role model)

(How exciting must it be to finish your first dressage test for your country, with the home crowd watching??)

I'm also feeling the hunger to get out and compete and run and jump big fences, but it's so much more than that. I was reminded very strongly of how incredible horses truly are this weekend, of not only their nearly limitless power and grace, but also of their completely incomprehensible heart and will. By the end of that cross country course, and through pretty much all of show jumping on Sunday, many of the horses had almost nothing left physically in the tank: every effort they gave (and every huge effort, I might add) came from sheer determination to not let their rider down. Never having been to an event of this magnitude before, I'd never seen horses have to dig so deep, and come up with the goods time and time again: it was a truly awe-inspiring display of the strength of the partnership that these riders lucky enough to forge with these incredible animals. I want now, even more desperately than ever, to reunite with my two horses so that I can start earning their trust enough that someday, perhaps, they'll dig that deep for me, too.

(Nereo dug deep for Andrew Nicholson at this last difficult combination and came through beautifully to eventually clinch the individual bronze on their dressage score)

(Henny looked tired in the show jumping, but he simply turned himself inside out to keep the rails up for Peter, and they had a clear round to end up 40 places better than their dressage ranking... Amazing.)

I'll have more photos up over the next few days (I took just over 1500 photos over the weekend... thanks, Mom, for letting me use the digital camera!!!) as well as more of a blow by blow of the experience. But I should probably try to get a little rest before my first class in 6 hours!!

4 comments:

Niamh said...

Peter and Henny are such a fine example of that relationship you speak of. True partners. Looking forward to seeing your photos!

Jess said...

My dad recorded what was broadcast on NBC yesterday afternoon so he, my mother and myself all gathered around and watched in awe. The cross country was absolutely unbelievable and I totally saw what you're talking about in the stadium - the horses just had nothing left and used their whole being to make it up and over the short little course. What unbelievable athletes!!! This made me want to dive into eventing more than ever.

Deered said...

I am still in awe of Andrew Nicholsons ability to stay on a horse - his balance is amazing. As a Kiwi I'm just so stoked to see NZ back up in the medals again.

Kate said...

I love Peter and Henny together. What a team!!

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