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?