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WB Mom
Jun. 13, 2011, 01:03 PM
We took my boy to his very first event ever this past weekend! So far in his life, he has schooled cross country once (this Mother’s Day) and has never done a stadium course.
Me, never having ridden in an event, turned the reins over to my trainer hopefully to ensure a positive experience for him this first time out. He went in Training Level.
I’m a total event newbie and learning so much, so this weekend was full of information for my brain as well – rules, horse care, scoring, studs, logistics, everything! Whew!
He was just the bravest pony ever! I couldn’t have been more proud, so I had to share!
Dressage was on wet grass on a hill. He was very concerned about the footing, he didn’t want to slip, but despite that, they had (I think) a very respectable 34.1. The judge gave us great feedback, with lots of encouragement. She was great.
He absolutely loved the cross country course! There were 21 jumps (I think that was a lot) and he had no jump penalties. They had to circle before the last jump because he was too fast, so they were leisurely cantering over the finish line, with no time penalties. My trainer was so pleased with him, as was I. I thought he might be worried about the footing again, but we put studs in (first time for him), so I hope that helped him.
The stadium jumps were very impressive. They came from Brody Robertson show jumps, so were very beautiful, but definitely could be very scary for a horse who had never seen anything like that before. I knew either he would shut down at the beginning, being just overwhelmed or would be a brave boy again and at least try.
My trainer gave him an absolutely great ride and he actually went over every jump with no refusals!
You could see the apprehension over every fence, but he was so brave! He did have 2 rails, but I was so happy and proud of him, who could have even cared? He did it!
Icing on the cake was that the stadium judge got up and told my trainer that when he stops looking at the fences he should be a mini-prix horse. I thought that was such a nice (and totally unexpected) compliment from her.
Extra icing was that we actually placed 7th! I now have gorgeous purple ribbon at home to go along with a bunch of very wonderful memories. I am so glad he has found something he loves to do as much as I love him – well almost as much! :D

SmallHerd
Jun. 13, 2011, 01:34 PM
That's great WB Mom! I was a Queeny Park HT as a volunteer. Which horse was yours and who is the trainer? If you were spectating on XC, we probably spoke to each other. Small world!

WB Mom
Jun. 15, 2011, 07:03 AM
Hey, now that I think about it, could we have used studs for doing the dressage?

asterix
Jun. 15, 2011, 08:51 AM
yes. I almost always stud for dressage if it's on grass, and if you told me I could only stud for one phase, there are events where I would pick dressage.

As you know, you cannot use boots in dressage, so if you are concerned about your horse stabbing himself with his studs (if he interferes at all or is gangly or spooky), you should warm up with boots and take them off before you go to the dressage ring itself.