So I decided to make a journal to record my eventing endeavor with my gelding Xander, otherwise known as the wonder pony!
We shall start with a picture!
^so yeah, pretty much defines my relationship with my horse
I've had Xander since last February, so just over a year, and since then he's been at three different barns. But, we finally found our home, after the last two didn't work out so well. I also got the crazy idea in my head that I wanted to do eventing, and after three weeks at my new eventing barn, I'm going to my first schooling event in two weeks (more on that later)!
I got Xander out of a not so great situation, and I don't know anything about his history. I don't really even know what breed he is, we think he's mostly thoroughbred though, with some other stuff thrown in there.
Xander is....incredibly sweet and goofy, but with that sort of 'gelding' attitude of 'if I have to'. He's just sort of my bud, my partner in crime, my goober, my meatball.
Xander does not have the best conformation (at all):
But he's a pretty decent little jumper (and he LOVES it):
At first, I thought that I wanted to do local level hunter stuff with him, then I went to his first hunter show. We were bored out of our skulls. It just didn't suit us, really. Both me and Xander have a busy bee personality (no offense to hunters at all) and we really wanted to be doing something a little more......intense. Also, our old barn was just not an atmosphere I wanted to be in anymore, nuf said. So, we moved to an eventing barn, and this thread shall be to document our progress.
I think I found my heart horse, and the perfect discipline.
The first thing we've been working on with Xander is moving correctly. Round and engaged and forward. I'm really, really happy with our progress so far. We've gone from this (when I first got him), he moved like this for a while until I moved to this barn and my new trainer actually understands how to help me teach him to move right:
To this, in our 3rd lesson at new barn:
The next thing we conquered was riding in the field...ready for story time?
So they have a big field with some cross country jumps at my barn. The first time I saw it I was like "thats going to be a project, to get out there". Right from the start I was doubtful, and kind of scared. What if he's uncontrollable? What if he spooky?
Well, this Wednesday, three weeks after being at this barn, my trainer walks into the barn for my lesson and says "put his bell boots on, we're going out in the field" I immediately was nervous, but I went along with it because I desperately wanted to ride him out there. Well, he was the wonder pony! He was perfect! Here we are, first time in the field:
(and yes I know my hands are terrible, I have a really bad habit of sticking them down there when Im riding defensively, we are working on it)
So the next day, Thursday, I was working at the barn and we had just finished morning barn chores when my trainer walks into the barn and goes "we are getting a big storm later, wont be able to ride in the field for a week, tack up that horse, we're going out to get him over some cross country jumps". So I get him all tacked up and we walk out of the barn to find he's lost a shoe, can't do cross country missing a shoe. Well, the farrier happend to be there, so this sweet old guy nails a shoe on him, and off we go into the field, just as it starts to sprinkle. Xander and I had our first cross country lesson in the rain, and he jumped everything I pointed him at, no questions asked. We went up the bank, down the bank, and over two different types of logs. I think I had the most fun i've ever had.
Moral of the story: have faith in your horse and in yourself. Also, when you find a trainer who will push you enough so you can see what your really made of, stay with them!
So then yesterday, my trainer was telling me about this schooling event that her niece is going to. Her niece is a pretty experienced eventer, but she's taking her young horse to this schooling event for his first outing. My trainer was suggesting that I come watch, and then she was like "actually why don't you just come with xander, its a schooling event, and you can just do elementary with him"
So, I'm going to our first event on June 23 and I'm doing elementary with my wonder pony. Its so nice to find a trainer who beleives in me
I shall leave you with a question to ponder, Xander's show name..so far I've had a few suggestions, but haven't been able to decide, here is our list so far..
Veni Vidi Vici (I LOVE this one, but a) no one would pronounce it right and b) no one would know what it means :( )
Wonder Pony (methinks no)
...annd I think that's it...any suggestions?