Serendipity? Ha ha…

I don’t know why it is, but every time I’ve got a walloping great deadline like I’m meant to be finishing a book, or making an appearance at some bijou event-ette–like the do at the Winchester Discovery Centre in late June–coincidentally, I always seem to find myself in training of a sort for a dressage competition.  And I’m wondering why this is?

When I first attended the Winchester Writers’ Conference some years ago, I had to turn up for the Sunday morning sessions in full competition kit…because I was going from there to a competition.  (So yes, there I was, up very early, polishing my boots, ironing my cravat…) 

(And yes, I may have looked like a right wally and/or like I was dressing to make an impression–which I was–but not upon those at the Conference.  The judge was she who must be impressed in that case.)

And yes, this year, again I find myself, er, competing in another few weeks.  Though fortunately, it’s not quite such a careful splicing together of my life, but it’s enough…because of course, the more one advances in the world of dressage–rather like writing–the more pernickitty one becomes about one’s performance. 

The thinking through of the course, the preparation, the careful planning of when to half-halt, when precisely to sit to canter, when to let out the reins for the walk on the long rein, when to gather them back, and the practise thereof, have all increased in velocity. 

I suppose it could be that I need to show more backbone or even common sense when someone says, “You’re competing, right?  I’ve already put your name down.”  I need to say, “Ah. Right.  Well…er, ‘fraid that’s not poss…” 

But it won’t happen. 

So, all this week, when I should most probably be writing my little socks off…which in the main I am doing…I will also be drawing out the course on any spare scrap of paper…and er, subjecting myself to the fine ministrations of a cadre of superlative instructors who will attempt to impart some of their wisdom and horsemanship into the air that resides between my ears…

And by Monday I won’t be walking all that well.  (And yes, saddle sores–shut up, you in the back row.  Yes, you.) 

All of which probably makes me cross-brained or cross-buttocked or something.  Perhaps just mad as a box of frogs.

(Yes, it is possible that I may have heard, “You’re out of your f***ing mind!” mentioned in relation to this subject once or even twice…I am not at liberty to comment.)

So I should just be grateful that I’m not appearing at some bijou event-ette Monday, shouldn’t I?  And not until a couple of weeks after the competition? 

Righto.  Shutting up now.


9 comments on “Serendipity? Ha ha…

  1. Orlando Maltravers says:

    You’re out of your f***ing mind, Bennetts.

  2. Piotr says:

    The joys of doing something you enjoy and other people know how to sucker you in. I have my own stories, where I really wished I had another version wheeling about the place. Alternatively, I endeavoured to scheme ways to counter the ridiculously high opinion people had of me, which unfortunately were ignored…

    By the way, I started reading the sizable helping of your next project. Now I want to renew my credit card to buy your first book…

  3. Now look here. I can’t have this. Not only do you write better than me but now you’re doing decent dressage – something my old horse always considered the ‘boring bit before the jumping’. Well, that’s what I belive he thought, because he was always so crap at it.

    So if I ever hear you’ve been half-pirouetting in a tailcoat and topper I’ll…be very jealous.
    Great for giving a talk in, though.

    And I use mugs, if you’re interested. On the lounge carpet. As the markers, you see. You just have to make sure the curtains are drawn so passers-by don’t think you’re suffering a manic form of St Vitus’ Dance as you stumble around shouting ‘H X F change the rein in working trot – giving and re-taking the reins over X… At least that’s what I do.

    That’s odd – an ambulance just pulled up outside. Sorry – have to go as there are two men in white coats coming down the path….

    • M M Bennetts says:

      Ha ha ha. My last ‘dressage triumph’ ended with Tom deciding, on the day, that in fact, he did not know how to canter. Never done it before. Couldn’t think what I was asking for. And as for that counter-canter, I must be mad!

      The ‘triumph’ of the year I went from the Conference straight to competition–that year, Bally decided it was ‘spook at the judge’s box’ day. Every time we passed–spook!

      The cross country jumping–wherein the main talent seems to be ‘stay on the horse’–is the only thing for which I ever bring home rosettes. Though this year, they tell me, it’ll be different. (I do not believe them.)

  4. Rudolf says:

    I may – or may not – have once told you of my one – and only – time spent on the back of a horse. It lasted about four seconds… the time it took said beast to buck me off. I have never tried to repeat this unpleasant experience. So the fact that you can hold on and even point the thing vaguely in the direction you want to travel is an ability beyond my comprehension. So jumping over things and making the beast do a kind of dancing trot is mastery – way -beyond my ken.

    Good luck, and about the attire… I thought you dressed like that all the time any way.

    • M M Bennetts says:

      I have had my share of circus act buckings. Ha ha ha. Not in the dressage ring though–they save those for when there’s a nice big, ripe puddle nearby.

      As for my appearance, it’s kindly described as careless. Though I am told I scrub up well.

  5. gretavdr says:

    Good luck to you for both appearances

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