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Our first CT was a success! Third place! ~UPDATE! Video pg 2!~

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  • Our first CT was a success! Third place! ~UPDATE! Video pg 2!~

    I'd like to keep this first experience as positive and fun as I can. Any tips?

    It's my first competition (ex HJ - first CT, ever) in over five years, and it's my boy's first competition, ever!

    We are doing intro, I've practiced the test, this is gonna be low-key and friendly, and I would really like to use it as a good, happy, experience for him to build on later for when we get to the "real stuff"!

    I am trying to keep my expectations and goals reasonable (ie: make it over each fence in the course [no eliminations - YAY!], and stay inside the dressage arena, hehe), but any other words of wisdom would be much appreciated! I'm nervous! And shouldn't be!


    So, he loaded like a gentleman with four of his friends, we warmed up for 15 minutes and went right in and did our dressage test. The only pics taken of it were really blurry, but:
    Dressage 1
    Salute (first ever! )

    I thought it probably looked horrendous, but we got a few 7's and some 8's! Also one 5 :P, but hey! Look at my above goals! Far exceeded!

    And our intro jumping round was SO fabulous (at least I thought so!) that my trainer suggest I have a go-round at BN stadium. HE WAS GREAT. I mean, flipping phenomenal. Went over everything, I just waited until I knew he saw the jump, closed a supportive leg, talked to him (hehe), and kept a friendly contact to try and keep him balanced.

    Our intro round was the best. Our first BN round we were just too fast and he was unbalanced, jumped flat, and got two rails, totally my fault.

    So we did a schooling round (the show hosts were AMAZING!!!!) and I thought about riding it more like a hunter round and getting him to rock back and stay up and collected. Here are some jumping and other assorted pics:

    Jumping 1
    Jumping 2 (Excuse my face!)
    Jumping 3
    Jumping 4
    Jumping 5 (stirrups are optional, right?)
    This is the first time I've ever smiled like this at a competition. (Yes, I'm smiling, not seizing)

    I had such an amazing time I forgot to even check my score. I was going to get some horseshow grub when the secretary stopped me and asked if I had gotten my ribbon. My ribbon? Lady, do you have me confused with someone? Shows my name on the board with third place next to it.. yep, I teared up.

    This has been an amazing, amazing experience. I love my horse. Boy, do I love my horse. Especially when I think of where we started.
    Last edited by ake987; Jun. 10, 2011, 01:19 AM.

  • #2
    laugh and just enjoy yourself!!!! And it always helps if you go with someone who can help you out in case you forget something or whatnot- they can go get it/do it for you if possible

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!
    proud owner of a very pretty but completely useless horse (and one useful horse!)

    Horse Thoughts


    • #3
      Just remember to remind yourself of your goals and what you want out of the weekend. And then.. have fun!!!! I really like the schooling CT's... because they are just that... fun, relaxed, and low key Good outings


      • #4
        Originally posted by FLeckenAwesome View Post
        Just remember to remind yourself of your goals and what you want out of the weekend. And then.. have fun!!!! I really like the schooling CT's... because they are just that... fun, relaxed, and low key Good outings
        This. Unrec CTs are awesome - they have the best atmosphere and everyone is very supportive. When I was 13, at one of my first CTs doing intro on my been there done that QH a man had a young TB who was extremely nervous. The gates going into the dressage warm up area were "scary" and she would. not. go. through. I offered to walk my pony through first, guy said yes please, and mare followed quietly behind us to the dressage warm up.

        And everyone is like that in eventing - helpful. It's great. Consider your first outing learning experience whatever the outcome. The VHT unrec circuit would even let us have do overs on our SJ rounds (that obviously wouldn't count to the final score) if there was time between divisions and someone had a particularly difficult round.

        Just remember to breathe and laugh at your mistakes and you'll be just fine!
        "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
        "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


        • #5
          So.. I have a super cute CT story to tell...

          We had run P/T at Foothills and.. it was a disaster. Not exactly sure why, but we eliminated ourselves in stadium.. for circling!! But.. it would have ended worse had I not circled ourselves out... so anyways.. we needed a good prep/confidence boost, so... we signed up for a schooling CT. It was mostly young kids and there was intro up to Novice.. then me and Fleck as the only ones running prelim. My trainer asked them to make the fences max height because I needed to do a real prelim!! Since it was just me.. they obliged. And since there wasn't anyone running training... they went from novice height to max prelim height!! It was a little impressive standing there warming up. She laughed that she had to get her second measuring stick. Hee hee.. So anyways.... a few of the little kids were watching us go. It made me feel cool Hee hee... Like the cool kids I always adored as a little girl. But anyways... so we went in to jump, and it was great. Not perfect, but Flecky was good and jumped around... just not clean. hee hee.. So the wonderful show people let me jump around a second time.. and then a third. How nice is that?!?
          Then.. it turned out that Fleck lost a shoe in the middle of it somewhere.. and some little girl told her Mom that she was going to look for it.. and if she found it, she was keeping it as "Fleck's autograph"!. hee hee.. How CUTE is that?!?! It totally made my day...

          But anyways.. aside from sharing a funny story.. point is.. it's FUN! Everyone is super nice and cheers everyone else on. It's a great thing to do Go have fun!


