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View Poll Results: Spin-off from Safety Summit thread: how did you get to intermediate or above?

Voters
40. You may not vote on this poll
  • Lived in mecca with access to BNT and had experienced horse

    0 0%
  • Lived in mecca with access to BNT and put horse in training

    0 0%
  • Lived in mecca with access to BNT and brought along inexperienced horse

    8 20.00%
  • Lived outside mecca, got experienced horse, cliniced with BNTs

    1 2.50%
  • Lived outside mecca, brought along inexperienced horse, cliniced with BNTs

    7 17.50%
  • Lived outside mecca, brought along horse with help of local (not UL or BNT) trainer

    6 15.00%
  • Visited mecca for extended training or working student experience

    4 10.00%
  • Moved to mecca for access to events, training, vets, farriers, etc.

    5 12.50%
  • Other (Please explain)

    6 15.00%
  • Watched Sylvester, read a few books, I was good to go

    3 7.50%
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  1. #1
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    Default ULRs (Intermediate and above), how did you get there?

    This is a spin-off to the discussion going on in the safety summit thread about moving to Mecca if you want to event at the upper levels. I'm curious about how people who have made it got there.
    Hindsight bad, foresight good.



  2. #2
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    Default

    I'm sorry the question is a little vague. Got there as in......money, time, qualifications?



  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mjrtango93 View Post
    I'm sorry the question is a little vague. Got there as in......money, time, qualifications?
    Sorry, had some trouble getting the poll to post. Now that the questions are there, I hope it's clearer.
    Hindsight bad, foresight good.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2001
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    Default

    Do you want to know about the pros or amateurs? My vote is a little funky because I ride with top level riders OUTSIDE eventing. However, as my experience at the upper levels has grown, I have hooked up with a top eventing trainer.

    I am an amateur. I am still out west in CO. I drive a lot (I can get to LA or Chicago with my horse from Denver in about 15.5 hours). Dallas is only 13 hours while Kalispell is 18.

    I train with John Staples who comes out here from Wichita every 2 weeks. To make that happen I lined up a lot of local riders who want to ride with him so when he comes it is well worth his time. Actually, he has built up a good client base in CO now. At the same time when he is not around I work with my old GP jumper trianer and one of the local FEI "S" dressage judges.

    I ride or am at the barn everyday. I also get lessons when I can and when classes are not in session, bring my work with me (thank you, cellular internet and cell phone!). I cross train with martial arts (taijiquan) and ride my bike to the barn every other day for my conditioning.

    I brought every horse I have evented up from scratch.

    I got here by sacrificing any hope of having a stable relationship outside of horses or work. It can be VERY one-dimensional and lonely. Hence, that why I am also beginning to think about backing down. It is not a very healthy life.

    Reed



  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RAyers View Post
    Do you want to know about the pros or amateurs?
    Curious about both, really, as the pros usually didn't start out as pros.
    Hindsight bad, foresight good.



  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    Curious about both, really, as the pros usually didn't start out as pros.
    True, but there a LOTS of amateurs at the UL who never want to be pros and prefer to keep eventing as an advocation. They, like me, have a very different view than say, Corrine Ashton.

    Reed



  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RAyers View Post
    True, but there a LOTS of amateurs at the UL who never want to be pros and prefer to keep eventing as an advocation. They, like me, have a very different view than say, Corrine Ashton.

    Reed
    Very good point.

    Though there are also plenty of pros who aren't gunning for the team: they compete a personal horse at the UL while teaching students and starting students' BN and novice beasts. Pro doesn't mean "team-driven" any more than amateur means "unqualified."
    Hindsight bad, foresight good.



  8. #8
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    Ok so I voted other...... I live in CA which is luckily within hours of several events (Twin Rivers is 4 hours, Ram Tap 3, Galway 9, Copper Meadows 11, High Prairie 20, and so on) I am with my same trainer from when I was 12. She went through advanced and did some 2 stars before a tumor forced surgery that ended her riding. She is now a big name trainer because of the students she has produced. I started all my horses from scratch with the exception of my advanced horse, he had already done 2 prelims in England as a 6 year old, but was hardly what you would consider broke or schooled. Basically you could stear and sometimes stop, but if you aimed him at something he would go! With the help of my trainer we got him schooled and up through advanced the first year, with our first 3 star the following fall with a 1 * and 2 ** in there as well. He turned out to be amazing and I actually did Rolex with him in '03 and pretty darn well. Don't have the money for BNT/BNR, and can't move to mecca! We make do with what we've got.



  9. #9
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    May. 22, 2003
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    Default

    I missed the summit discussion re: mecca... Are there multiple meccas or one area in particular?

    Just trying to figure out if I used to live there...



