f you are like most eventers, weekends are sucked up by competitions, schoolings, travel, lessons, auditing clinics, riding in clinics, shopping for new tack, new riding clothes, or new horses.

Cleaning the house, washing the car, working on the flowerbeds, mowing the lawn, and doing laundry are way down on the list for most of us! But when I have a bad turn of luck and terrible thoughts, I turn to cleaning to keep things churning in my mind, and letting the big chunks of sadness settle to the bottom.

This week, I won a recognized event with the lowest score of the entire day, and a dear friend’s horse was euthanized at a huge overseas event after a terrible accident nearly at the end of a terrific cross-country course. (Rest in peace, beautiful Crackerjack.) This is a sport of very high high’s, and the lowest low’s.

22780574_10203776428847213_629747719238684142_nWe all learned lessons from these two incidents, and also from the weekend’s endeavor to video tape a whole load of scenes for the new USEA jump judge video. It was very difficult to find out about Cracker at the very facility that was his home, Windurra. But we carried on, and our riders did an incredible job working their way through a long script with a lot of difficult riding questions!

The event we won was Waredaca, one of the last events I ever rode Rugby at when he was alive. Hamish was a star. It was a very long day with an early start and late return home. We actually show jumped after XC, a new order of the phases for Hamish – he’s never had to do that. Thanks to great jumping lessons from Kayla Muller, we were able to keep all rails up and do a good job in show jumping, and won with a rail in hand. It had been 9 years since I’d ridden at Waredaca. What a fine return it was.

Much learning this week. Watching horses do the circles and turns around the jumps at Windurra for the video was extremely interesting. Good horses do what they are taught to do, despite some real rider error. It was amazing how hard it was to make them do it wrong.