Who woulda thunk that a spur of the moment trip to Atlanta to watch my trainer compete at the AEC's would have led me to this day??!!
I have ridden most of my life (I'm now a ripe ole 40) - but mostly "back yard" / trail ride / 4-H "fun" stuff! Met the greatest person / trainer 4 years ago when I adopted an OTTB gelding and got into Natural Horsemanship.
Said trainer is also an eventer! So - I have been following her eventing escapades a bit closer this past year or so! I was at home keeping tabs on her progress at the 2009 AEC's in Chicago and on the edge of my seat as she went from 0 to 4th in the Prelim division with a finish of 11th! How exciting was that!!
After my weekend freed up in September - I jumped in the car and made that 6 hour drive to spend the weekend watching her and her Novice mare go! Well - - that was the first time I had ever seen a real live event - and I was hooked!! I said - "I'm gonna learn to do that!!"
So - - here we are - 2 1/2 months later and I not only COMPETED - - - but COMPLETED my first schooling HT!! Yippee!! Makes an old lady giddy!!
I finished last in my division (TADPOLE) - - BUT - - I did it!!! I did not forget my dressage test -- LIKE I JUST KNEW I WOULD lol - - and we actually made some really nice progress on our stadium Michelle said!!
The XC was a little "scary" for me lol! Once we cleared our first jump - the best little mare ever - was onto doing her job!! Of course - - I sort of lost my nerve a bit after she got into a nice little gallop after the second fence! But - man - she is a machine - she was raring to go - - I have never seen a horse so eager and keen on doing her "job" and enjoying it!
I had to actually walk a small portion of the course - - just because - - it was a bit more physically taxing on the old lady than I thought it would be lol!!
But - - as I was going thru the water obstacle and my trainer was standing there watching - I was shouting at her - - "she feels like she's just ready to go go go" - - and I did not want to go go go lol!! Michelle - - in one of her most famous "sayings" - - just said - - she's barely moving - - JUST GO SOMEWHERE!!
I got a big laugh when I watched the video of that section and it look like we were just out for a Sunday afternoon jaunt lol!! "But Mom - - it REALLY did feel like she was going fast!!"
Anyway - - all I can say is wow - - I can't wait to do it again!!
Aiken, SC has some of the most beautiful "horse scenery" around and the eventing farms there are AWESOME!! I have been to Paradise to watch Michelle compete and we have schooled at Full Gallop on more than one occasion and now I have gone the course at Jumping Branch - - and they are all awesome!! The big rolling hills and the wonderful colors of the fall foliage made for a beautiful day and a wonderful memory for me!!
There is nothing better than being on a awesome, powerful THOROUGHBRED and partnering with that much power and energy!!
I will miss being able to do this with my gelding - - but - - he and I have many other fun adventures together!!
Thanks to all of you who have replied to my posts over the past 2 months as I inquired about equipment, whined and moaned about the cost of eventing and just made general chit chat!! I continue to be impressed with the "working man" attitude and work ethic of the eventers I have been seeing!
No more local shows with 10 year old's galloping around on ponies scaring my "big bold OTTB" to death lol! "We are running with the big dogs now!!"
I got my "big girl, granny panties" on and I am going to enjoy the ride - - even if it's just tadpole!!!