View Full Version : In which the One-Eyed Wonder does in his first BN in almost three years...

Dec. 22, 2009, 03:36 AM
I took my TB Gelding, Arizona, to Poplar this weekend for their schooling show. He went in Aug for his first show over fences (2'!) with one eye and had a very successful weekend, so after four months of hard-core dressage and several awesome jumping lessons, I decided to take him back out at 2'6" to see where he stood.

He had partial vision in his left eye since I got him as a result of an old injury. We always assumed it influenced his depth perception but had no idea the real effect it had on him. I brought him along and I never thought anything of his bad eye. He started stopping at fences about two years ago- mostly dirty. While I know that a significant part of the problem was me, he went from being the horse who would gamely give anything a shot to being totally erratic in his jumping efforts.

He did his first recognized BN in 2007 and then a myriad of issue arose, culminating in a year long battle with uveitis resulting in the removal of his bad eye.

He has always been the underdog- I got a lot of crap for having him when he was a gawky youngster and I never let that stop me, so when the mare I was leasing sold and I was left with my one-eyed, history of stopping horse- I did what any eventer would do. Started getting him fit and told my trainer I'd be prepping him for 2010. She was hesitant at first since I was coming off of a mare who would jump ANYTHING I pointed her at and would go out of her way to stay underneath me no matter where I put her to a fence.

I have a project horse that I've been showing in the mean time- a lovely combination of needing a slightly defensive ride, but with a heart of gold who, if I can get her there, will go over anything.

Lucky for me, I'm pretty sure I have the greatest coach in the world, and she has stood behind me while I brought Ari back to work. She pushes me just enough to make progress without scaring me out of my wits.

Well, we went out to Poplar this weekend and I couldn't be more thrilled. Not only did he jump clean, I never once felt him hesitate or got the impression he was even considering stopping as an easy way out. I wish I had our stadium course on video- it was spot on. When I came out, the only critique I got was "Well, I could have seen you chasing him to that fence, and you could have jumped ahead there... but you didn't... so... GREAT!" Even our warmup was pretty much "Well, that's your ride! Go jump!"

We schooled XC and he was totally on his game the whole time. He ate it up and pulled me to anything I pointed him at. I carried my crop but it never left its resting position.

I can't even believe this is the same horse. He was totally confident and secure- and I was too!

Needless to say- this was a fantastic way to end the year and I'm SO ready for next year. :D:D

Oh, and of course, my boy sporting his pink ribbon- pink IS my color, so only fitting...


Dec. 22, 2009, 03:44 AM
Awww...congratulations!! He looks so proud of himself in that picture.

Wishing you the best of luck and much fun in 2010!!

Dec. 22, 2009, 07:16 AM
I imagine the stopping issues were him being in the process of loosing his eyesight. I have two horses and both are blind in one eye and both love to event.

Dec. 22, 2009, 07:28 AM
Congratulations! What a great story and I wish you further success in the future!

Dec. 22, 2009, 12:00 PM
Yay Ari! I'm so glad you and he are getting another chance at love. :D

Dec. 25, 2009, 04:08 AM
Congrats! Good luck in 2010 :)

Dec. 25, 2009, 12:22 PM

The news about Gandalf (though I'm sure the danger to himself and others came more from the neurological part than the blind part) makes this even more special for me.

Dec. 25, 2009, 12:31 PM
Way to go, Lauren!!!! He's gorgeous by the way :D :cool:

Dec. 25, 2009, 12:56 PM
Way to go, Lauren!!!! He's gorgeous by the way :D :cool:

Thanks... I think so too, but I'm partial. :lol:

Sometimes, when he's being REALLY good... I like to pretend he'll be like Taco when he grows up. :winkgrin: