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Out of curiosity...

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  • Out of curiosity...

    How old were you when you started eventing? Did you compete in other disciplines first?

    How long before you started placing in the top 5 at events?

    What was your path up the levels?

    Just curious...

  • #2
    Before I evented, I showed in a few hunter/jumper shows, but always with the goal of getting enough show experience to do my first event, so I guess I never really did other disciplines...

    I began eventing in April 2008, when I was 14 years old. Started at the Novice level with my (inexperienced in eventing) horse, and stayed at Novice for a year (3-4 actual events), planning to move up to Training in October 2009. Unfortunately, my horse pulled a hind suspensory in June 2009, and has since been semi-retired.

    After I retired him, I showed catch rides at Novice and Beginner Novice, and this May (2010) was finally able to show a sale horse in Training, where we finished fourth! The fourth at my first Training was my highest placing to date, for various reasons (neither my horse nor I liked the dressage back then , and he was a consistent 4 or 8-faulter in stadium).

    April 2008: Novice, first event, finished 6th on my horse

    May 2008: Novice, finished 8th on my horse

    October 2008: Novice, did not place on my horse

    April 2009: Novice, finished 7th on my horse

    May 2009: Novice, finished 8th on my horse

    June 2009: Novice, did not place on catch ride

    October 2009: Beg. Novice, did not place on catch ride

    May 2010: Training, finished 4th on catch ride
    ...............Novice, did not place on catch ride


    • #3
      I rode for 9 years before I started eventing. I did the hunters and then bought my first horse. An arabian who was really pretty. Hey, I was 14. lol. He was so not a hunter, which is what I sorta fell into and I think what a lot of people up here start off doing. Then we sorta fell into eventing when bad care at a facility made me change and the BO/trainer was an eventer.

      I did my first event when I was 15. My horse hated it and we had over 200 pp (you could back then) but I was hooked. I spent most of the next 3 years winning dressage and getting eliminated jumping (at BN/N) to finally realize that *maybe* my arab wanted to be a dressage horse. So I sold him (he's still showing PSG at 16) and got a lovely tb mare who I learned a lot on.

      I started placing near the top right away on her and moved up to T. I had a great foundation from my coaches and she had a great LL foundation from her previous owner and we could crack out the dressage and she LOVED to jump. So we did well. I had her for 3 years and when we were thinking about upgrading to prelim she broke her elbow. So I rehabed her and brought her back where she was winning novice again, but she never really trusted the elbow. So she's teaching flat to kids.

      I got my current horse 5 years ago. He knew far more than me. He'd only competed one higher level than I had, but he was a very well schooled and extremely talented beast. We started winning right off the bat and I quickly moved up to prelim. We were prepping for my first * when he broke his coffin bone and had a year off, but then he came back and we won my first *, went intermediate the following year. Qualified for **, won an intermediate and also suffered a serious confidence setback that we haven't quite recovered from yet.

      Also, I graduated school and had to get a career and can't afford time nor money to show and train for upper levels. We both had a breather year last season where we did NOTHING. It was great. And I've brought him back and we're playing at training level right now and having a blast! we may move back up to prelim as training is a bit easy... but it's exactly what we both need. One day if we get sorted out we'll tackle intermediate again. He's 12 this year. So there's still plenty of time to play around.

      While my horses were injured I got some catch rides and played around at novice/training with some green beans which was incredibly fun.

      Eventing is interesting... You can be at the top of your game one day and right down to the bottom the next, in a blink of an eye. It is an incredibly humbling sport.


      • #4
        I started lessons when I was 11. Volunteering at the local h/j stable in exchange for riding time and one lesson/week. Was showing in student shows 3-4x/year.

        I got my first horse at 13- an OTTB mare that had fire comin out her pipes! I thought I knew how to ride until I bought her. Started lessons with an event rider that just shipped in to our barn. She was my saviour!

