Megan vs. Stuart, Part 3: The homestretch

Megan Kaiser has a goal: To compete at Beginner Novice at Stuart Horse Trials this weekend. For Megan, a working mom with a 21-y/o horse, it’s kind of a big deal. She’s letting HN tag along.

This week, Megan breaks it to her horse that they’re going to an event, recounts recent stumbling blocks, and concludes, “So things are coming together.”

From Megan:

A recent conversation with my horse:

Hey guess what?

You brought me more than two carrots today?

No. Stuart is running BN this year.

Poor suckers.

I signed us up.

No you didn’t.

Yes I did.

No… Yes… No… Yes….

We have a lesson tomorrow, and she’s going to ride you Monday.

Seriously, what happened to me being old and retired?

Come on, it’ll be fun.

For whom?

Me and you’ll have fun too.

No I won’t.

Yes you will.

No… Yes… No… Yes….

You get to run and jump and have pretty braids.

I do like that part and I do look good braided. Speaking of looking pretty for dressage: are you going to wear the new white breeches you told me about? You know you aren’t responsible enough for those. And they might make you look more appropriate for dressage, but that part is all about me doing that pattern as fast as possible, so it doesn’t matter what you wear.

That part isn’t timed. We are supposed to be controlled, supple, and not rushing.

No you’re not. Yes you are. No… Yes… No… Yes….

And you know your head isn’t supposed to be in the air.

I can see better that way.


Yes… I don’t think so… Yes… No… Yes….

After a cross country schooling and several visits from our trainer I have convinced my guy that we are actually doing this. He has only tried to sabotage it once so far: He ripped his shoe half off. Fortunately we were not too far from home; unfortunately getting home involved a large hill and crossing a creek. For future reference Friday evening at 7:45 is not the greatest time to find a farrier to pull a shoe. It is so frustrating knowing that someone that had a clue what they were doing could get this done in three minutes. After an hour and a half of calling everyone I know my farrier (who was away with his mare) talked me through pulling it via text while I tried desperately to visualize all the times I’ve watched someone pull a shoe.

I was able to pull it and at the same time gained even more appreciation for the physical strength and sore backs of all the farriers out there. And now he is three-legged lame. I soaked him in the aisle because he couldn’t make it to the wash stall. I added extra bedding, gave him a bit of bute, and he was in for the night. The next morning he was not happy that he didn’t get to play with his friends all night, knocked the bucket over three times while I tried to soak him, and was trotting around as I attempted to graze him. Needless to say he was fine and is a huge drama queen. Being a drama queen is a good thing because I certainly know when something is wrong, but it isn’t a good thing when I want to know how bad things actually are and would rather not spend the night worrying.

So things are coming together: I have dug out all our required clothing, am almost done breaking in my new tall boots and have the band-aids to prove it (OK so I’ve had them for two years in their box, so I’m not sure if you can really call them “new” or not–I would rather procrastinate than break in any sort of boot), I gave my tack a good cleaning and oiling so it won’t be as involved the night before we ride, I’ve narrowed it down to two potential bits for jumping, and I memorized the dressage test. Onward and upward….

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