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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 19, 2005
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    790

    Default Tell me the stories about you and your horse as you moved up thru the levels.

    This coming from a person who had never evented (although I'd ridden my whole life), got her horse as a 6 year old who had never jumped a thing in his life, and thought hey, I want to event and this horse could make a nice Novice horse. Anyway, that was 3 1/2 years ago and now we're sailing thru Training level and thinking about Prelim. This seems wierd to me as I always thought of him as a Novice horse who could maybe do Training and up until last year I had never really thought about Prelim. But Pete's proved me wrong. He's not just a Novice horse. The boy can jump and loves his job!

    So I just want to hear stories. What told you your horse was ready to move up? Did you buy your horse with a goal in mind for him? Did YOU, when you started eventing, aspire to do big things and have a goal in mind? Just curious.
    “And live like you ain’t afraid to die. And don’t be scared, just enjoy your ride.” Chris Ledoux ~ The Ride



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2009
    Location
    UGA
    Posts
    341

    Default

    I started eventing on my QH pony and did our first event in 2006. I evented her up to novice and then bought a 3yo Trakehner in the fall of 2007. Don't know what I was thinking , but it has turned out for the best. She is now five and we have done 2 training level events, both finishing second, and aiming to do a T3D at our local event in the fall! Hopefully she can go up to Advanced. I want to go as far as I can. I have been bitten by the Rolex bug! Since I had never competed above Novice I was nervous about moving up to Training, but when my horse and I both got bored at Novice I know it was time to move up. She goes so much better at Training then she did at Novice.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2006
    Posts
    2,444

    Default

    My advanced horse turned out to be a freak of nature if that counts!

    I had already had a couple prelim horses, and had moderate success with my mare at intermediate (she was blind on one side so had the odd run out when she couldn't see something). At the time I had 2 horses going, one prelim ready to go inter., then the mare going inter.. The mare bless her heart started having eye issues in her good eye (she was completely blind in the other and almost lost it), we tried to breed her, but low and behold you have to have two ovaries and an entire uterus for that to work. The gelding just wasn't as brave as I would have liked and I broke my leg that summer and missed my chance with the mare to do the ** at young riders. We decided to sell both horses and start over fresh.

    We decided to get something a bit nicer and flew to England (really big trip when all I had had was OTTB's) to get something a bit sturdier. 2nd day of the trip we saw Tango, he had done a few prelims, but was green as grass on the flat. Liked him, vetted him, bought him, flew him home. Turns out there was a reason they gave me a leg up, as in you couldn't get on him from the ground or mounting block without some fireworks, he didn't know how to stretch down and low and would panic and buck me off. We thought I could get through my ** on him, keep him for 2 years and sell him on as nobody thought he would have the gallop or jump to be a real solid advanced horse.

    First show we bounced the prelim sunken road (2 stride my ass!), then moved him up to intermediate the second show. He always galloped on the verge of bolting as he would make himself nervous, but was overall so fantastic and trusting he just rode that line. That year we did young riders (but only the * as there was an issue with what qualifications rolled over from the other horses), did several intermediates, our first **, and crowned the year with our first advanced.

    I will not lie it was interesting in the beginning! The flat was a work in progress for years as he was so light and sensitive that no spurs and a mullen happy mouth eggbutt was as much bit as we could use. But he was just such a phenomanal jumper and brave as the day was long. We had the odd run out as stearing proved interesting when he would launch off anything with a drop, and had a pension for bouncing things. We worked it out the second year, he turned into a very respectable advanced horse, took me to 2 ***'s and even my first ****. We had 1 stop at Rolex that year as I didn't put in enough stud for the rain that had been the night before, and I cut the turn to tight in the barnyard and we slid into the middle element, but he was fabulous! Had to retire him the following year for a slew of health issues that still 5 years later we are trying to sort through. I just recently gave him to a good friend who took him with to Hawaii to retire and be a beach bum. Miss him terribly but it looks like I get to go visit in a couple months!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 20, 2009
    Posts
    334

    Default

    When I bought my OTTB mare about 5 years ago, she had done one local Elementary HT and I was hoping to take her as far as she could go (preferably higher than I'd been before, which was Training). She got injured in stupid ways about a million times for the first three years, and still does sometimes, so she's been to fewer horse trials by now than I'd expected. However, she's competing comfortably/confidently/happily at prelim, and we're starting to think about when we might want to try our first intermediate!

