I can’t believe I’ve taken so long to post about this! Smoke & I made our eventing debut (my first since 2006, his first event EVER) on October 1st, & we won on our dressage score! We were 3rd after dressage, then made up for my complete failure at executing geometric shapes by going double clean in stadium & xc. We were entered in the pre-beginner novice division (max 2’3”), & while there weren’t a huge amount of entries, I was still pretty darn proud of him. Especially considering that we never had a chance to practice our dressage test (I learned it in the hotel room the night before), because the show took place just 3 days after my trainer brought him back home after I quit a very bad working student position for a successful upper-level rider. (That rider had wanted us to go straight to Novice for our first event...yeah, no thanks. If she wants to ruin her horses by pushing them up the levels too quickly, then that's her choice, but I'd rather not do so with mine.) I couldn’t have asked for a more positive 1st event experience for him. The jumps were low enough that he could just canter over them confidently, & he was an absolute superstar over xc.
I am constantly blown away by how brave and intelligent my little Paint is! He's never told me no over a jump...water, ditches, scary shadows, whatever, he'll go over it. It's really cool to see how much he improves with every single ride. Every time I introduce him to a new concept, I can literally feel the light bulb go off once he understands what I want him to do. I feel so lucky to have found him, he's such an amazing horse. I'm so excited to take him to more events, but unfortunately I have to wait until Spring, when I hopefully won't be so broke!