This past weekend I went to the Midsouth Eventing and Dressage Association (MSEDA) Official’s training at Flying Cross Farm in Goshen KY. My trainer talked me into it so that I could become a stadium judge. The process includes attending a training, shadowing two judges for a minimum of 8 hours and taking a test. I did quite a bit of jumper judging in my hunter days as barter for my entry fees so I figured it could be fun.
The morning started with a power point presentation by Wayne Quarles. He did a really good job explaining the roles of officials (judge, TD, PGJ, CD) and then we moved into reviewing rules. Luckily things are pretty similar to normal jumpers so much of it was review. Next we watched several videos that demonstrated things like when to call a refusal versus a jumping effort when a horse crashes a jump and what is considered crossing your path.
After lunch we went out and walked a Novice stadium course so Wayne could have us point out what was legal/not legal (such as a one stride vs a two stride) and what was legal but not appropriate for the level (such as a swedish). I learned a ton and I can’t wait to shadow this summer and take my test.
The hope is to work off a bit of my entry fees for my balls to the wall schedule this summer 🙂
After a few weeks of sass filled flat work, I hauled Marcus over to my trainers this weekend to see what I had over fences. I am entered in a CT in two weeks and figured as much as I was dreading it, I needed to jump around to see where we were.
First showed his unhappiness with me daring to *gasp* load the trailer while he was out by galloping around the pasture for 5 minutes. Idiot.
Lucky for me this seemed to take the edge off.
Ever the optimist, I left his boots and my spurs in my trailer since I figured we would mostly flat and maybe hop over a few X-rails like our first lesson back last year.
I warmed up for a few minutes, instantly regretting the lack of spurs as Marcus spun at a) a dog, b) a person walking up and c) a pole on the ground. It was going to be ugly.
Luckily, something clicked in his brain and after a couple ugly unfocused X-rails, we got his attention and added a a vertical. We gradually built the course and jumped around fairly well and with decent manners for just coming back.
Julie had me focus on two things. First, she reminds me to square my shoulders the the jump-this gets me to tip them back and use my body which helps tremendously since my default position is fetal while repeating “shit shit shit”. Second, was to keep his stride “bouncy” and package him up, especially later in course. Marcus likes to build and by half way through the course, he thinks we need to jump BN at prelim pace.
Our final good trip. He felt awesome:
And here folks is why core strength is essential. Opps.
Overall we had two bad fences but he was obedient and happy. I’ll take that!
Since I mailed in my first entry of the year last week, I thought I probably ought to (tentatively) map out my season so I had an idea of what we are going to do this year.
Marcus is going to a CT at the end of March and then we will start HTs in April. The goal, as of now is to run BN at Spring Bay and move up to N at May-Daze. That being said, if I don’t feel ready that move up isn’t going to happen as I am still nervous about the jump up in height and technical difficulty. I keep reminding myself that a) we were schooling N and T last year and b) I was this nervous moving up from starter to BN and we did fine. But again, no need to move up if we aren’t ready.
My schedule is pretty heavy on the KHP shows, and while I would love to show elsewhere, it adds considerable expense compared to showing at a venue that is 10 minutes up I75. I hope to make it to IEA in IN as my “away” show this year.
Paul Frazier CT
KHP Lexington KY
Spring Bay HT (USEA)
KHP/Masterson Lexington KY
Sayre School CT
Masterson Station Lexington KY
Wilderness Trace CT
May-Daze HT (USEA)
KHP Lexington KY
IEA HT (USEA)
Midsouth PC HT (USEA)
KHP Lexington, KY
Champagne Run HT (USEA)
KHP Lexington, KY
AEC or Area 8 Championships
Flying Cross HT (USEA)
Jumpstart HT (USEA)
KHP Lexington KY
Team Challenge HT (USEA)
KHP Lexington KY
Frankie will likely do one schooling show a month if I can swing it. Champagne Run holds schooling CTs and MT and there are a few other places we can go (dates havent been posted yet). My goal with him is to do starter at Octoberfest over halloween weekend.
Frankie went and did a little schooling jumper show this weekend while Marcus was on the mend (which didn’t stop him from throwing a giant hissy fit when he saw me hook up my trailer and *gasp* load his baby brother and leave him behind).
A local farm here does an awesome schooling jumper show ever other month or so. They start at X rails then 1’9″ and go up every 3″ until they get to the big stuff. For $50, you can do up to three heights (two classes offered per height) and for $60 you can jump all day. What an awesome, cheap option for a baby horse.
Frankie loaded well and we hauled over in time for him to hang out before Laura got there to hop on. He was very relaxed but interested in what was going on.
Its funny to watch a baby horse progress over a show day.
First its all nerves and “WHAT ARE WE DOING AND WHY AM I HERE? ” . This was Frankie in his first Xrails round. Lots to look at and lots of friends to talk to.
Then its “Ok I’m still nervous but I know my job”. He progressed to this in his second class, and ended up doing a very pretty roll back in the jump off.
Finally, the cockiness comes out and you get them”OK so cool, I know what I’m doing and I am super good at this now so I dont have to listen to you..”
The last round he did was a bit of a schooling around where Laura made him listen and knocked him down a peg. He was really, really good and ended up with a 1st, 5th and a 6th.
Marcus has had some time off this winter due to a combination of working really hard for me last season and a few NQR issues in his hind feet. I’ve always given him a month to 6 weeks off in the winter after a hard show season, and never fail, bringing him back is not fun.This year he’s been particularly bad and our walk trot conditioning rides have left me thinking maybe I would be better off wearing my XC vest.
After a week of putting up with his antics at the walk and trot, I spoke to my trainer and my vet-both agreed that he likes having a job and it would be better for all involved if he just went back to full work. So my plan is to flat him for two weeks, then start him back over fences around March 10th.
Aside from conditioning, I had my wonderful vet out to do a pre-season lameness exam. Because Marcus is 18, I have him checked out twice a year and make sure hes still feeling good. Ashley watched me ride him and did flexions, and we ended up injecting his hocks as planned. We typically do them in the fall, but he flexed well before Team Challenge so she suggested keeping him in light work over the winter and doing them before we start amping work up.
So now he gets the weekend off and goes back to full work on Monday. One month to prep for our first CT of the season, 6 weeks until our first HT.
This past Saturday was the Mid-South Eventing and Dressage Association annual meeting and awards dinner. Instead of a speaker, the Board decided to do an open forum including “100 ways to get eliminated”. As a relative newbie to the eventing world, I found this super useful! The two speakers went over all of the terms we usually lump together for “eliminated” including RF, W, MR, DQ. We got to ask questions and discuss rules, tack, and behavior. I hope they do it again next year.
Marcus and I did pretty well this year!
First, I got my USEA Area 8 Adult Amateur 6th place ribbon (we missed the Area 8 awards dinner because of weather). I’ve never won any type of regional or national award so this was super exciting. I am still in shock!
We ended up 1st in Senior Starter CT, 2nd in Senior Starter HT and 5th in Senior Beginner Novice CT. Not too shabby considering we moved up in June.
I was also awarded a $500 educational grant from MSEDA to be put towards lessons. The Board said that since I came from a unique background and I wrote about my struggles with the transition, they chose me. In return I am supposed to document my progression in a blog they will feature. I feel super lucky!