When I showed at the CPEDI in Tryon in September my performance with Butterfinger Bonanza wasn't all I had hoped, but we did have a couple of interesting developments. Someone observing suggested that because of my brain injury it's hard to remember the test and I should be allowed to have a "commander" or someone who can read the test to me while I ride. This is not generally allowed in FEI tests but they do make exceptions.
The biggest problem for me is when I get anxious, everything gets worse. It’s like anything else. When I’m anxious I tend to have a major brain fart…as soon as someone says left though I know right where I am. Memory issues are well documented with brain injuries, and she gave me the paperwork to have a “commander” as part of my dispensation. It’s sort of like having white noise…it’s one less thing to worry about. I still know the test but anxiety makes it hard to both remember the test and ride is well at the same time.
In the works currently: Last Wednesday I had the testing for whether I will be allowed to use a “commander” or reader during my test. I don’t know if the results will be “bad” enough that I’ll be allowed a reader. It took about two hours.
At this point the examination for possible downgrading of my status as a para equestrian only occurs in a CPEDI – the next one is in January and I was going to compete. Even though I’m taking Bonnie, I want to be prepared for my grade and the next lower one.
It was a wild few weeks; We evacuated to Stable View in Aiken for the hurricane then I went to Tryon for the show with two suitcases, one with my Aiken clothes and show clothes, then I came home and did laundry and met my husband in Prague – he had a meeting at Oxford University and we were able to do a little traveling together after that. We evacuated 22 horses and 30 people to Stable View in Aiken, and they had apartments and rooms so we were all fine.
Now we are home in Charleston and I am still riding Bonnie, or Butterfinger Bonanza. Bam Bam should be coming back from his injury soon and we will make a plan for 2018.