  10. #10
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    Default

    Ask again in about a year and I guess the 3rd option will be my answer, touch wood. I wouldn't say I'm actually IN mecca, but I can get there for the day for a lesson and be home for dinner. ANd I can get to multiple meccas for weekend clinics and competitions...

    Phaxxton, I'm thinking it's sort of self defined, but multiple - VA, Aiken, Southern Pines, parts if not all of Areas I, II, and III at least....

    I also finally rented Sylvester on Netflix.



  11. #11
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    Default

    I chose : Lived outside mecca, brought along inexperienced horse, cliniced with BNTs.

    That was how I made it up to Prelim - I lived 4-6 hours from regular BNT instruction of any kind. Mostly travelled to clinics.

    Once I had reached Prelim, I did two 6-8 week stints (2 summers after school) as a working student with a BNT in a non-mecca area (several events within 3-6 hours, some were 8-15).

    While I was at university, I basically trained on my own for 8 months/year, then cliniced with that BNT (or drove down for a couple days before an event) as often as possible during the summer.

    Have done this with two horses to Int. Spent last summer working with my coach, learned lots mostly on greener horses, and am now bringing along Inexeperienced Event Horse Who's Aiming for Int. #3 (and hopefully, Advanced #1). I am a personal fan of International Velvet for inspiration
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  12. #12
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    Default

    When I was competing at the Intermediate level, I got there with guts and determination. I started a 3 year old home bred TB who was given to me bc his owner/breeder couldn't be in the same room with him...everyone who knew the horse said he should have been put out of our misery the day he was born. He and I got along famously and we crept up the levels S-L-O-W-L-Y. I had given up the horsey game 20 years earlier. When Char landed in my lap, I had 3 little kids and a husband who had zero interest in the horsey thing. I shared a back yard barn with a friend, I did morning chores after carpool, rode in tack left over from my teenage H/J days, borrowed truck and trailer to get to occasional lessons, hacked for 40 minutes to get to the galloping field. It was a tricky existence, I relied on instinct to train that little red headed opinionated beast and we had a fabulous run. We competed together for 15 years, BN-I. No mecca, a wonderful coach whom I adore, an occasional BNT clinic, no going South in the winter, no indoor, etc. We slopped through the snow and ice, we started trotting the roads in March and were ready for CCI's in the spring. It most certainly can be done. This little horse was a USCTA Prelim champion one year.



  13. #13
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    Feb. 3, 2000
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    Default

    Not me, my sister- option 3
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2004
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    Default

    Okay, I'm not sure mine really counts since we aren't confirmed at Intermediate (just moved up) but I'll give you it anyway.

    When I was competing training level (2005) I took a break between changing universities and went to a BNT in Florida for the winter as a working student. I purchased my now horse after he'd done a prelim or two with said BNT and then I rode him and got to know him at training level and my coach campaigned him at prelim and did a CCI* before handing the reins down. I had to then rejoin the real world and came home and moved up to prelim with my local trainer and then he busted himself on a frozen poo ball. lol. Special horse he is. He had a year off, I moved to a new trainer (a former team member) and did the season at prelim. I worked for him so I breathed horses and it helped immensely. I'm in a full time post-secondary program and it takes up a TON of time, so I burn the candle at both ends to keep him and I sharp, but it's worth it. Now I have a summer design job and still ride 6 days a week and just moved up. It's a learning curve for sure at intermediate for my horse and I (he actually has to try now and he's not sure about that), but I think once we get comfortable with the new level it will be good.

    I board at a great facility though. Trainer has competed through ****, we host entry (bn) to intermediate events, have like 7 sand rings and tonnes of hacking and conditioning, so that helps a lot.

    I think it is achievable for an amateur with other commitments, but it does take a commitment to work on it, and a special partnership.



  15. #15
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    I voted other so I get to explain .

    Grew up in Area V, desolate for all things above Prelim (there were 2 shows with Int and that only happened when I was 16 or so, 10 years after I started). Brought along a cream puff pasture pony all the way to 1998 USCTA Training Horse & Training Rider of the Year with a local trainer all while clinicing with Karen O Connor & Jim Graham. Local trainer said horsey was maxed out at Training (had NO clue she was suppose to be the voice of experience, he was only 13) so I needed to buy one to take me to Prelim. Called Jim Graham after local trainer could find NOTHING and he found me my mare who had done a CCI* with her owner but owner was on fence about selling, could I come to Alabama and try 3 or 4 horses. Flew out there, rode many, decided on SuperMare (SM). Owner gave in and decided to sell her to me Did a novice (she was not happy) and a season of Training and then moved up to Prelim. Not to mention local trainer dumped me b/c she did not get commission on SM. So here I was at 16 on my own going Training (no biggie) on a new horse. I was worried about the move up to Prelim. Drove to Alabama over winter break and rode with Jim. Worked with another trainer in TX at shows b/c he was 4 hours away and we had conference calls between TX trainer, Jim, and I for everyday stuff and conditioning. Did Prelim for 2 seasons. Qualified for CCI* and continued conferences and worked with Jim over Spring Break (6 weeks b4 3-Day). TX trainer got me to the CCI* and we met Jim there and worked together for a top 5 finish . Graduated HS 2 weeks later and moved to Alabama for WS position and to prep for NAYRC.