        8 months of intense lessons (on line, no stirrups or reins, jumping anything we saw, etc)- we did our first Novice CT at age 14- was 6th. One month later our first Novice HT. We were eliminated xc and stadium! XC- I was so nervous I was slowing down in front of fences to the point I didn't know if I wanted to jump them or not. She decided since I was unsure- she's not going! Stadium- she refused the B portion of in/out. I didn't know how to re-jump it so got eliminated again (even though I was technically already out- they let me continue through the day) by not rejumping correctly. It was a long day! We never refused another fence (until my injury/fear years later and then she was retired).

        Went home and schooled- did 3 more Novice that spring. A bunch that fall with top 5 finishes/wins. Did 2 Novice the next spring- then training the rest of the year. Did Training for 2 years. One season of Prelim. Then retired the mare and never was able to get another mount that could go higher then Training until now- which is 15 years, xx pounds, and infinite wisdom later. Looks like it's intro/BN for me from here on out. Sucks. Especially when I finally have horses that could be very nice upper level horses (above Prelim).


        • #5
          I think I was 41. I fell off at my first event. And my second. (I'd never seen an oxer before). When I finally got round a BN course later that year, we walked parts of the XC

          At 42 I entered my good young pony, but he wasn't ready, so I took my scared little 13 hand rescue thing in his place. She's a little freak, but when she entered the dressage ring, the sun shone and she morphed into the world's cutest dressage pony. She placed 4th at her first event, and then 2nd. Then I realised that in order for your results to count, it's not enough to have joined the club - the pony has to join the club too <<slaps head>>... which I would have known but you know .. the clue's in the name "Beginner" "Novice" ! By her third event I was having to walk part of the courses again. Those littleLegs can Move !

          At 43 I started my good young pony again, and he was second in his first event, and then 2nd (am) at regional championships (incidentally, behind horses who had been up the levels, with riders who had half a dozen or more wins already on the same horse !).

          So it looks like I have to brave the dizzy heights of Novice some time soon. (I have never jumped in any previous life and neither has pony, so this will be a laugh. It'll be a brave Amy that takes on this task !)


          • #6
            I am an "oldtimer" so my path is not the same as most just due to the difrerence in levels! I started eventing at I believe it was 16 years old. At that time the lowest level was "pre-training" somewhat analogous to Novice now. My first ever event was Longleaf pines in S. Pines, what a FABULOUS event that was on many adjoining farms! It POURED A COLD rain on CC that year in March. OMG we were freezing. I really did not know much of anything about eventing, I was a totally "self taught" rider with the exception of riding one summer with a Col. Von Alenitch(sp?) from Alachua, Fl, a grand old "prussia" (not germany mindyou!) officer that had rode in the Olympics WAY back in the early 1900's. I actually did quite well on my home trained little 1/2 TB mare, except I did not realize a circle was a refusal in stadium and so knocked myself out of the placings. I pretty much went headlong into eventing at that point, placing or winning at most events, either on my little mare, or often I catch rode horses (usually stoppers, as I had a reputation for no stops on CC). I rode my mare thru Training and other horses up to training and then got a big TB gelding I went thru Prelim with along with a few horses for other people. I stopped eventing In the 80's for a while, and then got back into it in the early 90's and went thru Training with a couple of horses I had, an appendix gelding named First Contender and a TB gelding named Highland Zachary. And did an app gelding and another Appendix horse thru Novice. The last real event I rode in was the last event held at Fort Bragg in 2001, took a green horse Beginner Novice. Have only done one or two schooling HT's since. I really love the sport but do not like the direction it has gone in, having been in it since the mid-70's, which is part of the reason I do not event anymore. And part of it is I don't bounce well at age 52 anymore! The events that I remember the best are Sedgefield (Greensboro NC), Middleton Place (Charleston, SC) and the old course that is where the Football stadium and Hockey staduim is now in Raleigh, NC, can't remember what that event was called. I did many others, but those were my "favorites". Oh and my FAVORITE win was at Six Pillar Farm in S. Pines where I won my choice of a case of beer in my favorite "flavor"!!!! And yes, sometime after I began eventing I joined PC and went the the H-A level in ratings, which did help my knowledge tremendously!
            Last edited by shawneeAcres; Jun. 28, 2010, 01:00 PM.