    In terms of knowing when she's ready to move up... I know she has the athletic ability to do the higher levels, so it's mostly been about where she is mentally, particularly with reference to the x-c. When I got her, she wouldn't go near ditches, banks, or water for ANYTHING. Now, she happily pops over all three without blinking. Generally, when she gets comfortable/confident enough at a level that she's a pain to ride on the x-c because she doesn't think she needs my input anymore, I start to think about moving her up! For her, that was 3 novices and 6 Trainings before she went Prelim. She's easier to ride when she's being challenged a little and has to at least think about what she's doing. So for us, it's a question of pushing her enough to keep her feeling challenged without ever pushing her hard enough to scare her or push her beyond her abilities.

    Hope that answers your question!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2006
    Posts
    5,409

    Default

    Many:

    long days
    sleepless nights
    tears
    frustration
    injuries
    sacrifises
    expence

    and, MANY:

    great times
    rewarding experiences
    laughs



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2004
    Location
    NoVa
    Posts
    5,076

    Default

    Bought my horse as a 5 yo hunter prospect in March 2004. That fall, I went and watched my first HT and thought, "That looks like fun, let's try *that*!!" (Thanks Asterix. )

    Ted and I did 1st timers in the spring of 2005 and have now been running Training level for the past almost 3 years.
    Am hoping we'll eventually move up to Prelim.

    Funny, I remember a very early coursewalk where my (at the time) trainer asked, "How's Tedi with ditches?" I replied, "uhh, I don't know?"
    She asked, "Ok, how about water?" I replied, "uhhh, I don't know?"
    Exasperated, she asked, "What about banks?"
    I replied, "uhhh, I don't know?"
    heh. Figured we'd find out when we got there.

    And I love, love, love that Ted and I have learned all of this **together**!
    Last edited by Invested1; Jun. 4, 2009 at 08:07 AM.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 2003
    Location
    Newark, MD USA
    Posts
    952

    Default Bred mine

    after almost thirty years of having horses and competing I finally bred the wonderful guy that took me to my first LF CCI* at VAHT this year, It has been quite the ride to say the least!! Broke him as a twoyear old and did a ton of trail riding and started jumping the summer of his three year old year and then did a couple of unrec elem/bn event, came out that spring did one unrec BN, then moved to rec Novice and did that for the year, no issues and we were schooling training questions at the end of the year so at 5 we came out at training and another sucessful year finishing with the T3D at Waredaca, he was so good at that and schooling prelim, had a great clinic with Lucinda Green in Jan of his 6 yr old year and started out down south in AIken at prelim, did the entire year at prelim and then at 7 we come out again at prelim and finsh this spring with the LF CCI*, it has been a fairy tale for sure and looking forward to doing a "Classic CCN*" next year and finishing on the dressage score To answer your question, he was just ready and felt like the next step was no issue at all!! Good luck follow your dreams!! I did and it was fantastic!!!
    Cindy

    Make any mistakes going forward!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2003
    Location
    ID, USA
    Posts
    336

    Default

    Fuzzy was a unplanned project. He was bought by a cowboy for herding cows. He kept jumping the corral fence and the cowboy decided that the horse was not going to be a cowhorse(he is a draft tbx thing) On the way to the cowboy sales the owner decided to drop him off at a local h/j barn and see if she could get him sold. No one would look at him bacause he was ugly gangly young horse. His mane was below his neck, skinny, long hair under his belly, and very bleached out. So the BO called one of my friends to ask if she knew of anyone that needed a horse. So she went over to the barn and free jumped the horse. He jumped really well. So my friend called my mom and said that there is a horse just for her. Of course she wasn't looking for a horse, especially a 4yr old greenbroke, since she had my old advanced horse to ride. But she went over to look at the horse anyways. My friend got on and rode him around in the back field away from all the horses and rode him through some water (he was perfect)and told my mom to buy him. My mom had him vetted that afternoon and bought him that same day.
    My mom rode him to training level. Unfortunatly fuzzy got too strong for her. I took over the ride and he is now a very strong prelim horse who is about to go intermediate. He was never was supposed to go above novice, maybe training...he has been a very nice surprise.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,600

    Default

    My horse was a giveaway. He'd bowed a tendon on the track as a 4-year-old and his owner, wanting a nice home for him, offered him to me. It could have been a REALLY bad situation - I had ridden while growing up and had gone prelim a few times back then, but I hadn't ridden seriously in the past 8 years - between a green horse and an inexperienced rider. Thank god he has a great brain.
    He loved jumping from the beginning and, with the help of the local H/J trainer and a dressage trainer who visited our little town in the Colorado mountains once a month, we muddled our way from elementary through training. Deciding to move up wasn't too hard - I'd do four events at one level, he'd always go clean, and we'd move up to the next.
    But once we hit training, I knew we needed some more focused help to make the jump to prelim safely. I made the rather astounding decision to quit my job and go be a working student for Denny Emerson for 6 months, fully planning to return to my career afterward.
    During our time with Denny, we moved up to prelim, went clear at all four of our prelim horse trials, and did our first CCI* (yes, long format) at Bromont. It was awesome.
    After leaving Denny's a going back to work, we stayed at prelim for a long time (several years, 25+ horse trials, multiple three-days) because even though we were jumping around clean, there were clearly holes in my/our training that didn't show up in the results sheet.
    In our first attempt at intermediate, I fell of in SJ and never even made it to XC. A year or so later, we tried again with better results. Again, we stayed at intermediate for several years.
    When we did move up to advanced, our first HT went great - we finished 7th in a big divison with no XC jumping faults.
    But then I moved across the country, took a little break from riding. The next year, when I expected to do a few intermediates and go charging back to advanced, we ended up having all sorts of trouble just getting around intermediate. I stayed at that level for another few years and only last year moved up to go advanced consistently. We had a great, if slow (lots of time faults because I'm a chicken), season last year. This year, we had some runouts and R's on course when things didn't feel right. It's always a work in progress.
    But to own the same horse for 12 years and go from elementary to advanced together, as an amateur with a full-time/non-horsey job, sitting on a freebie, it's always a thrill and an honor just to be at that level and jump those jumps with such a cool partner.
    I evented just for the Halibut.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
    Posts
    1,806

    Default

    NeverTime:

    Given our back and forth on a "certain" other thread, that is a really great story. Thanks for posting. I tip my hat!

    P.S. I think it is impossible to be catagorized as a chicken when you are out there competing at Advanced!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    179

    Default

    I can do a pictorial story! Haha.
    Well I got this horse when I was about 11 or 12. We both knew nothing! He was a trail riding horse (only 6yr old I think), and I had just started riding more seriously.

    We did our first prelim (um that's 75-80cm, I don't know what US levels are called!) not too long after.
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...1&id=506647450
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...1&id=506647450
    I hope you can see the pics!

    We went up the grades pretty quickly. We both learnt along the way!
    When I was 13 or 14, I was doing Pre Novice (1.05m)
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...9&id=506647450

    When I was 14 or 15 we were doing 1*
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...2&id=506647450
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...8&id=506647450
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...3&id=506647450
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...5&id=506647450
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...4&id=506647450

    And we were jumping 1.25m

    He was only 14.3 hands, and that was really his limit. I decided to sell him so I could buy another horse that I could go furthur with, and he could go to a junior to teach them everything!

    I don't really know how we knew it was time to move up the grades. It just "felt" right I guess... we both felt confident to jump the heights and do the dressage.

    When I bought him I certainly didn't have big things in mind. I had just started riding, and we did a bit of everything! But, I started eventing just to see what it was like, and we both really enjoyed it. So we got more serious, and going up the grades we still enjoyed it.

    Once I got more seriously into eventing, I guess I had goals with him, but I knew he would never be a 4**** ride, due to his size. I did have goals of going 2** but it was just the wrong timing- final year of school, deciding to sell, etc.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2006
    Posts
    5,409

