Wayward thoughts on cross-country: A timeline

Photo Credit: Beth Clymer



Wayward thoughts on cross-country: A timeline

Eventers love cross-country. If we didn’t, we’d save ourselves a little grief and a lot of money and stick to the jumpers. Yet there are times where our relationship with the gallopy phase can be a love/hate one, depending on A. whose ears you’re looking through, B. your experience/comfort level, and C. the specific circle of hell the course designer is shooting for in the afterlife.

Out on cross-country, there’s no ringside assistance. No helpful hints along the way. It’s just you, your horse, and the wind in your ears. That’s freedom, baby. There’s also plenty to stay busy with: tasks like managing pace and accurately riding your lines are demanding enough on their own merits without the physical challenges of cross country. But sometimes, the mind wanders where it will. Below is a tongue-in-cheek timeline of thoughts that may or may not flit through your head as you’re hurtling through space, time and, hopefully, finish flags.

When it’s pissing rain and howling winds on the walk to the cross-country course:
Why can’t I be normal and do normal people things – what do they do, anyway? Wear nail polish and have savings accounts and go on vacations?


Circling the start box:
These 30 seconds are the longest 30 seconds of my entire life.

Approaching Fence 1:
This first fence is so inviting, it’s going to be so eas- YOU DORK DID YOU JUST SPOOK AT A PILE OF LOGS ON THE GROUND?!


Approaching Fence 3:
No, that giant table is not your jump. Not your jump. NOT. YOUR. JUMP.

Five strides from Fence 3:
OMG yes it is.

Approaching Fence 5:
Why do I even bother with cardio at the gym? I am already dying.


Leaving Fence 6:
You’re the bravest horse ever, I’m so proud of you! What a noble courageous warrior you are!

Approaching Fence 8:
Okay if you don’t stop spooking at the jump judges I’m going to take away your alfalfa cubes.

Approaching the bank complex:
Hell yes. We have been working so hard on this, we are going to own this downbank complex. We will be magazine cover perfect.

Leaving the bank complex:
Ugh. I hope the photographer didn’t get that.


Approaching Fence 10:
WHOA dammit!

Approaching Fence 11a and b:
Sorry, my bad. Go faster, go faster!

Approaching Fence 12:
Okay, almost past the spooky jump. The rest will be a cake walk after we jump this ONE spooky jump.

Leaving Fence 12:
Well that wasn’t spooky at all.

Through any/all water questions:
Note to self: keep mouth closed and try to avoid ingesting flesh eating bacteria next time.

Approaching Fence 14:
I wonder if the calories burned this weekend justify a pizza to myself tonight.


Somewhere in the middle of a big field:
Uh oh. Thinking about pizza too much. Where’s my next fence again?


Approaching Fence 17:
Dear God, if you get us both through this course on time, I promise to set a better example to young riders everywhere and stop swearing so much.

Leaving Fence 17:

Approaching the Finish flags:
Don’t fall off! Don’t fall off! Don’t fall off!


On the way back to Stabling:
This is the best sport ever. Everyone should do this. Why don’t normal people do this?!


If all else fails, grab mane and add more leg – and don’t forget to have a great ride!

Got any wayward thoughts of your own that you’d like to add? Share them with us by sending an email to sable@eventingconnect.today

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