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showjumperachel 02-09-2014 01:33 AM

Spontaneous Showing
Hi all,

So I just recently got hooked on eventing and did my first event last November. I entered beginner novice and got eliminated in dressage (on the second move :oops:) because my horse stepped out of the arena (I'm fully convinced he thought it was a raised caveletti, but that's besides the point). The judge allowed us to do XC and stadium and he was awesome in both. We had a little trouble at the water on XC , but other than that he was great. I didn't have to beat him into the water or anything, he just stopped and looked at it for a second before going in. We have not gone XC schooling since the show (mid November), but I have continued to ride him 4-6 days a week both flat and jumping and take weekly lessons. We are currently schooling about 2'6-2'9, although I didn't have a lesson (or jump, but I did ride) this past week because the rain has been terrible.

There is an event this next weekend coming up that one of the women I ride with entered her horse in. The other day she asked me if I wanted to come to "volunteer" at the event and earn some credit towards schooling and showing. I decided that I would go and bring my horse along too to school XC after the show is over and give him some more experience at a 3 day without actually competing.

As it turns out, my friends horse came out of his stall lame with excessive heat in his left front hoof two days ago. She thinks its an abscess, but the farrier came out today and didn't think it was an abscess (I'm assuming she will call the vet out next if things get worse). She talked to the secretary of the show and she won't be able to get a refund if he is still lame and she can't compete. Then I was offered to have her spot at the show (its a $25 fee I believe to change an entry). So now comes my question (sorry for the long background story!) -- what would you guys do? I really want to compete, but I also want to be fair to my horse. I'm not worried at all about stadium or dressage. I'm not even worried about XC really, but I just want to not put my horse in a bad situation, if that makes any sense. Oh! And if I did compete I would do it at intro level, where the max height is only 2ft.

When all is said and done, I REALLY hope her horse is not lame and is going to be able to compete. But I also have to keep in mind that I might be competing next weekend. What would you guys do? Would you jump at the opportunity or decide to pass?

ponypile 02-09-2014 05:59 AM

I would do it. Your horse sounds fit, he's in work, and you've been jumping higher. The questions that will be asked of you on the cross country course will be very easy ones. You might not even have water as one of your elements, and I think (but I don't know for sure) that "tougher" obstacles like drops and coffins aren't introduced until the next level. But don't take my word on that one. If I were you, I'd school mainly jumping this week, and put a lot of fill and "spooky" stuff under the jumps to get him used to just jumping what's put in front of him. So that you can be confident that you can close your leg and he will jump it. Also at 2', you can trot the jumps. Heck you could WALK over some of the jumps that aren't at max height if he is looky. You could even treat it like schooling. Go in with a no big deal mentality if he looks or stops at a jump. Circle around and try again!

All that said, I don't know you or your horse. I haven't seen you school cross country. I don't know anything about your riding style, your horse's jump/movement, or his obedience. So when it comes down to it, it's up to you and what you're comfortable with.

showjumperachel 02-09-2014 09:07 PM

Thanks for the advice!

As it turns out, it is too late to switch divisions, so if I compete I have to do beginner novice. I say if because my friend is waiting until Tuesday for the farrier to come out to make a definitive decision. I've decided to put my big girl pants on and just do it. I have complete confidence in my horse that he can and will get over everything. Plus its the beginning of the season, I doubt everything is going to be at max height anyways.

Here is a video of us in November doing our first (his first and my first) HT. The first three jumps were a little sticky (from 2 to 3 I didn't know where I was going...oops!) and the water was a problem (now I know I'll trot him up to it and sit BACK and drive), but other than that I thought he did pretty well.
We have this VERY mini cross country course about 15 minutes away from our stable and I convinced my trainer to go school there next week. It only has little stuff, maybe 1/2 of the jumps there are BN height, but it's better than nothing.

picup436 02-09-2014 09:14 PM

I would do it, he looked pretty comfortable in that video, you have a plan as to how to improve in the areas that weren't so great last time and he's been in work jumping and on the flat since then. I'd definitely go.

SullysRider 02-09-2014 09:19 PM

Totally random and has nothing to do with this thread, buttttt I love your horse and he has a nice canter. Haha I just had to say it! Anyway hope you compete, but I also hope the other lady's horse is ok.

showjumperachel 02-09-2014 11:22 PM

Thanks! He was actually given to me because nobody else REALLY liked riding him in the lesson program he was in. I think he is the greatest horse ever....but I might be slightly biased :wink:

ponypile 02-10-2014 04:54 PM

You mentioned it had been raining there a lot. Any big puddles kicking around that you could school water in? When it rains really heavy here, our sand arena gets saturated, and a big (shallow) puddle develops in one corner. Instead of avoiding the little lake, I take it as an opportunity to school water. I expect them to not shy from it, to go straight in, not break gait, and to keep the bend. A few times I've set up a jump so that I could jump in and out of the water. Our base footing is excellent mind you. The only time I've ever seen horses "slip" in that arena is while lunging and they take off and hit the end of the line, while on dry footing.

showjumperachel 02-10-2014 06:19 PM

Ponypile: Funny you mention that because as soon as the puddles came my first thought was to school water! He was great in it! The thing is is that he has never had a problem with water before. When we went xc schooling he went right in and when we went to the bech he went in the water there too. So when he refused the water that first time (and almost dumped me in it!) I was shocked. I'm just going to bring him back to a trot (or walk if I have to) and sit back and drive with my seat and I'm pretty sure it won't be a problem. It will slow us down a bit but he goes at a pretty good clip so I'm not worried about time being an issue.

The more I think about it I'm actually pretty excited -- mainly because I SO ready to go ride xc again! Such a thrill :)
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ponypile 02-10-2014 07:04 PM

Sounds like a good plan, I'd probably do the same. I bet he'll go right in the water, no problem, thinking "what's the big deal, mom? It's just water." Have fun and good luck! Let us know how it goes!

showjumperachel 02-10-2014 08:14 PM

LOL that is probably exactly what he will be thinking. And it's been confirmed 100% today -- we are going! My friends horse is still pretty off so she told me today Blazer (aka Heisenberg - his show name) are up!

I'm not gonna hold my breath for a 20 in dressage or anything, but I'm going to go out there and give it my best shot :)

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