Monday, March 28, 2011

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.”

I want to start this by extending my deepest condolences to everyone close to Mandar and Dekorum, eventing lost two great horses this weekend...
This weekend Blazer and I went to one of my all time favorite events, Southern Pines. Mondays after an event normally bring reflection for me. Reflection of the good and the bad and the looking forward to what is next. This week I had a six hour drive home to Virginia from Southern Pines to reflect on more than just a weekend but the last four years.

This winter Blazer has felt sounder and fitter than ever before. He had two confident outings at Prelim and I thought that our problems at Young Riders had been summed up to an unfortunate bad weekend. We entered the Intermediate at Southern Pines with a strong partnership and great confidence. On Saturday we warmed up great for cross country and then set off on course. When we reached the sunken road at fence 7 Blazer made it clear to me that his heart is just not in it enough for the Intermediate level anymore. I made the tough decision to retire and walk home from there.

I'm pretty sure every rider has taken the long walk home before. Whether it be from an elimination, a fall, a retirement, or a finished upsetting round. We've all been there and probably shed a few tears along the way, even if we make sure they're out of sight from everyone around. This weekend my long walk home didn't bring me tears of disappointment or anger. My long walk home brought the end of a chapter and tears for the great partner I will miss. I have a great relationship and trust in my horse and I have to trust my feeling of what Blazer is trying to tell me.
While I drove home Sunday I thought back to four years ago when I tried Blazer in Courtney Cooper's ring in Pennsylvania. I remember the smile I couldn't keep off my face when I asked for the canter or first jumped him. I knew that day there was no question about it I had to have that horse. Over the past four years he has taught me more than I could ever imagine. He taught me how to ride, how to handle stress, how to handle upsets, how to be gracious for good times, he taught me to be who I am now.
Five years ago if you told me I would have won the CCI* at Young Riders and placed 6th at the Jersey Fresh CCI** I would have laughed and not thought any more of it. Blazer has given me more than I could have ever imagined I would accomplish in life. Like the title of this post, “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” This weekend brought the end of my story with Blazer. While we didn't come off the course crossing the finish line we came off the course with a happy ending. I could not have asked for a better partner to have over the last four years and I know he will be happy with a lower level retirement.


  1. What a good homage to your great partner, thanks Laura

  2. A tough decision to be sure but clearly you are handling this with grace and dignity. Thank you for sharing your story.