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Kairoshorses
Jul. 2, 2012, 01:37 AM
I'm teetering on the brink....and I'm wondering: from those of you who've done these critters, what's the best advice you received? What do you wish you'd been better prepared for? What do you WISH you would have known?

Thanks, all. Can't wait to hear what you come up with!:D

horsecents
Jul. 2, 2012, 08:13 AM
I did the T3DE last year at Midsouth. The best advice was to enter the competition. :D The instruction I received from Cathy Weischoff and all the other clinicians involved was priceless. The biggest unknown was the steeplechase/roads and tracks phases but we did a schooling the day before to help prepare for this and it was a BLAST. What I WISH I would have known was the discovery/bonding I had with my horse and how it has helped us make the move up to Preliminary. After the T3DE, I really GET my horse now.

Hey Mickey
Jul. 2, 2012, 09:41 AM
I've done a T3D and half of a N3D (long story) on 2 different horses.

Do it!!
I did some conditioning for the T3D and had a very fit horse going into it. Being aware of how fit your horse is now, and how much more fit they could be is important. There are tons of threads...
For the N3D I did no conditioning...my horse was already really really, maybe almost prelim fit.


Like the above person said, roads and tracks/steeplechase is the biggest unknown.
You can read up about R&T, but it literally won't make since until you are given a map, and you go and hack it.
There will be a steeplechase school, and again, that's really all you need. If you have a instructor who knows how to do this, then you are ahead of the game!

Do it! Have fun! You will be glad you did!

GotSpots
Jul. 2, 2012, 11:17 AM
Do it!! Hands down, more fun than you can possibly imagine.

In the resources section there used to be a couple really good old threads with titles like everything you need for a three day or variations thereof. There will be a lot more than you will need for a T3DE (we wrote a bunch of them back when there was no short format), but the advice on what you'll need for and how to set up the vet box still carry through. Obviously, you'll have a ton of help at the T3DE (part of the point of the competition), but it's nice to show up with things like extra shoes, enough studs, enough hoofpicks, and more towels than you ever think you'll need.

deltawave
Jul. 2, 2012, 11:32 AM
Just enter. The preparation is priceless, and even if you never get to the actual T3D (I'm still shooting for my second one, the first was in 2004, LOL, although I've done half of a CCI* and a N3D since then) the time you spend figuring out fitness levels, intervals, heart rates, poring over every hair on your horse's legs, obsessing about footing, etc. is good for the horseman's soul. :)

The preparation is more important than the actual event, IMO, which really isn't all that different from a HT in the end . . . there's just more of it. ;) You still have to ride dressage, XC and SJ, the R&T is no big deal, and steeplechase can be schooled. But somehow all the parts add up to more than the whole, and (again IMO) that's because of the work that's done in the months before the event, not the event itself. :)

That said, the one piece of advice I'd give is to MAKE THE TIME for the preparation. Think 3-4 months ahead, make sure your schedule will allow for the time in the saddle doing the fitness work, etc. Probably why I'm still shooting for the second one 8 years later . . . :lol:

Blugal
Jul. 2, 2012, 12:48 PM
In contrast to the above, I had really taken the fitness and endurance day requirements to heart - my horse was super-fit, we had practiced steeplechase, and lots of XC.

What I wish I'd known was that, as DW says, it all takes time - so I took the time away from my dressage schooling. (And, didn't have regular lessons at the time - all my clinics had focussed on jumping!)

The second thing I wish I'd known was to have TWO jog outfits - one for sunny warm weather (think: 2 p.m. on Wednesday), one for miserable wet/cold weather (think: 7:30 a.m on Sunday). And practice jogging in them once! You will thank yourself later.

What I really loved was the feeling of accomplishment when we got through endurance day, the final jog, and show jumping. I felt like a "real" eventer just like the ones in the old USCTA book of eventing that I so admired.

