twin recap: enough

Look at where you are,
look at where you started.
The fact that you’re alive is a miracle,
Just stay alive, that would be enough.

– Non-Stop, Hamilton

¬†I told you this entire week would be about Twin. ¬†I needed to get it all down for myself, so I¬†can remember everything. ¬†There are a few more things to wrap up, a little more retrospective, and a little less gloat-worthy. ¬†Though there will still be a bit of gloating — one can’t help oneself after such a weekend.

victory can-NOPE

Between cross country and stadium Murray dug up his entire stall, added a small water complex, and took full advantage of the terrain. ¬†I tried to flatten it out when I checked and walked him on Friday night, but dirt that your horse has dug up and then peed on is HARD to move with a pitch fork. ¬†And he completely dug it up again the next morning so… I gave up.

After stadium Murray was practically throwing himself on the ground, and I knew he’d been struggling with the fact that he’d been essentially unable to roll all “weekend”. ¬†I quickly untacked him and in lieu of a rinse took him down to the lunging arena for a little roll in the soft sand there. ¬†Murray was more than happy to comply, and somehow on his first roll managed to unlatch his halter and stood up happy as a clam… and totally loose. ¬†Fortunately he was also too tired to go running off, and the other girl in the arena thought it was funny rather than annoying. ¬†He had six or seven more good wallows in the sand before I put him back in his stall, which he flattened out over the course of the next day until it was hardly possible to see that he’d completely re-engineered the day before.

The tubigrip solution worked splendidly to ice Murray’s legs. ¬†I cut a¬†length of tubigrip twice that (and a bit) of Murray’s front canons and pulled it on over his shoes, folded over, with the fold at the bottom. ¬†It was very easy to stuff ice cubes in the pocket that created, and then move the ice around with my hands to give coverage where I wanted it. ¬†Since Murray’s extensor tendon swells on front of his left canon, I wanted ice over the front and back of his legs, so this was nice. I wrapped the ice pocket up tightly with a polo wrap, which helped keep the ice up as well as added some cold pressure to the whole shebang. ¬†After that they stayed up nicely for 30 minutes, and I had a cold, wet piece of tubigrip to use over the poultice when I was done to boot!

The most wonderful thing about this entire weekend was feeling all of our hard work and training pay off. ¬†We have both worked hard — Murray to improve me as a rider, me to teach him some fraction of what he ought to know. ¬†And it has been a road full of terrain, water traps, and even a few U-turns and misdirections. ¬†There are so many times when I wished I could have bought a horse who was braver, more reasonable, more compliant, a better mover, smarter¬†— I didn’t want any of those things this weekend.

I bailed on our partnership ways only a human could, and Murray stepped up to fill the gap in the only way his pony self could.  He went forward when he needed to, woahed when I asked, and let me know in no uncertain terms that he had got this.


murray and I feel rather different about the ribbon ceremony

It feels¬†so good to come through every phase of an event filled with pride at what we lay down, even if it wasn’t my vision of a perfect or winning dressage test, even if we didn’t perform as well as we can at home. ¬†There wasn’t a single time this show when I wished I’d made better choices for my horse — though there were obviously¬†several moments when I wished I’d made better choices for me!

Twin showed how far I have come as a rider and horsewoman too. ¬†I didn’t expect Murray to make up for my deficiencies (though he did it anyway), and I didn’t try to bully him through to something that neither of us was entirely sure of. ¬†I¬†knew I’d biffed it getting ready for cross country, so I didn’t try to fight him over the fences, and¬†I was ready to withdraw if he needed it. ¬†But he didn’t, and I’m so, so grateful.

We have truly, finally, built a successful partnership.


this is the cutest we have ever looked