The Rollercoaster Show

Alternate title: How Stupid of an Injury Can You Get?

I’ll allay your fears off the bat: no one has any lasting damage, and nothing was even remotely related to Francis. Homeboy was uninvolved in my tomfoolery and continues to be his awesome amazing wonderful self.

This was probably the most relaxed show I’ve done in a long time. The numbers were EXTREMELY low so the showgrounds were crazy quiet, we weren’t trying to qualify or get points or anything, and it seemed super low key.

Friday was just a schooling day for us- we went in to do a ticketed warmup in one of the rings to try and find our eq pace. Which was hard. My trainer kept telling us to slow down, even when it felt like I was going backwards! I needed to get us into a nice rhythm and then leave my horse alone, instead of letting my electric seat take over and build a gallop. No gallop needed. But overall it was a great schooling session where we got to jump some fill (which we haven’t done in a good long time) and get my eye adjusted to the different pace. When we got the right pace, Frankie was able to jump up nice and square every single time.

How is my horse so handsome all the time? How?


Saturday was our first eq day! Due to ring changes and schedule shifts, our very first class was a 3′ Eq Classic in the GP. On the one hand, a nice familiar ring with jumper-style jumps to ease us in. On the other hand, Frankie definitely knows that this ring means zoomies. It was an…interesting round. I came out of the ring and yelled DOUBLE CLEAR to my trainer, which is apparently not what we are supposed to go for in the eq. It was an odd combination of zooming around, yet not really making the striding anywhere. I think for me, it was tough to adjust my eye to the smaller jumps. Overall though Frankie was obedient and wanted to please (as always) and we ended up getting a nice big pretty yellow ribbon for our efforts.

Then we had two trips for the 18-35 Adult Eq division in the big Hunter 1 ring. We hadn’t gotten to school in there and I’ve never shown in there before, so I was excited to give it a try! The courses themselves were a little disappointing- they were the exact same as the hunter rounds, so no opportunity to show off any handiness. The most “exciting” it got was a two-stride across the diagonal.

Literally no effort went into the eq courses

I was really really happy with Frankie in both trips. Neither trip was beautifully polished, and definitely had a lot of room for improvement, but Frankie was thinking hard and trying to figure out what I was asking. We’ve spent so long telling him that the show ring means GOING NOW MUST RUN and this time I was telling him the opposite. He definitely thought he was supposed to turn and burn around some of those corners and kept checking with me to make sure he was doing the right thing. My big thing to remember was softening at him- when I dropped him a little bit, he responded by relaxing and coming back to a more appropriate pace.

I could also feel him jumping SUPER cute- I didn’t end up buying it, but the photographer got a really adorable one of him over one of the oxers. I know he doesn’t actually need to try at 3′, so I’m proud of him for still putting in some effort! He makes my job so much easier when he jumps like that. His motion is so much easier to follow, the timing is much easier to allow to happen naturally, overall I feel like I’m able to show off my eq a little bit more.

Despite the little bobbles for us to work on, we took first in both classes! Full disclosure: we were the only entry in the second class. I told you the numbers were crazy low. But there were four entries in the first class! I may or may not have hugged the announcer when he told me (I really should stop hugging strangers at horse shows).

We’ve got the blues!

I couldn’t be prouder of Frankie for going into a new ring, in a new discipline, with new jumps and new courses, and trusting me enough to listen and think so hard. He always has so much try and this was no different- I could really feel him trying to figure out what I wanted. He got lots of pats and scratches as I took out his braids.

Sunday dawned cool and breezy as I loaded my gear into the car for our final day of showing. And stick with me folks, because this is where I get dumb.

A little context: I have a Jeep Liberty. And the trunk of the Liberty opens in two pieces, as such:


In this picture, the car is nice and clean and not a decrepit old trash heap like mine is. So the top part opens all the way automatically. But in my decrepit old trash heap, it does not actually open all the way. It opens to about forehead height.

car trunk.png
My professional reenactment diagram

I think you can see where I’m going with this.

While swinging my gear into the car, I smashed my head into the glass so. Dang. Hard.

I made it about 45 minutes before the pressure-headache-feels-like-a-hangover-slight-dizziness set in. I chugged water, took some Advil, and waited for it to subside. And it didn’t.

And that is the story of how I slammed my head into my car so hard that I ended up scratching my classes and having my boyfriend and his brother drive 90 minutes to come pick me up and drive me home.


Was I being overcautious? Probably. I’m pretty sure I could’ve made it around another couple trips- especially with such a trustworthy steed. But I’m pretty paranoid when it comes to any sort of head injury, no matter how IDIOTICALLY they may have occurred. Part of me is saying that I was being way overly unnecessarily careful about the whole thing, and the other part of me is saying that I made the right call by scratching. Ugh.


