Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Still here, on a different topic

Still existing, lots going on with the move.   I had a (car) race that I had to participate in.  I wasn't looking forward to it but ended up doing really well and I had the fastest laps of my team.  Good news/bad news.  Overachievers end up on the driving roster whether they want to be or not.  What did I like?  A lot of the skills for showing eventing kind of apply to racing cars.  How so you ask?  Well, let me share!

Razor focus is required for extended lengths of time.  Well, that is a given but I already have that skill down.  I have to gallop a feisty redheaded mare across fields that may have oddly covered grass that she may shy from or jump because, well, who knows.  Or run a cremello bombshell to some fences and he isn't quite sure if I am sane or not.  So intense focus is a check in my box.

Adaptability.  No big surprise, you need to be able to adapt to changing requirements and adapt fast.  Someone suddenly appears in your rear view mirror when you are making a turn and they are passing?  You need to be aware of them and aware if they screw up and almost take you out and adapt to that situation.  Suddenly your horse sucks behind your leg because OMG ditch?!?!  You have about .4 seconds to correct before you have a refusal and/or fall.  Can you do it?!?!  I can!

Fast decision making.  Again, no surprise.  You need to make split second decisions.  Apply the gas or the brake?  Upshift or downshift (manual cars, y'all)?  Fight to stay that line or drift?  Spur or crop or leg?  Move to avoid that log or try to jump it?  I didn't realize this was such an important skill that wasn't automatic to everyone until this past weekend.

Seeing your stride.  We know this, when we are riding we need to judge when to speed up or slow down to meet the distance.  Surprisingly enough, this is almost identical in racing.  Being able to see my speed and know just when to slow down or speed up was surprisingly easy for me and not the rest of my team.

Being able to see your line.  You know how it is, you approach a line of jumps.  You know where you need to be and where you need to end up.  Your mind automatically maps out the best way to get there with the least strides and maximum efficiency.  Turns out, racing is just like that!  Figuring out when to drift out of a turn vs fighting it and just "knowing" where you needed to be for your next turn helped tremendously in finding my racing line.  Also equating "Slow horse, efficient lines" to racing helped, "Slow car?  Efficient lines."  The little 140hp thing I drove couldn't match the mustang and higher horse powered cars but if I drove efficient lines I was technically driving less mileage than the cars that would swing wide.  Every mile/stride counts people!

Balance,  Not heels under hips and shoulder back but knowing how much you can push before things fall apart.  Feel things slide?  By now you probably have the adaptability and fast decision making skills to slow down just a tad without thinking about it so that you can grip and keep going.  Being able to feel the balance of the car is not all too different from feeling when Captain A-hole decides his shoulder cannot possibly stay underneath of himself. I can feel him fal

Overall it went well.  Very well.  We had engine problems and had to do a motor swap so we ended up 9th instead of 7th or 8th.  Out of all of the laps I ran (almost 200), I ran 86 of the fastest laps of the team.  And a lot of those lap times were faster than other teams running the race!  It certainly isn't my hobby, racing was cool and all but I detested people passing in turns.  Just wait till I am good and F'ing done before you pass me a-hole!  I was also commended for my driving at the awards ceremony of the race for avoiding a collision when someone was passing me in a turn and lost it.  I had thrown the car into grass and avoided a hit and apparently got a kudos for it!  I am glad to have done the race, I drove over 120 mph at a NASCAR racetrack.  I seriously kicked the ass of my two male teammates despite the fact I have never raced before.  It was good experience.

On the horse front, not a whole lot has gone on.  Lots of cleaning/packing.  Trying to keep the house in show-ready condition.  Trying to get the racecar ready for the race.  I have a show the second week of July so it is time to really buckle down and ride more than just trail rides again, I wonder if Mia remembers how to dressage still?


  1. haha i actually love this comparison! congrats on the race :)

  2. That is so cool!!!!! I'm not a huge racing fan or anything, but I've always thought it would be really cool to try it just once. My hubby and his brothers are into dirt track racing (that's fun to watch!) and drag racing, rebuilding cars and engines, etc. so I'm exposed to that side of it a little, but I've never really been exposed to the NASCAR stuff. Good for you going out there and doing it right hehe! I'm glad you had fun!