Sunday, February 6, 2011

Riders, Lend Me Your Ears

This is going to be a quick post, because I really should be studying right now...

But huge CI moment for me this weekend, as I competed for Stanford's equestrian team in a home horse show. For the first time ever, the PA system was making sense to me during the equitation on the flat classes, when I stood by the back gate within clear listening range. (I did have a similar experience a few weekends ago at an away show, but the volume and sound quality in that arena were so cruddy that I really didn't get much more than an isolated word or two, and even then I might have been making that up.) Getting ready for my class yesterday and earlier today, I watched the other riders in the arena and listened to the announcer give the verbal commands for which gait they should display next, and found my stomach doing little lighthearted flips. Because, almost every single time, I got it!

"Riders, to the rising trot."

"Sitting trot, please."

"Riders, canter please."

"Riders, please walk and line up in the center of the ring."

"Riders, drop your stirrups."

You get the point. I even got the numbers being announced sometimes, when there wasn't too much background noise or cheering from the crowd. Now, I've competed in horse shows for much of my life, and this has me feeling so giddy. I used to be terrified - absolutely terrified - of flat classes because of my fear of (and actual experience with) missing the announcer's commands and performing much worse than my best. I used to get unbearably tense before every such class, and would often ride abominably because of my preoccupation with what the other riders were doing - was I doing it right? What was next? When would the next transition come? Would it catch me off-guard?

Today - entirely different story. Although my auditory processing wasn't as stellar when I was on the horse rather than standing and watching, I did pick up a few things during my own class. All this made me feel like running and jumping up and down and telling my friends and teammates, "I hear it, I understand it! Canter! Canter!" (A note: I restrained myself. Flat class announcing is far too mundane for such enthusiasm.)

Granted, all of these commands tend to be rather redundant. But in terms of a closed set that's actually applicable to an area of my life, whoo-hoo!


  1. one of your teammatesFebruary 20, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    i would have been SO excited and jumped up and down with you if you had told me you could understand julia and andrea announcing!!!!

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