    The rest is history.... stayed with Jim all the way through CCI*** & all the USET stuff and would have stayed until way past Rolex but SM got hurt and I made the tough call to move back to my parents ranch in TX, breed SM, and finish college.

    So I am a culmination of a few answers.

    So while I did not live in Eventing Mecca I certainly made things work for me to get where I wanted to go.

    p.s. Cream Puff Pasture Pony who would NEVER do Prelim finished on a 26 at Maui Jim at his first Prelim at the age of 16 after I brought him to Jim's b/c SM needed down time after **. I sent pictures to old trainer He went on to do 5 more Prelims never finishing with a score higher than 35 and kicked butt at a CCI* (long).
    RIP Kid Gloves (Holly) 1992 TBxHanv CCI*** mare.
    http://photobucket.com/tx3dayeventer/holly
    New mare: Miss Bunny Express (Missy) 1995 AQHA Jumper mare.
    http://photobucket.com/tx3dayeventer/missy



  16. #16
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    I voted for option 3. I'm not sure that I really live in a mecca (there is only one event - BN-P less than 3 hours away from me) but I'm pretty close and I'm in Area 3 anyway. My first UL horse was a TB I bought when I was 13. We started together at novice and eventually made it as far as long format CCI**, the NAYRC, etc. I actually had no real eventing help until I was preparing to move up to intermediate. Until then I had just done clinics and lessons in my very active PC. In retrospect this is frightening, but I grew up in a dressage boarding/training barn (run by my mom) and had been breaking and backing horses forever so my survival instinct was the best thing I had going. Then, at 16, I started riding with a BNT located about 3 hours away and I've been with him ever since. However, I did spend 4 yrs in what I would consider a decidedly non-mecca area during college and just muddled through myself! The horse I brought along at that time wound up being my second CCI** horse.



  17. #17
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    Jan. 18, 2007
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    Default

    I'm going to answer for Mr. PhoenixFarm, who has ridden through the CCI** level. We got a horse for free, a washed out timber prospect with some serious behavioral issues. I did flat work with him for two years, and he hunted him, and I did a few lower level events which were quite, um, festive. I had a nagging injury and it was made worse by the horse's exuberant jumping style, so I gave the horse to him full time after it had done a few novices.

    We go the horse to training level ourselves, with a few clinics and a few lessons (we'd both made up horses and ridden through the prelim level). We did live in/near an eventing mecca (Northern VA) however, Mr. Phoenix Farm had a VERY full time job with limited vacation time, and what they don't tell you in all the eventing mecca brochures is that not every BNT is interested in teaching someone at 7:00 at night or 7:00 in the morning or on the weekend when there are shows to do. The downside of mecca, is that there's always another customer around the corner. We kept the horses at home on self-care.

    In the meantime, we had gotten introduced to the lovely and talented Sharon White, and she had started riding one our homebreds. I started taking lessons from her and was very impressed, and talked Mr. PF into taking a lessons as well.. The first time she saw the horse jump, she said, "You're going prelim with him, it's not even up for discussion!"

    Shortly after that I started working for Sharon, and she was more than gracious about accomodating her working ammies students. So, every Wednesday instead of driving my car to work, I'd drive the truck and trailer and the horse hung out in a spare stall. Mr. PF would drive over directly from work and ride. Sometimes, he'd take him over first thing in the AM on Wednesdays, and I'd get to work a bit later, he'd take the car, and then I'd take the horse home with me at the end of the day. He finished in the top 20 at the CCI**, and he was the Area II intermediate champion.

    How did it work? How did we do it? Well, it took a village. Mr. PF is incredibly focused and a hard worker, so he was able to get up every morning at 5:00 and ride before work on non-lesson days. Every weekend, he took the horse somewhere to gallop or do trot sets. Sharon was incredibly dedicated and accomodating, and always tried to meet us halfway to schedule lessons. It was huge that I worked for her and could always bring the horse for him, so he didn't have to lose valuable time traliering him to her. It helped that when he had to travel for work, that I could ride the horse, and when he needed a new skill on the flat (say, rein back or turn on the haunches) I could ride the horse for a few weeks, teach it to him, and then teach it to Mr. PF, so that somebody always knew what the goal was. It was also huge that Mr. PF was an incredible cross country rider, and had been riding and foxhunting his entire life. He had also been a steeplechase jockey. Truly, the dressage was the hardest part for him to sort out as we moved up the levels. And finally, and most importantly, we lucked in to a completely amazing, once in a lifetime horse. He could be (and still can be) as kooky, crazy, and challenging as anything, but he was a cross country horse, and has a work ethic that is second to none. Sharon rode the horse I think a grand total of 6 times in 5 years. Once just after he moved up to prelim, because they'd had some silly runouts and she wanted to feel him out (answer, Mr. PF needed to ride better, LOL), and then she kept him in work when we had to go work at Rolex right before Jersey Fresh.

    So, I answered "other" because while we had the address, I actually think the address is the least important part of the story--because frankly most of the names in that area would not have been willing to teach an adult ammy with a desk job by dusk or dawn. What mattered was the consistent help of a dedicated professional AND the ability of his spouse (me) to do everything but actually ride the horse in competition.

    Wow, what a ramble, hope that helps. Either way, it ain't easy.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2000
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    USA
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    2,701

    Thumbs up From tiny-town Colorado to advanced

    SHAMELESS BRAG BELOW (but you did ask for it...)

    While my horse and I hardly win blue ribbons, I am intensely proud of the fact that he -- a donated 4 y.o. OTTB who bowed badly on the track -- and I -- a fledgling newspaper reporter who hadn't ridden seriously in 8 years -- went from elementary to advanced from the "horsey hub" of ... Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Our closest event was 2.5 hours away, most were 4 hours away, and driving 18-22 hours was pretty standard to compete at intermediate. Reed's already covered that joke!

    To be sure, we did at one point -- after a season of training level and wanting to move up to prelim (the highest I had competed with my former horse, during high school) venture East to do a six-month working-student stint with Denny Emerson. With his help, we moved up to prelim and did our first CCI* successfully. From the working-student gig, I got a job with a horse magazine that put me in the eventing hub of Unionville, Pa., where I trained with a BNT. But for whatever reason, we didn't really progress any further and we ended up moving back to Colorado. I missed the mountains and I was a little disheartened by eventing. I figured moving back meant we were "retiring" and would just piddle around prelims from time to time and enjoy trail riding in the mountains. Around that time, I met RAyers through this BB, who was very encouraging about UL eventing back home in CO.

    I moved back to the same little mountain town and, totally unexpectedly, ended up meeting (through an Eric Horgan clinic) an amazing local trainer on the Front Range who helped us move up to intermediate. I also met a fabulous German dressage/jumping trainer who had recently moved to Steamboat with her American cowboy husband. With the help of those two trainers, we started competing at intermediate, did our first CCI** (prepping for a spring ** from way up in the Colorado mountains involves doing gallops on the sides of snowy, plowed roads and trailering to racetracks at lower altitudes where the snow has melted) and even moved up to do our first advanced, where we finished 7th at Maui Jim.

    After that exciting season, for professional and riding-related reasons, I did decide to move back to the Unionville area. The idea was that I could continue competing at advanced AND get a challenging promotion with a bigger newspaper. Again, I came back here and stumbled for the first two years -- struggling at intermediate rather than even considering advanced again -- before getting my/our act together with the help and generosity of an amazing trainer here (Missy Ransehousen, who as PhoenixFarm said, IS willing to teach me at 7 a.m. before work!) and this year moved back up to advanced.

    Granted, it has taken us 11 years to get to this point, but thanks to my incredible, athletic, smart, generous, fabulous, wonderful, forgiving horse (15 y.o. now. and will try, even in the middle of a monsoon, to do his best dressage for me), I have met the most amazing people (including RAyers and my future husband (not one and the same!)), visited the most amazing places (we have officially evented coast to coast -- California to Delaware -- and border to border -- Texas to Illinois/Vermont) and achieved riding goals far beyond what I'd ever dreamed -- my initial aspiration with my pony was just to do a prelim again, since that's how far I'd gotten in high school. And somehow I managed to hold down a demanding, non-horsey job around it and even progress in that career.

    Where there is a will, there is a way. Don't make excuses for why you can't do something, spend the energy instead on finding a way to make it happen. Ok... brag over now.
    Last edited by NeverTime; Jun. 12, 2008 at 07:35 PM.
    I evented just for the Halibut.



  19. #19
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    Oct. 30, 2004
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    Default

    only posting to say this thread is most fun to read! The closest I've come to advanced is jumping the Intermediate/Advanced corners at Pine Top farm while out schooling (thought they were prelim) - once is enough!
    ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan



  20. #20
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    Apr. 1, 2005
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    Georgetown, KY
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    Default

    I'm with RFI, MORE, MORE STORIES PLEASE!!!!! I'm needing a kick in the pants and to see how you ULRs have gotten to where you are is quite inspirational



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