            • #7
              I started eventing when I was 16 through Pony Club. I had been doing my weekly riding lesson since I was 6 and had been riding several times a week since I was 14. I did saddle seat and hunters and anything else I could talk my way into until I got my first horse at 15 and focused on Pony Club/eventing.

              Rode mostly Novice (Pre-Training )until I graduated from HS. Stopped riding for college. Picked it up again when I got out and started a few horses again up to Novice. Got married, off again on again while having babies. Bought I nice youngster when my youngest child turned one. Did my first 3 day 6 years later when I was 37. Started a few more horses and got them going. Took a couple years off, bought and built my own place and am now currently trying to get another youngster going, and am in the market for another...


              • #8
                Originally posted by trinkamally View Post
                How old were you when you started eventing? Did you compete in other disciplines first?

                How long before you started placing in the top 5 at events?

                What was your path up the levels?

                Just curious...
                I started eventing at age 22. I had been competing in the hunters and equitation since I was 4.

                I placed in the top 5 at my first events, beginning with Elementary and BBN to BN levels unrecognized. I only started competing recognized last year (age 25) and placed in the top 5 my first year.

                I have only competed at Novice as soundness issues have plagued our seasons but hope to eventually get up there

                Last edited by inquisitive; Jun. 28, 2010, 02:42 PM.


                • #9
                  started riding when I was 7/8...did everything from jumpers, hunters, eq, dressage, polo, cutting, fox hunting....and lots and lots of time on green baby horses. Never really had a made horse...wish I had...but I rode a lot of good horses who taught me a lot.

                  Did my first event when I was in my mid-20s on an OTTB (it was his first event as well) that I had re-started. We went training level. Dressage was painful to watch but we did fine xc....sold him. Took one more up to training level in the next year...sold her.

                  Took another OTTB that I had started up to his and my first Prelim less than 2 years after my first event. I had very good and consistent help. Oh...and I was going to law school at the time. Didn't enter my first event until I was in law school.....although I had schooled xc before then and been fox hunting and groomed at a lot of events (including many LF CCIs).

                  Can't tell about placings....that isn't something I've ever cared about, kept track of or something that ever determined what level I competed at. I occassionally find ribbons stuffed in places...so I have won a few
                  Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Jun. 28, 2010, 05:26 PM. Reason: realizing the timing of when I did things...faster than I thought!
                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                  • #10
                    I started riding when I was 10. Did the hunters, because in San Antonio, that was pretty much the only English available that I could find. I did that until I was 15, then left the barn because I couldn't afford a horse, and they made it pretty clear that they wanted me to buy one or move on.

                    So at 15, I found an eventing trainer. I did my first BN just before I turned 16. Fell off before the water, horse ran back to the barn. Did my first N a few months later, proceeded to do a smattering of Novices through my 16th year. Didn't ride much as a senior in high school. Did all of these shows with a lesson or sales horse.

                    In college, I rode much more, but did less horse shows, maybe one or two a year at BN and N on sales horses. I wanted to and was ready to go T, but the trainer I was riding for didn't like to let students show horses not their own above N unless they had prior experience at those levels.

                    Finally, in 2007 (Jan 4), I was able to purchase my first horse. In 2007, we competed at 8 horse shows, one BN (1st), 5 N (2nd and 3rd), and 2 unsuccesful T after my horse fell in a lake and developed water problems. In 2008, we competed at 10 events, 2 N (1st), 6 T (2nd, 4th), and 2 P (3rd). In 2009, we competed at 9 events, 5 P (4th, 3rd), 2 CIC*(3rd) and 2 CCI* (3rd, 3rd at LF). In 2010 we have thus far competed at 3 events, 1 CIC* and 2 I (1st), and are planning for 3 more this fall.

                    As you can see, I won at Novice in 2008, and did not win again until just recently at Intermediate in 2010. Winning is not usually a measure of success. The majority of the prelims and FEI shows last year were completed double clear on a decent dressage score.

                    I guess the point in my life is that it is often very difficult to compete above N without your own horse, in my experience. There may be some lucky others who have experienced otherwise.


