View Full Version : First schooling day! (Little long with a backstory &, since I'm new and all)

Jul. 17, 2012, 09:52 AM
Well, we finally did it!

I have a 2006 model, OTTB mare that was started in eventing training in September. Our story hasn't been without its complications, but I feel like this mare is going to be something special. :-) Well, she's already special to me.

After looking long and hard for a coach that had a great reputation with OTTB and teaching, I found the perfect fit for Ed and me. I moved her to the farm in September of 2011 and she's been there ever since. Unfortunately, around Thanksgiving, she blew an osslet loose (this is our best guess), and battled some pretty serious inflammation in her left front fetlock. Our vet lives on premise, and although we tried to manage it with injections, wrapping, and hosing- the swelling wouldn't go away. Radiographs revealed a snowstorm of chips in side her joint capsule (REALLY took the wind out of my sails). I talked the option of surgery over with my vet and my coach, and they both felt that it would be worth it for Ed to have the surgery instead of being retired to broodmare duty. I am SO glad we went that route- although, I now have a huge tab at the vet's office.

At any rate, almost exactly after Ed was cleared to go back in to full training, I had to have my gallbladder removed. Long story short, our training has been pretty inconsistent since last winter. Well, now we are both fully back in action and she was able to go schooling for the first time ever this past Sunday.

We went schooling after a HT show and there were still LOADS of people there when we arrived, checked in, and got our pinnys to school. To be on the safe side, we parked pretty far away from everyone else on the outskirts of the XC course where it was nice and calm and quiet. Since it was Ed's first time off of the farm as an almost-eventer, I asked the gal who I went with if I could tie her next to her 4yo mare.

All seemed to be going well, they sniffed noses and were content to just stand in the shade, tied to the trailer. Well, Edee must have said something snarky that only a horse can hear, because the 4yo mare turned a kicked out at her. Not hard, but more like a warning shot. Edee pulled back and popped the binder twine connecting her to the trailer eyelet. It took about...ohhhhh, .0000002 of a second for Edee to realize that she wasn't attached to the trailer anymore.

At this point, she decided that she NEEDED to be closer to all of the other people/trailers/horses across the XC field in order to let them know that she was disgusted. Of course, she needed to get there as quickly as possible. I swear, I wish I would have had 'For Sale' spray painted across her side because she certainly looked the part galloping beautifully across the xc field. Turkey.

Thankfully, she stopped after about a half of a mile and decided to introduce herself to a wonderful nice person at a trailer, who handed her off to one of the show volunteers. About this time, I show up completely red-faced from sprinting across the field in my boots/breeches and ballcap (it's amazing how much heat those things hold in!). Then, I did the walk of shame with a dancing TB all the way back to our trailer- where we tied up on the OTHER side.

Trying to panic once our coach told up to tack up and pop on, I managed to get on my stick of dynamite without much panic. She even walked- sort of- all the way to where we would start schooling (oh, and she had galloping boots on before her escapade, thankfully!). My coach says to me that I need to canter her around until she finally just relaxed and takes a deep breath. Okay- now, I start to panic a little. Cantering my excited, 16.3 beast of a mare just became the most intimidating idea ever. Thankfully, she was a little hot at first, but really, very quickly settled in to a nice relaxed canter -picking up both leads with ease (WOOHOO), and we were ready to start schooling.

The rest of the story isn't quite as excited. We practiced over several different types of BN jumps, and we had one stop at each new fence, but I could tell that her confidence was getting better and better and better with ever jump. We even finally managed to get in the water complex, and by the end, she was cantering through it like she'd been doing it her whole life! We knew that water was going to be a bit of an 'issue' for Ed, but even yesterday, she was still going through any giant puddle I asked her to.

Overall, I called it a win. By the time we finished, I was hacking her around the course on a loose rein while she soaked in all of the scenery. We're entering our first HT this week, and it all seems to be finally coming together. I told that since we both had surgery this year, that's all we get for our entire show career together. Good thing we good it out early!

Here's a picture of Ed just a few minutes before she went off exploring by her lonesome. :-)


Jul. 17, 2012, 02:13 PM
She's lovely!

Jul. 17, 2012, 02:22 PM
Pretty girl (and not an unusual first outing, really). Sounds like she settled into it very well.

Jul. 17, 2012, 02:48 PM
Rock Steady, I cannot count on one hand the amount of times my mare went "Adventuring". She is also an opinionated OTTB mare. She's gorgeous. Good luck!

Jul. 17, 2012, 04:01 PM
Thank you all so much for your kind words! I really feel like I lucked out to get Ed, and we just entered our first HT. If any of your are going to be at KY Classique, we're going BNR. Barring calamity, of course. This will be my first HT in over 3 years and my first one in the States. Even though it's over a month out, I'm already all nervous/excited/giddy.

I hope all of your are having a fantastic day!

Jul. 17, 2012, 09:19 PM
She is stunning...and seriously don't do this...its just asking for trouble...

All seemed to be going well, they sniffed noses and were content to just stand in the shade, tied to the trailer.

Jul. 17, 2012, 09:25 PM
Well, ya ain't a horse person til your horse gets loose, gallops around and embarasses you like crazy! ;)

She's super cute!

Jul. 17, 2012, 09:29 PM
I have several similar stories about my plain bay OTTB mare. Some of the best moments in my memory :)

Enjoy her, she is just stunning!