I have 4 kids going to their first 'event' in less than a month. They have shown 2'6" and 3' (except for one) at HJ and have in the past dabbled in a few dressage classes at 4H shows. I am taking them to Learn To Event in Midd Tenn
First is dressage. They are doing WT A test - I have them knowing the test - always feel as a dressage rider that it is silly to not know the test and have it called out when learning dressage - how can you focus on making things quality if you do not know in your head where you are going? Plus it gives them confidence to practice. I am having them focus on bending on the circles, straightness and clear cut geometry - a square and straight halt that is obediant and transitions that are pretty (for lack of better word). ANYTHING ANYONE ELSE can share on what helps kids on low level dressage tests? What would the judge especially want? I have them do proper dressage low levels but even though ribbons should not matter - the better they do at the show - the better they will feel about themselves. I am focusing on the coefficients.
Jumping. Anyone familiar with Learn to Event event - MTPC? How hard is the jumping class? Lots of flowers or decorated jumps? I have one horse that hates rolltops. I have one horse that always overjumps lots of flowers. I just want to prep them. They think 18 inches is a laugh but I told them it will feel different at their first event.
XC. Few jumps at percy warner are small. I know they will be setting up fences and roping it off. But the horses will act higher because of being there - How substantial or collapsable are these amoeba sized fences?
I dont remember any flowers on the stadium jumping. I was in the 2' class last year, but the courses ran over the same jumps. I would post my round, but IDK where the video is. And all the jumps are solid on XC in all classes. They arent terribly scary by any means. EponaCowgirl may chime in, she had kids in that class last year and there are pics on her facebook. I believe i know who you are and ya'll are friends!
Oh ETA: The jumps on the 18" XC are not normally out. I had never seen them prior to this event.
ETA Again, That I just went through the pics on her FB and NO FLOWERS! Bright colored jumps though and the XC can easily be walked over if need be, but they are solid!
~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor
I would do the event but I want to be on the ground for the girls. I have a large pony that needs experience!!!!! I actually would pay for a good rider to do it for me so I could take advantage of the event because I really want him to have the experience - but only trust me to do it safely. These girls are going to be on (on the most part) on their horses they know and have ridden for 1-2 years. This pony is sane and awesome - like a little Teddy Oconner in some ways but he is a go-pony. Not for beginners.
I got emails about schooling a week before but like you said - those fences are not out and I really dont want these kids jumping most of what is out there regularly yet. I only have one horse I know can jump most of them and be awesome about it - but he gets super excited about it in a good way if you are an experienced rider.
I just want these kids to go and come back feeling like they can conquer the world. Or at least a cross country fence.
Also, if you know anyone petite who wants a mount for eventing and is willing to travel to Fairview - the riders I have who I will allow to event (are good enough riders) have their own horses - I have my own horses - two of which need to event. At most of these small event competitions - I need to focus on these riders and I would love to get Firefly out more - I just think he is too much pony for them right now. GOSH I want to ride him but I cant be in two places. If anyone is interested - they can email me and we can discuss it.
We did BN at the LTEE at MTPC last year. There weren't any flowers on the jumps, but sj did include an astro-turfed roll top or two and none of it was the least bit soft for a first of the season event. We were quite nervous walking the x-c a the size of the fences, especially the up-bank. It was all bigger than you'd see here for May-Daze! It was a great pipe opener- we'd do it again in a heartbeat
I think there are so many great things you can work on.
I'd encourage you to have them ride forward. Even if the horses aren't round and "on the bit", the judge will want to see them moving forward, not dogging along. In fact, I think at this level they might rather seem them forward and not round as opposed to in a "frame" and shuffling.
You could also review what to do when it's their turn: enter and ride around the outside of the ring, introduce themselves to the judge ("hi, I'm #234, Holly Hunter, riding Cutie Patootie") and then commence trotting around the outside towards A.
Practice what 45 seconds really means when the bell is rung. Depending on when the judge rings it, they might need to scoot right in or they might have the opportunity to make a circle and get organized.
Regardless of the test goes, teach them to smile as much as possible, thank the judge afterwards, and praise their pony. It all goes towards good sportsmanship!
I tried to look for the Photographer's web site from last year but couldn't find it. You could call MTPC and ask who the photographer was last year so you could see some pictures. I did the 2' division last year and the judging is VERY forgiving in dressage and the stadium was very straight forward (I trotted it on a horse who'd never done an entire course).
When I first started doing dressage tests as a kid, I was happy if I remembered my test! The rest was icing on the cake. I would focus on having them knowing their test so well that they can relax and RIDE the best they can.
If you are really worried about stadium you might be able to rent the arena and have a "practice show" (I'm not sure how much is costs).
I did a starter event as an adult about 1.5 years ago. (riding 15 years, just learning to jump) I just wanted to add, maybe teach your students what to do if something go wrong.
What happened to me is that the rider in front of me was going really slow on XC and I ended up passing her. I got so flustered because I did not know if I was going to get DQ for passing her. I was not paying enough attention and I let my horse duck out to the side of a jump. I know it was my fault for not knowing the rules, but I might suggest reviewing stuff like that with them. Nothing to scare them, but to prepare them for when things go wrong.
I did the BN at the Learn to Event last year. The dressage was on grass and it had rained A LOT for several days leading up to the show. The footing was nasty!
The show jumping was pretty difficult for a starter event at the beginning of the season. There were some difficult lines and some very interesting/colorful jumps and a roll top.
The cross country was a flowing course appropriate to the level.
The kids will probably be fine as the amoeba xc fences were in a roped off area and were very small. They could walk over them. I did not see the show jumping for that division, but a roll top will be over the height maximum, so I wouldn't expect to see those in that division.
The overall atmosphere is nice. Very laid back and helpful. It was a fun first of the year show for me last year and got us off to a great start. Good luck!!
BigMick - your comments are in line with what I am doing - I have gone over the coefficients - roundness of the circles and a true long walk - being straight when going at the judge - being forward. The girls do get overwhelmed with show nerves and usually ask their horses to go slower than they are needing to - I think the world around them feels like it is moving faster to them than it is. I need to VIDEO tape the dressage at home I think and at the show.
I have a rolltop here so I will pull it out - it has a hoof print in it - thank you Firefly - so there is this nice horse hoof shaped hole in it. But I can patch it! Just in case.
Wow those are SMALL fences. I am not worried. I guess I would be more concerned if I was taking them to Rojas the first show. I wish we had more little things where they could jump small. I am most concerned about a 15 year old I have on a 17.3 horse. He horse takes on her emotions and sometimes she goes for things when I say - why not be conservative sweetie? And there she goes - yeehaw. Her horse is a big sweetheart but if she shuts down, he shuts down.
I know! It doesnt help that my horse Wolf gets really excited cross country and becomes a very different horse - much more - eh - forward.
So that is why I am making them go below what they probably could do even competitively. This is the first time putting all this together and when they are cross country - a roped off little piece of green grass is a great place to start!