1) How did you get started in eventing?
I started taking lessons at a big military barn, and it just so happened that the instructor I took lessons from was into eventing. If I'd had a different instructor (and there were a few), I might have gotten into something else. But she focused on eventing, so when I started leasing a horse, I started training for my first event! I don't know anything about PC...a few people at that barn were into it, but I never joined.
2) Are splint boots ok for XC? If not, what are some good boots/brands to use?
I've only ever used SMBs, and that was because the owner of one horse I leased said she had to wear them. I've heard a lot of different things, but from what I've read, splint boots are fine, or you can get an all-round boot like Woofs.
3) Can I wear paddock boots with leather matching half chaps to an event?
You probably can, but I'm not sure...not sure about the rules since I always wore tall boots, but I'm sure someone else can explain. If they're leather, though, it's probably fine.
4) How many times a week do you ride and how many times do you jump and go out on an XC course?
When I was showing, I'd ride about 5 days a week and jump about twice a week, once in the ring and once XC. Some days I'd just pop over a jump or two, some weeks I'd only jump in the ring, some I wouldn't jump at all, etc.
5) What is the hardest/most challenging part about eventing in your opinion?
Hm..it's been forever since I've ridden, let alone done a ODE, but I'll try to remember. The prep can be hard. You have three phases to master at home, and sometimes it seemed like I couldn't devote enough time to each one. Out of the three, I thought stadium was the hardest, with dressage a close second. But I also had a really hot pony who loved jumping, so cross country was the easiest for us. Dressage was always tough because she was usually so tense, so I stressed out about it and made it worse. Stadium was tough because I had a hard time getting her to relax and listen...we'd just tear around the course like a bat out of hell
6) How long would you spend per level?
Well...I didn't do many events, really. The first pony I leased I did a baby novice and never evented her again. She hated it. The second pony I did two or three beginner novice's over the course of like, a year and a half, and then one novice. Then I bought my first horse. Never got around to showing her though
If I had done more events, though, I probably would have move through the levels a lot faster.
Sorry, my answers probably don't help you much