          • #6
            Two tips - if you can, then:

            1. Go with a horse buddy. I think it is a lot scarier for a horse to go somewhere new on a trailer all by himself. Now, if your horse is extremely prone to herd bound behavior, this might not be the best idea, but as long as you think they wont scream their heads off when one gets off the trailer, I think it makes the experience happier.

            2. Leave yourself lots of time. For my guy's first show ever earlier this spring, we trailer-pooled with two other people from our barn, and their times were 2 hours earlier then mine. Thus, I was able to walk him around, let him eat lots of grass, and generally take in the show atmosphere before actually having to get on him and ride. And, as with any show, the rider always stays more relaxed when she is not rushing.

            Good luck, and let us know how it goes!


            • #7
              2nd Babble and just relax. Keep it all low key and fun. Lots of praise.


              • #8
                If you're old enough, bring beer or margaritas, a designated driver, and toast your success at the end!

                And if you find yourself getting really nervous (like in the startbox) set yourself a mini-goal, as in "I'm going to jump the first fence. If that goes OK, I'm going to jump the second". I guarantee that by the third, you'll be looking forward eagerly to each and every fence, and the course will finish too soon.
                They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


                • #9
                  Unrecognized CTs are the BEST! I took my Appy to them when we were testing eventing, and even now with my jumper prospect I'm planning on a few Maiden ones, just to get him out and about. Try to take a friend with you, that makes everything more fun
                  take lots of pictures and let us know how it goes!! You will have a blast!
                  Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks guys, love all the advice, especially the celebration booze!!! If the pictures are either nice or hilariously outrageous, they will be posted!

                    I am going with my trainer and a bunch of people from the barn, so we will have lots of been-there-done-that's willing to help me out.


                    • #11
                      Have a friend/helper. someone who loves to laugh!! realize this is for the experience. Get pictures of anything and everything. my first HT was last oct. I had a blast but never crossed my mind that we would get a TE in dressage!! He jumped out /over arena fencing. YES, the short little border fencing! but since it was a schooling show, they let me ride my stadium and XC. Great memories and i learned a lot! If you start to get nervous with any of the jumping phases, talk to your horse and yourself- it always seemed weird to me when i heard a lot of riders giving themselves pep talks on course, but i began to cheer on my horse through the entire XC course and it really helped me settle my nerves and my horse REALLY responded. The jump judges and spectators love to hear you as well. It is THE greatest feeling. Good luck and let us know how it goes!


                      • #12
                        Don't have any major expectations. Unrecognized events are pretty chilled out and you shouldn't have any major issues, but remember it's not about the ribbon, so if your horse needs to take a break or skip a fence, that's that. I was taking a pony around her first horse trial and she was trying hard but her body was three steps ahead of her mind. I skipped a couple of fences on xc that I knew were going to get her into trouble, and as a result we had a great round with no stops and more importantly, no issues and boosted confidence. Being on course in stadium or on xc is very different from the H/J ring; don't hesitate to talk to your horse, take a walk break on xc, or do whatever it is you need on that day. Even if something does go wrong and you end up eliminated, most schooling events will allow you to continue if you are safe, so smile and laugh at your mistakes.

                        With that said- learn the rules! It's a shame to get eliminated or faulted for something silly and preventable like jumping a fence in the wrong direction or entering late for dressage. If you have spectators coming that are new to eventing, make sure they know some things as well- a H/J friend who was helping me out at an event nearly got me eliminated for talking (not to me, but it was taken that way) during my dressage. All in all, HAVE FUN! Welcome to the dark side.


                        • #13
                          I have gone to 2 schooling Ct's so far this year. My mare had been injured last year and I just started her back in work the end of December. Someone in my riding club was holding these CT's at their farm, and I decided to go. They had very low level(walk/trot dressage and ground poles stadium). I figured this was a good way to get my mare back out in public and not be too stressed out over it or push my mare too hard. We got 1st both times in our division. Not bad for an old overweight lady and her horse coming back from an injury hehe... Have a great time, and smile, it helps you relax.


                          • Original Poster

                            Updated the original post with pics!


                            • #15
                              Awww, awesome!! Congrats! You both look like you had fun And what a cutie your boy is - love the check on his forehead


                              • #16
                                Saw you guys jumping, you looked great! Good work


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by RolyPolyPony View Post
                                  Awww, awesome!! Congrats! You both look like you had fun And what a cutie your boy is - love the check on his forehead
                                  Thank you! We joke that he shouldn't be named Jake (Little Jacob), but Nike (Just Do It)

                                  Originally posted by EventingJ View Post
                                  Saw you guys jumping, you looked great! Good work
                                  Thanks so much! Hope you saw the intro and not just the BN rounds, hehe.


                                  • #18
                                    Awesome!!!!!! Your boy is ADORABLE!!!! And i love your smile He looks like he's enjoying himself immensely too!! And I love your "HECK YEAH" crop salute

                                    Rock on!!


                                    • #19
                                      You guys did look quite awesome, especially your first go around!
                                      - paintmare

                                      Horse Eden Eventing - A Virtual Eventing Escape


                                      • #20