                    • #11
                      Rode as much as I could growing up -- which is to say not much. Had 5 lessons for my 11th birthday (western) then we moved to Ohio. Took the Horsemanship class in college as a sophomore at a local saddleseat barn. As a senior got involved with the former college riding club - now a private co-op. Started taking weekly lessons. After a year, moved from the co-op for lessons to a "trainer" in the same barn. In 1993, purchased my first horse (OTTB that I had no business buying) and started doing the local hunters shows. Went to Rolex that next spring and immediately purchased a vest (not required yet at that time) and entered my first horse trial at BN in July. spent 2 years at BN, 1 year at N, 2 years at T then moved to Prelim in 1999 at Sporting Days. Entered but was spun at the 1st vet check at the T3DE at Glen Oro (Ontario) in 1999, entered and completed the event in 2000, completed the CIC* at Ha'Penny in 2001 and entered but was eliminated about 1/2 way around XC at MSEDA that same year. Completed some T events the next year and the Mayfest T3DE spring 2003. Tried to breed the mare... but it was unsuccessful. Purchased a green 4yo at a track auction in October 2004. Put 1st mare down April 2005. Got the youngster going that fall a bit -- couple unrecognized events and local hunter shows... before selling her in Dec. 2005 (side note: she's getting ready to move to Advanced this year!!)

                      Have been horseless since. Riding a little at my old barn on schoolies and have fun with that. Trying to purchase a farm so hopefully I can get another horse in 2012 (after we purchase the 43 acre land option).

                      Oh, as for top 5? Every now and then I'd break into the top 5. I personally have never won an event ever. Char won at Training with my friend Laura riding once. Frankie and I finished 2nd at one of the unrecognized events I took her to before I sold her. To me... placing well is the icing, but not the reason you compete. So it never bothered me (much) that we would often place, but not at the top.
                      "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

                      "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike


                      • #12
                        Last edited by Divine Comedy; Jun. 28, 2010, 01:50 PM. Reason: Duplicate


                        • #13
                          i did my first event at 14, first Novice the next season. didn't ever place above 7th. lol. i had the most honest, wonderful horse in the world, who LIVED to jump...but not so much on the dressage part. sold him when i left for college, and he went on to show with 2 other young girls, who greatly improved on our past dressage work. he's 18(!) now, and still showing in Area 5.

                          before i found eventing, i also did a lot of Western riding and some H/J. in college i did IHSA and NCAA, not to mention some cutting, Ranch Horse showing, and tried a little reining. i still ride Western a LOT, but eventing is my true love. i'm planning to show BN/N this fall with a horse i bought and trained while i was in college. we've been working super hard all Spring with a really great trainer, and doing enough flatwork to make my head spin. so hopefully we'll be getting top 5's this fall, but no telling i'm also not 14 anymore...now 23 so we're a little behind the YR age loop...

                          i'm actually pretty thankful to find such a great horse, even though he's green, cause now that i'm 23 i have a much better understanding of the time and $$ that goes into us doing well. instead of the 1-3 rides/week when i was 14, we bust our butts 4-6/week, and i usually ride a few other horses English & Western throughout the week.


                          • #14
                            I went to one or 2 hunter shows first, but never as a "hunter rider". I went to my first event at age 11, with my 22 year old been around the block type appy. I was 7th at my first one, double clean, then 3rd at my second one, then since back then there werent a lot of Entry (BN) events around and everything had been going well, we moved up to PT (Novice). Didnt place because our dressage was lacking, but went double clean.

                            The next year I was almost always top 5, and finished with a 3rd at the championships and a high point award for PT. I also got another horse because the old appy was slowing down, a 10 year old QH with schooling but lots of issues. My coach took him out PT for a test drive and won. I started him at PT and we moved up to Training at the end of our first season, but it didnt go well, and after a pretty crappy season at Training I decided to take some time off, I was 14 at the time so wanting to do other, normal people stuff for awhile.

                            Got back into it when I was 19 and he was 17, moved back up to Training after 2 events and it went absolutely smoothly since then, we did our first Prelim last year when he was 19 and I was 21, and he is now retired and I have my first "from scratch" horse almost ready for Training now.

