Equestrian vaulting routines are typically accompanied by music. I’m not sure, but I think the vaulters usually get to pick their own music. However, for my performance at Legacy Stable’s TRAIL MIX VAULTING COMPETITION & CLINIC, Leoni, Seer of the Future, chose my music.
“I picked a song for you, Bob,” she informed me a couple of hours beforehand.
“Well, thank you, Leoni. That was very kind of you.” I had forgotten about the music and I was glad she took care of that detail for me. And, of course, I had to ask what song she picked.
She smiled, not bothering to conceal the gleam in her eyes, “Oh, you’ll find out…”
I was hoping for something like Levitate by Hollywood Undead, but I trusted Leoni’s vaulting music judgment.
In any case, it was a monstrously fun day. The kids had a great time and I think the parents and grandparents had even more fun then the kids. Karin had recently started a Tiny Tot Vaulters program and there was a good showing of young moms and dads at the TRAIL MIX. Most of them got an opportunity to get on the horse with their kids and do some basic vaulting stuff.
And as usual, Karin infused some creative chaos into the day’s events, this time in the form of a rally where four teams made up of mixed ages dressed up themselves and a horse/pony/donkey and then ran around doing various stunts and things.
Both Karin and Michelle, my human competitors, performed well in the Raisin & Salt Class. Karin even went upside down once. I’m pretty sure it was on purpose.
While some of the kids where doing higher level vaulting stuff, the day was more or less a dress rehearsal for the upcoming vaulting season, so while there was judging for feedback purposes, the emphasis wasn’t on actual competition. In fact, at the end of the day, we got to pick what color ribbon we wanted. You should have seen those hands shoot up for the blue.
That didn’t mean there weren’t challenges. I, for one, only had a vague idea of what I was supposed to do. In my previous lesson, “I’m Not Crazy” Pete took me through the six compulsory vaulting moves, but I could only remember three and that included one I wanted to forget.
But my big challenge of the day came when my old arch-nemesis reappeared. That’s right: that S.O.B. Gravity was at TRAIL MIX. And he was in playful mood. And I was the toy.
The moment Pete launched me up on to Avenir, I heard the first few notes of the bass in the music Leoni picked for me and I realized that she could see into the future:
Another One Bites the Dust…
In response, I performed my Dead Man Walking Seat:
For a while, things went pretty good. I did my version of the flag:
Then Karin got Avenir into a Canter. So I did basic seat that way.
You’re only supposed to hold for four strides, but I was enjoying this part so I just kept in that pose for a couple of full circles. Then…
Then it was time to go “up.”
Or, as I remember it:
My cruel nemesis let me have my moment and then, as expected, Gravity sought to collect his due by using planet Earth to punch me in the face.
When I was coming down, my main concern was that I was going to land on top of Pete’s head. There just wasn’t enough room up there for me. I was really concerned about hurting his neck. He’s an athletic guy, for sure, but I just think it would have been uncomfortable for both us.
Anyway, Pete broke my fall and we were both okay. I got back on because I wasn’t particularly busy with anything else at the moment and it seemed like the right thing to do.
Later, Pete told me, “We taught you how to go up, but we didn’t teach you how to come down.”
I thought he meant they forgot to teach me how to fall properly. Which I’ve always considered a private matter between Gravity and me. But what he meant was that there is a proper way to go from standing on a horse to sitting on a horse and that it’s not really necessary to involve the ground at all.
I like that kind of thinking. In my next lesson, we worked on exactly that.