Wowza, it’s been awhile since I last blogged! I’m really not sure where to start. If you follow me on Instagram (Maren_Eventing) then you probably aren’t too far behind on what’s been going on around here (spoiler if you aren’t on Insta, absolutely nothing.).
Obviously, I haven’t really been doing anything Lately because of Covid, and therefore don’t have a lot too update anyone on, but My coach opened back up for lessons earlier this month! I had a fabulous jump lesson* a week or two (who can keep track anymore?) ago, and I have another one booked for tomorrow as long as the weather corporates.
* social distancing style of course!
I think I’ll just stick a bunch more pictures from My last lesson and leave it at that for today… I really want to start blogging more again, but it almost feels like I need to do some massive update on what’s happened in the past 6 or so months? No way that’s actually going to happen so I’m just going to pretend I’ve been blogging and try too start up again. Maybe I’ll do a lesson recap sometime in the next week or so after my lesson tomorrow.
Since it was a two day event, Dressage and Stadium happened on the same day. Dressage was in the morning and Stadium Started a Little later at 10am (hahaha. Yup 10am was “later”) my main coach didn’t end up going to this event, but I managed to find someone else to coach me in the warmup rings. It was a bit harder, not because this other coach (let’s call her trainer J) was bad, not at all! She was quite good! But just because she doesn’t know what I normally do in my warmup, or what works for Me and Ollie, etc etc. But my warmup was pretty good. Ollie was definitely tense, (and I bet me being a little nervous didn’t help!) but he was willing to consider listening to me.
A Enter working trot. C track right.
ok… we got a 7. Which is the best mark in the whole test. I think my attempt at a “smile” probably looked more like a grimace as I worked as hard as possible to keep Oliver on the bit.
B to E half circle right.
huh. Half circle? That means… it’s supposed to look like a half square right? Again, a HUGE struggle to keep Ollie on the contract for even the two-three steps that we managed. Mark was 6.5
Between H and C development working canter right lead.
This can be accomplished by having the horse throw it’s weight into the front end then bolting for the middle of the arena. Forget about the up coming “circle” (6.5 was very generous of the judge!)
C circle right 20m working canter.
Comments include, but not limited to, “hurried, rushed, and shaped like a 0” Although a fun 1/4 of the circle WAS completed on a contact. So. We scored a 6.
between B and F working trot.
I was unprepared for this, and the score reflects that at 5.5 but at least we Survived!😉
K-X-M change rein working trot.
I actually thought this was pretty good. But apparently our pace changed, and we got a 6.
E to B half circle left.
Here my circle was VERY shallow. It more resembled a straight line across the arena. We ended up with a 5 on it.
Between M and C development working canter left lead.
Ollie can up above the bit again, and I was wasn’t very good about my track. We got a 6 though.
C circle left 20m working canter
The less said about this the better. 5.5
between E and K working trot.
I needed to balance more, and the down transition was a bit rushed. 5.5
K-F working trot.
A little tense. But not bad. 6.5
F-B medium walk.
Needs more “March” 6
B to H change rein free walk.
Free walk has never been out strong point. We got a 6, which I think is actually the best mark I’ve ever gotten on it lol. I think I got a 4.5 once. we could still use more strength in the walk and more stretch. But we can work on that.
H-C medium walk. C working trot.
some tension, and we needed more bend in the corner. 6
A down centre line X halt salute.
i should have done more preparation for the halt, but we got a 6. Overall, our score was 40.8. I mean. Not our best. But then not out worst either! Plus we had moved up a level! While I wouldn’t say I was 100% *happy* with it, I’m not annoyed with myself about it or anything like that. I realize that we have a lot to work on. But both Ollie and I have come such a long way from the four years ago when I first got him! Now on to Stadium…
I almost think it would be easier to just post the video. Ollie was good in the warmup, (although, I’m starting to think that I should change a couple things about my warmup routine… more on that later) and I was feeling pretty good going into the ring. The first “sign” that it wasn’t going to go according to plan was when I entered the ring and Ollie, would. Not. Walk. He had to trot, or canter. And I ended up in the top corner before the judge had dinged her bell. I did not get a good approach to jump one. At first, he saw it, and started pulling me towards it. I thought, this is awesome! He’s super eager! But then about two/three strides out he was like “NOPE” and started stalling. I gave him a little Whack, and he went over. (though very hesitantly)jump two was… fine. But don’t even ask me what happened at jump three. He brought the whole jump down lol. Then it was the twothree stride. Then an oxer on a weird angle, to a yellow upright, then a five stride line, around over the last jump which Ollie and I also bought crashing down. Hahahahahahaha. It felt awful, but again, at least we survived! (Btw, yes. I was starting to FREAK OUT about the thought of XC.)