                            My mom was always tempted to buy me upper level horses so I would move up faster, but even when I was young I shut that idea down because I wanted to do it on my own. My first two horses were workmen with packer brains, but not necessarily packer experience. They taught me a lot without giving me false ideas about my abilities and kept me safe without allowing me to ride dangerously and get away with it. Without doubt, I had no idea how much I didnt know until I got the greenie though, the most humbling experience of my life. He has taught me so much about feel and instinct that my trained horses never could.

                            This is my first event ever, I was so cute back then.
                            Last edited by Bobthehorse; Jun. 28, 2010, 01:19 PM. Reason: pictures!


                            • #15
                              First pony ride at age 5.

                              First lesson at age 6- generic "hunt seat".

                              Got a horse of our own when I was 11, and joined Pony Club. Pony Club was "eventing" based, but in those days there were no recognized events below Prelim, and no unrecognized events around (Metro NY area). So we did Pony Club Rally once a year. ANd some times one of the PCs would put on a "mock rally" for practice. There were not any dressage shows either. So we did hunters (Jumpers started at 4', so we didn't do those) for non-PC competition.

                              Started as D1 or D2, then C1, C2, and got by B just befoer goig off to college.

                              The year I graduated from High School was the year they introduced Training level, and the local hunt put on a "Junior Training" Horse Trial. I was first after dressage, but I got lost on Cross country, and went off course.

                              Then I took 10 years off for College, Grad school, and starting mey career, and moved to VA. By the time I was ready to get back into horses, they had added Novice level, and there were LOTS of horse trials to choose from. From then on, Combined Traaining was my primary discipline, though I also did straight dressage and hunter /jumper stuff.

                              I have no idea when I started "placing"- probaby after a year or so.

                              I think I only went Novice with Sunshine.

                              Took Moo (Mogul III) through Training. Returned to owner when Music was ready to ride.

                              Took Liza (Quadreqaphenia) through Training. Returned to owner when Music was ready to ride.

                              Took Music (Night Music) through Novice and one or two training before deciding an a different career path for her.

                              Took Spy through Beginner Novice, then leased him out, where he moved up to Novice.

                              Took Belle (Morning Glory's Belle Fille) through Training, and one (incomplete) attempt at Prelim (still hope to try again with her).

                              Took Brain (Derby Day Dancer) to Novice and then sold him.

                              Currently showing Chief (Premier de Kegan) at BN, and planning to get him to Novice before selling him, and refocusing on Belle and Music.

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


                              • #16
                                I started riding when I was 9-10. I went to my first event when I was 11.

                                top 5? My placings have been SOOO random through the years. I'm pretty sure I got 3rd at my first event. And I have often got 1st-3rd in my move-up events..and then spend a year getting last or those annoying 7th-10ths.

                                path up the levels?

                                9: first rides
                                10: trail riding a lot
                                11: trail riding and a BN on my pony
                                12: couple BNs
                                13: got my Thoughbed (kc), did one BN on her and a bunch of Novices.
                                14: Novice and finished the year with a training
                                15: Training and finished the year with a prelim
                                16relim (and BN/N on project horses) (finished the year with a long format one*)
                                17relim (and BN/N on project horses) (plus first try at NAJYC and a 5th place finish at AECs)
                                18: prelim and preparing for intermediate.

                                Dang, when put in that format it looks like I moved up REALLY fast! Which is probably true, but I'll note that for the past 4 years or so I've been riding 2-6 horses a day, trying to get the miles in, and my kc is simply brilliant.

                                My rapid moving up had
                                Team Awesome fo sho!


                                • #17
                                  LOL I started eventing when I was.... hmmmm... 17? My first event horse was a psycho OTTB with absolutely appalling dressage, so we never placed well. I think the one blue ribbon I got with her was in a hunter class at an "open" show (very very few events in Maine back then!!), I rode eight fences on the buckle and won, much to my shock....