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NeverTime View Post
    My horse was a giveaway. He'd bowed a tendon on the track as a 4-year-old and his owner, wanting a nice home for him, offered him to me. It could have been a REALLY bad situation - I had ridden while growing up and had gone prelim a few times back then, but I hadn't ridden seriously in the past 8 years - between a green horse and an inexperienced rider. Thank god he has a great brain.
    He loved jumping from the beginning and, with the help of the local H/J trainer and a dressage trainer who visited our little town in the Colorado mountains once a month, we muddled our way from elementary through training. Deciding to move up wasn't too hard - I'd do four events at one level, he'd always go clean, and we'd move up to the next.
    But once we hit training, I knew we needed some more focused help to make the jump to prelim safely. I made the rather astounding decision to quit my job and go be a working student for Denny Emerson for 6 months, fully planning to return to my career afterward.
    During our time with Denny, we moved up to prelim, went clear at all four of our prelim horse trials, and did our first CCI* (yes, long format) at Bromont. It was awesome.
    After leaving Denny's a going back to work, we stayed at prelim for a long time (several years, 25+ horse trials, multiple three-days) because even though we were jumping around clean, there were clearly holes in my/our training that didn't show up in the results sheet.
    In our first attempt at intermediate, I fell of in SJ and never even made it to XC. A year or so later, we tried again with better results. Again, we stayed at intermediate for several years.
    When we did move up to advanced, our first HT went great - we finished 7th in a big divison with no XC jumping faults.
    But then I moved across the country, took a little break from riding. The next year, when I expected to do a few intermediates and go charging back to advanced, we ended up having all sorts of trouble just getting around intermediate. I stayed at that level for another few years and only last year moved up to go advanced consistently. We had a great, if slow (lots of time faults because I'm a chicken), season last year. This year, we had some runouts and R's on course when things didn't feel right. It's always a work in progress.
    But to own the same horse for 12 years and go from elementary to advanced together, as an amateur with a full-time/non-horsey job, sitting on a freebie, it's always a thrill and an honor just to be at that level and jump those jumps with such a cool partner.


    Now THAT is what I remember as being the true spirit of eventing. Good for you!!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2005
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    396

    Default my story parallel's yours

    Quote Originally Posted by LR1976 View Post
    This coming from a person who had never evented (although I'd ridden my whole life), got her horse as a 6 year old who had never jumped a thing in his life, and thought hey, I want to event and this horse could make a nice Novice horse. Anyway, that was 3 1/2 years ago and now we're sailing thru Training level and thinking about Prelim. This seems wierd to me as I always thought of him as a Novice horse who could maybe do Training and up until last year I had never really thought about Prelim. But Pete's proved me wrong. He's not just a Novice horse. The boy can jump and loves his job!

    So I just want to hear stories. What told you your horse was ready to move up? Did you buy your horse with a goal in mind for him? Did YOU, when you started eventing, aspire to do big things and have a goal in mind? Just curious.
    got an ottb as a 6 yo a few years ago. no expectations. was attracted to eventing. did a few unrecognized on my fella and found we both enjoyed it. He struggled in N early on with some confidence issues, but got some wonderful help and worked thru them. He's now 10 and comfortably going T. Doing our 1st Prelim this weekend.
    How did I know when it was time to move up? He was comfortably schooling P and some of the easier I questions. And advice from pros that said he'd be fine at the next level. Our dressage has lagged a bit, but I don't think you need to hold a horse back if only the dressage is lagging. It will catch up.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 19, 2005
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    790

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NeverTime View Post
    But to own the same horse for 12 years and go from elementary to advanced together, as an amateur with a full-time/non-horsey job, sitting on a freebie, it's always a thrill and an honor just to be at that level and jump those jumps with such a cool partner.
    Wow, that is really cool!
    “And live like you ain’t afraid to die. And don’t be scared, just enjoy your ride.” Chris Ledoux ~ The Ride



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2004
    Location
    NoVa
    Posts
    5,076

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NeverTime View Post
    (lots of time faults because I'm a chicken), .
    I don't think that *anyone* who rides Advanced is allowed to characterized themself as a "chicken."




  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2004
    Location
    NoVa
    Posts
    5,076

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SevenDogs View Post
    P.S. I think it is impossible to be catagorized as a chicken when you are out there competing at Advanced!
    Ha--didn't see that before I posted but obviously totally agree.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 19, 2005
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    790

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ottb View Post
    got an ottb as a 6 yo a few years ago. no expectations. was attracted to eventing. did a few unrecognized on my fella and found we both enjoyed it. He struggled in N early on with some confidence issues, but got some wonderful help and worked thru them. He's now 10 and comfortably going T. Doing our 1st Prelim this weekend.
    How did I know when it was time to move up? He was comfortably schooling P and some of the easier I questions. And advice from pros that said he'd be fine at the next level. Our dressage has lagged a bit, but I don't think you need to hold a horse back if only the dressage is lagging. It will catch up.

    Good luck, have an awesome time, and post back and let us know how it goes!!!!!
    “And live like you ain’t afraid to die. And don’t be scared, just enjoy your ride.” Chris Ledoux ~ The Ride



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