In July 2019, while visiting my military husband in Germany, I hit a trolley line on a bike and went flying which broke my ankle and dislocated my foot. I was rushed to surgery and while being wheeled back, I was given a 50 percent chance of losing my foot. I spent two weeks in the hospital with an external fixator, then was pinned together, but the post-trauma damage has been exceptional.
On a recent conference call with my fellow Carolina International committee members, we were discussing the aftermath of our gutting cancelation. I asked Lefreda Williams if there was this much hysteria and fear during the Flu epidemic of 1918, to which she replied in true Lefreda form, followed by a light moment and some laughter. Which we all needed.
Usually at the beginning of the year I'm pretty excited about getting back out in competitions on my horses. This year was no different, with the notable exception that I was shuffling around my upper level horses and starting out only on the lower level ones. I was still eager to get back into competing and continuing to improve.
One day Denny and I were talking, I can’t quite remember what started the conversation, but I said I do not think of myself as being that brave. He looked at me like I was nuts, I think he even said, but you went advanced! My response was that I am brave enough, but I am not crazy brave
My dad used to say when I was growing up that if you looked up the word relentless in the dictionary there would be a picture of me next to it. I think at the time he meant my relentlessness in constantly asking for a horse (and everything else that went along with it), but over time I've begun to realize just how much of this personality trait is needed in eventing.
Today was full of surprises, but there were also two not so surprising factors; I had an asthma attack as usual but am happy to report I was able to breathe more quickly than in the past which is always a good thing, and Fric showed what an amazing horse he really is and how much heart he has, as he carried me around to a clean round.
Today Fric evened the score a bit and gave me what I felt was a very good effort and overall good test. The judges were scoring extremely hard and a lot of deserving tests were lacking the reward they deserved. Never the less, and despite our score not being near what I feel he deserved, Fric was good and much improved which is all that matters.
Today, I think it is safe to say I walked what will be the biggest course I’ll have ridden to date. It looks like a great course, and a lot of fun, but we have our work cut out for us as riders on Saturday! I always think it is interesting to get insight on courses from fresh eyes, and walking today with Buck Davidson, I felt well-informed of what will be ahead of me.
Having been lucky enough to spend the weekend at Rubicon, one of our fantastic local events, I’m feeling all sorts of warm and fuzzy about the state of eventing. In particular, I was struck not just by how many fancy horses I saw (and there were some truly gorgeous ones going around), but by how many that appeared to be wonderful, well-loved, solid citizens.