                                  When I got out of college (~22) I got my TB stallion, and we started placing quite soon. I remember being so excited about our first win! Took some time from eventing and competed in showjumping for a few years, through 4'3". Then got back into eventing, competed him successfully through Training, but soundness problems (residue of a traffic accident) kept us from successfully going on at Prelim.

                                  My next horse I trained from xrails through Intermediate.

                                  My current horse I took on as a 4 yo jumping wee courses and have taken through Training, schooling Prelim, goal Int/Advanced. She's been in the top ribbons a good bit.

                                  Along the way of course there have been many, many horses who were "minor players" :-) but those are the main ones.

                                  Third Charm Event Team


                                  • #18
                                    I did the hunters and eq (very poorly ) as a kid. In college, I discovered the jumpers and had some moderate success in the A/A jumpers.

                                    When it came time to retire my jumper 7 years ago, I bought another Tb to replace him. Turns out, he had NO desire to do the jumpers, so he got backburnered for a couple of years until a friend introduced me to her trainer, who evented, which was something I had never done. I went to my first event in 2006 and got eliminated before I even stepped in the dressage ring (hard lesson- posted ride time means you ride at that time ).

                                    I then spent the next year and a half frantically trying to stuff a round peg in a square hole. I finally came to the conclusion that no matter how nice of a mover he was and how amazing of a jump he had, he was NEVER going to like XC. Ever. And I had a string of E's and 20's to prove it and an increasing dislike of the whole sport because of him- it just wasn't fun anymore.

                                    Sold him and bought my current guy. He is the consummate XC machine and has helped me discover the sheer excitement of eventing. After three BNs, we moved up to Novice and won. I then spent a year and a half at Novice collecting lots of ribbons . I moved him up to Training last fall and he recently won at Waredaca.

                                    I bought my other guy in the winter of 2009. We did one BN, and then Novice for the rest of the year. He was 4th at the BN and got several 3rds and a 1st at Novice. I moved him up to Training this year and he just finshed 2nd at Seneca .


                                    • #19
                                      1995-1996: I started riding/taking lessons when I was 15. Took lessons until age 17 then moved from NJ to Texas.

                                      1999: I went to my frist two events at age 19. By myself. entered Novice. Placed 7th at both--with terrible dressage scores and clean jumping.

                                      2000: Age 20 I found a coach and was with her for one month--went to a Novice HT and won..even the coach and our local BNT were in my division. Good coach!!

                                      After that I was usually in the top 5 in Novice and then Training. The mare was not fancy so we had to rely on correctness for good dressage scores.

                                      2004: Mare retired and I bought and broke my first horse (Kaboom). Boom won Novice Champs, his 2nd HT, at age 4.

                                      2005: Moved to keep Boomer on own property and have not had a coach since. Boomer was a baby phenom and won pretty much everything he did.

                                      2007: Took 2 dressage lesson/1 XC lesson and moved up to Prelim on my own.

                                      Since then I've had fun in the baby (1 meter) jumpers and with youngsters at LL HTs.

                                      Though I don't have the money, I prefer to take lessons.

                                      I think, truly, success does have something to do with the mount you sit on, and confidence in yourself--mixed with competence of course.
                                      Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                                      • #20
                                        Started riding at 19, trails and occasional lessons. Started taking H/J lessons in vet school and bought my first horse. Did a few years of "B" H/J shows. Went to Rolex in 2006 (I think) and decided to start eventing. I was moved away from the barn at this point, had my horses at home. Decided to try eventing with the 5 year old OTTB that I had gotten off the track at 4. He and I have done:
                                        2006- 2 BN events (4th, 2nd area champ), 2-3 N.
                                        2007- mostly N (won one!), 2 T
                                        2008- T (two 3rds)
                                        2009- P (best placing was 9th, haven't made time xc yet)
                                        2010- P (still working on making time), one IP
                                        Hoping to do a 1* and maybe I as soon as making time on xc becomes easy. Hopefully advanced some day...

                                        My older horse and I evented through N after I got experience on my greenie . He is a steadfast jumper and we usually placed. He is now leased to a friend who is doing N with him. He is 20 now
                                        5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO - you're on course!