January doldrums

15 Jan


Horse sport  really IS a microcosm of life itself.

The other day, an email exhorted me–and everyone else– to live as though today is The Last Day. To really smell the flower; to  recognize what a gift that next breath is; to live in heightened awareness.

But the reality is…in order to have heightened awareness, there has to be feeling like a zombie,or at least muddling through some otherwise precious moments of time as though they do not matter all that much. Squandering the riches,etc, for no particularly good or bad reason.

Highs require lows,and vice versa.

That is the commitment of horse sport: to seek the highs,accept the lows, and juggle the frustration.

This is the only sport humans have ever devised that requires an alien partner, that asks for communication between species on such an exquisite and wordless level. Humans may work with dogs, with dolphins, with primates–but NOTHING is the same as sitting on, listening to, making suggestions to a horse.

The next show season is just about to get underway, washing away the doldrums that were part of the post-Olympic depression. This last Olympics in particular produced so many highs in horse sport: Michael Jung putting his name in  the history books, becoming World, Olympic and European champion all at the same time; Carl Hester producing two of the dressage Team Gold horses AND riders; Nick Skelton finding the desire and the spirit and the luck to produce yet another  unbelievable showjumping athlete, Big Star, for Britain’s jumping Team Gold.

It is of course not possible to have sport like that every week– the Olympics definitely has set the bar.

But this show season, it feels as though the bar is going to be raised again. There is that much optimism,that much promise.

Fingers crossed.


And —



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