Further earning his Sweetest Horse Ever award, Frankie stood calmly with his head down so I could take his braids out without using the step ladder. I swear he always seems to know when I’m feeling unsteady and is extra careful with me at those times. Such a total lovebug.

The dizziness wore off within a few hours and I’m now just nursing a bit of a headache and some wounded pride. If nothing else, it makes a pretty funny story (especially when I act out the field neuro exam Manfriend gave me upon my father’s instructions). Luckily Manfriend had a sense of humor about the whole thing and reassured me that next time I should just ask him to come to the show, there’s no need to bash my head in to convince him. Har har har.

I guess I was overdue for a klutzy moment.

Please make me feel better and share your most ridiculous injuries that kept you from riding/showing. I can’t be alone in this!

15 thoughts on “The Rollercoaster Show

  1. Allison Stitzinger 10/03/2017 / 8:11 am

    Ow! Glad you’re okay! I once sprained my ankle stepping out of my trailer. So there’s that.


  2. Bette 10/03/2017 / 9:37 am

    I was walking through a parking lot back to my friend’s car and I turned to say something to her and ended up stepping on the side of a hole and rolled my ankle. Whatevs, no big deal I thought, until it turned black and blue!!!! The worst part was my college dressage team was taking year end photos and everyone was supposed to dress in their show clothes and my ankle was so swollen and unable to flex that I couldn’t get my tall boots on (my boots were pull on, next pair I got definitely had zippers!!!) so I wore tall black socks and my paddock boots for the pictures… it passed muster unless you looked closely at my boots 😂😂😂


  3. the_everything_pony 10/03/2017 / 9:43 am

    Sounds like such a fun show! Great job! I think Frankie deserves a medal too. He’s so cute! lol and don’t feel bad. I used to run into doors. As in, full on like I had no frontal vision and the door was razor thin. So don’t feel bad lol


  4. KateRose 10/03/2017 / 10:55 am

    Ouch! Glad you are ok 🙂 The trunk of my husbands car closes itself without warning sometimes and it just about knocked me out once, so I feel your pain!


  5. Abby F 10/03/2017 / 11:41 am

    Oh no! That sucks! Coincidentally, I too had a klutzy injury on Sunday morning! I got to the horse show super early to braid Charles for the classic and had to stand on a bucket to braid because we didn’t have an extra step ladder. I put a small water bucket on the ground to wet his mane. Well… when I stepped off the big bucket I accidentally stepped onto the little bucket and fell flat on my butt in the stall, splashing water all over my whites. Charlie just looked down like Mom??? You ok?? Haha, luckily, I landed on my butt, so I was fine, just freezing from the water.


    • Abby F 10/03/2017 / 11:42 am

      Oh! Also, at the August Culpeper I ran into a jump while WALKING the course and ripped my breeches…..


  6. Susan 10/03/2017 / 12:16 pm

    I did something similar once. Pulled tailgate of my Tahoe down right onto my head. Hard enough to leave a bump. The trailer was hooked up so I guess I was standing in a different spot than I usually do to close it. Glad I’m not the only one! And glad you are ok 🙂


  7. heartofhope10 10/03/2017 / 12:58 pm

    Well most recently I walked into my sliding glass door going “purposeful” speed…my head survived but the wine and my pride were shattered!


  8. Stacie Seidman 10/03/2017 / 3:16 pm

    I don’t think I have any that kept me from showing because I don’t make grown up decisions like you do. But I’ve nearly killed myself numerous times getting ready to show. I’m not even sure how many times I’ve walked right off the ladder while braiding… The last time I went to New England finals, I was unloading stuff from the trailer tack room and while looking both ways for oncoming traffic I walked my head right into the truck mirror. Then there was the time I fell face first into the tack room of the trailer. OR EVEN BETTER: The time I was helping my trainer roll her trunk up into her trailer, tripped over the carpet thingy that goes on the ramp for the horses (it was rolled up NOT on the ramp) and fell on my butt.

    Congrats on the blues though! You were so good day one, you just didn’t even need to bother day 2!


  9. Karley 10/04/2017 / 2:12 pm

    Bahahahaha I mean I’m glad you are ok!!

    I bet Frankie is so cute in the Hunters!!


  10. CallyJumps 10/05/2017 / 10:10 am

    OUCH! That does hurt! My Expedition has that liftgate glass, and I’ve cracked my head on it half a dozen times now while hooking up my trailer. Glad you had fun in the Eq!


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