videos of my Dressage test and Stadium round if you’re interested:
Ok! That’s all for now. I’ll try and get the XC part of my Adventure written and posted soon! Because I’m sure everyone is dying to hear about the horrifying Brush thing that is still giving me nightmares;-))
I went to a couple events with my horse Oliver this year (ahh! Sorry,) LAST year, which was really enjoyable! Some history; In 2017 I took him to one Event, and… let’s just say it didn’t go as planned. It was his first event ever, and my second. (Actually, third if you count the one where I rode my sisters horse Rasty and fell off basically into the water…) plus, it was only about my third time doing XC with him😬 we went Pre-Entry and I think At the time I was not quite sure about that… and then Ollie realized that I was not sure and it all summersaulted from there. We didn’t actually get eliminated. But we had the max number of refusals on XC and FOR REASONS UNKNOWN TO ME I spent forever trying to get him into the water instead of just going over the alternate jump after we decided he didn’t want to get his feet wet?? So we had mega HUGE time penalties as well. I also got heat stroke just as I was finishing my XC and pulled out of the rest of the event. ☹️🤷🏽♀️😑 It was around 37 degrees out though! And galloping around in 37 degree heat in long pants, long sleeve shirt, hard vest, air vest, pinny, helmet, Gloves, and tall leather boots is not the best way to stay cool. Just saying.
Anyways! That got off topic fast😂 back to the events I went to in 2018. The first one was easier, jump wise. it’s a great event to move up a level, or, in my case, to be able to go And have fun/get XC confidence back! I was really happy with Oliver, we went double clear on both XC and Stadium. And while our dressage needed work, it was mostly me just panicking and forgetting how to get Ollie on the bit. We didn’t place, but I’m fine with that because I had a blast and I’m still pretty happy about going double clear☺️
As for the next event we went to! while the first one we went to in 2018 is known to be easy, this one was known for the exact opposite. The Pre-Entry course looked like how to the Entry course did at my previous event! So of course I was panicking a little bit. It was also at the exact same time my coach was away on vacation! We’d arranged for a different instructor to coach me, which worked out… but was still slightly difficult. We got though Dressage in the normal fashion; we had a fantastic warm up, only to have me turn into a rubber chicken the moment we enter the dressage ring. The problem with finishing your Dressage test is that you know the next thing you have to do is go out on the XC field. So.. yeah.
XC day rolled around bright and sunny. We’d set up camp with some friends, and Breakfast was interesting. Basically it was my Mom, Dad, and my sister Brianna (the ones not riding) sitting there munching away and laughing while the rest of us (the ones riding) stared at our untouched plates, and tried to breathe. But of course we all wanted to watch the Prelim Horses go, as well as some of the other people who we knew at this event. the preliminaries got to ride first (Lucky them.) so we all went up to the top of the hill to watch… unfortunately about a gazillion people fell off!!! Which did absolutely nothing to soothe our nerves. Quite the opposite actually.
We were, at this point, obviously panicking. I actually had to sit down. So after we had seen everyone who we knew go (in the time that we had) we headed back down to the trailers to change and tack up. After all that was done, it was mostly just remembering to breathe. you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget how to do that! AND THEN while I was warming up, yet another person fell off!! (I believe they were fine though!) so that definitely didn’t help my nerves and was really unfortunate for them as well obviously!😢 Then I was on deck… I FINALLY got to walk around the start box, although I had to ask them. normally they let me know when I can walk in it. And then It was trying to breathe, not faint or have a panic attack, (I failed on the first one (breathing btw) again. Then 10, 9, 8… etc. And then go!! and the rest is pretty blurred, I remember realizing that I had no breaks just after jump 5, and taking in my first breath after jump number 9, (a good 3-4 minutes into my course, turns out someone can not breathe for awhile?) and then crossing the finish line after jump 15. It would be an understatement to say that I was happy. I was so pleased with both myself and Oliver, who had really given it his all. Also I would like to say that my sister is the best!* She was ready at the finish line of XC with Gatorade for me and made sure ollie was cooled/sponged down. And Stadium passed by with a second double clear blur, earning us our first ribbon in eventing. We got 7th, I nice pretty purple ribbon, and loads of fun! I’m excited to event with Oliver this coming show season! I am hoping to move up to Entry level. Anyway, thanks for reading this, a lot of time and effort goes into just getting to the event and surviving the course of the weekend. Huge thanks to my sister, (who is the best human ever.) for being Ollie’s amazing groom, (and waking up WAAYYYY to early🙈) and thanks to my mom and dad for bringing me there and always having millions of water and Gatorade bottles on hand. And thank you to my amazing horse, who truly is one in a Million.💚
*sorry about that! My sister ran in and edited my post right before I published it… and added all that stuff in😑 all the stuff I crossed out was her, so Please don’t pay attention to it!