The T3D was a great educational experience, and fun to boot.

slp2
Jul. 2, 2012, 12:49 PM
All great advice provided already by everyone! However, I will add one "logistic" that I wished I had known ahead of time--knowing what to pack for your "10 minute box" (AND bringng an extra tote bin, etc. to hold all of your stuff). One of the items that they suggested we have was a set of my horses shoes (in case one needs to be replaced in the box). That was something I could've gotten from my shoer ahead of time, but it was too late once we were already on the grounds. One option (if they are not too worn) is to keep the shoes your farrier pulls off at your next shoeing as "spares" for your 3D.

The other items in the bin were all things we could assemble or purchase easily, but it's nice to have this stuff packed ahead of time instead of running around and buying it during the event. Others might be able to provide a more comprehensive list, but here's what I remember: buckets, sponges, scrapers, rubbing alcohol (for additional cooling in the water), extra set of reins, stud kit, bits, other replacement tack like stirrup leathers, breastplate, water for rider.

Good luck and have a blast.

RiverBendPol
Jul. 2, 2012, 12:57 PM
I did a bunch of CCI*s back in the day when they were real and have done 2 T3Ds. For my first CCI*, I never schooled Steeplechase. I was told to go out and ride as fast as I could go. My horse took that to heart and shifted into a gear I didn't know he had. It was more fun than I have ever had, period, ever. Holy crow, we flew, the jumps were massive (Bromont) natural brush. It was gorgeous. You could probably take the same advice for the T3D...

Get Jimmy's book *Training the 3 day Horse and Rider* and just tone the Prelim down a little. Plan ahead, work consistently and you'll be just fine. Most importantly, send the entry!!

Blugal
Jul. 2, 2012, 01:05 PM
Just thought of a few more things:

Bring a groom who is calm under stressful situations - that you will trust to do whatever it is you have asked them to do. (See my signature line... it's all true.)

Find out ahead of time if the event has running water (i.e. hoses or wash rack). If the answer is no, think carefully about using poultice on Saturday. That is really NOT fun to remove with buckets of freezing cold water coming out of hand-pumped standpipes. One of these pimple mitts (http://www.doversaddlery.com/tail-tamers-jelly-scrubber-mitt/p/X1-10194/?ids=emc0erabyy2w1p55ego4ndaw) is invaluable for removing the poultice.

Ask your farrier to put stud holes into your shoes, two shoeings before. Then when s/he comes back, remove the first set of shoes & keep them for your extras, then drill a new set to put on the horse. Then practice using studs! (I try to clean them out the day before, put the plugs back in, then the day I want to use them, start tacking up about 1.5 hours before I want to get on. Start with studs, then boots all around, then finish all the tacking up procedure.)

Kairoshorses
Jul. 2, 2012, 03:50 PM
Thanks, everyone!

We're actually signed up to do the T3D at the second Coconino, which is in just a few weeks. Our last gallop/sprint is Tuesday, then we leave for Coconino I.

I'm just scared I'll forget something, or that I won't be ready for something. I have two outfits, and I've jogged in the shoes. :) I have a super friend coming in to help who's the most level headed person I know. My horse is ready, I think.....I could be more fit, and I wish I had better knees. :)

If you think of anything else, let me know!

Tucked_Away
Jul. 2, 2012, 06:28 PM
I've only done the one (T3D last year), but fwiw...I would say "do your homework and then relax." I studied up obsessively in the months before ours so I'd know what to expect, how to prepare, etc., and honestly didn't run into anything at the event that felt totally out of left field. So I was really glad that I had done my research and prepared, because it meant that I could mostly just learn and enjoy when I was there! But it is not such an alien thing that you need to stress toooooo much about it. It _is_ possible to get yourself ready and then go have a good successful outing at your first.

I _did_ have an experienced coach to run our ten-minute-box crew (made up of really good-minded *g* fellow first-timers and that was a big help. I had a super kid as a groom and I really appreciated/enjoyed having her assistance, but I don't think being groom-less would have been make-or-break for us, if I hadn't lucked into this kid.

secretariat
Jul. 2, 2012, 06:52 PM
Just do it. Get fit if you can, get your horse fit if you can. Take a helper.

Then have a good time! The T3D's are designed to be low stress, educational activities. Treat it like that!