Thursday, August 15, 2013

Big Event

Sorry it's long but I really wanted to write about our experience so I could look back on it!
Theo and I pulled into Otter Creek around 12 pm on Thursday not sure what we were getting ourselves into...  He refused to eat his breakfast and barely munched on hay during the trip so I was getting a little nervous.  I've learned that if I am around he doesn't calm down so I left him with a big pan of grain and almost a full bale of hay for about an hour.  I came back to check on him and yippee he was eating!
  I got the cross country map and my friend and I ventured out to check out the route while we waited for our trainer to arrive.  Right away we discovered this was the big leagues... the jumps seemed giant and way to high for a starter novice course.  My stomach was in knots the rest of the day.
I had my lesson with Brad and Theo was all over the place not listen watching the other horses.  He wouldn't walk back to the group but had to prance.  Enter more knots...  Brad said to walk him up to the dressage arena and back down while doing figure eights until he calmed down...Theo learns quickly and decided it was to much work to fuss and we walked nicely back to the group.
Friday - Dressage and Stadium.
Theo was in rare form very calm, focused,willing to work etc. and it was only his second day among the craziness I was thrilled with him.  We started our dressage test and it was going alright.  We had to leave the group so he was a little annoyed with that but got to work once he figured out his job.  Then out of no where we had to cross through the middle of the arena at K to M and he tried to leave the arena.  I quickly and calmly redirected him back down the line and we continued on with the test. I thought it went okay but not as good as our previous test at Lake Geneva.  Wrong!  we got a 33 which was an improvement and put us in 3rd out of 23!
Then stadium happened... I'm not sure if all the sugar went straight to him from his grain or what but he was crazy :-)  During warm up we took a cross rail jump and he proceeded to drop his head and act like he was going to buck around the arena...Knots came back.  He had so much energy I couldn't get him to focus on me but we made over some more warm up jumps and he seemed to relax.  We waited by the arena for our number and it was finally our time.  He had been patient and calm until we entered the arena.  It was 10 jumps set at 2'3" which is lower then he jumps but the biggest course he's seen.  He almost came to a complete stop over every jump to look at it and then jump it.  It was actually quite funny.  I have to be happy that he jumped all of them but in his attempt to view each jump he knocked down 4 rails :-(  putting us in 13th from 3rd.
Saturday - Cross Country
After watching the Prelim  Novice riders go over really huge jumps I had a sense of bravery about our course.  Heck we were already in 13th so I might as well just have fun right!  Well that's what we did we had a great time.  Theo refused the practice jump twice but after I got him over it I knew we were solid.  So 3...2...1.. have a good ride and we were off.  What a rush he took everything so brave and had one jump that he questioned but with some insisting he went over it.  At one point I lost my stirrup and was having a hard time finding it but Theo was locked into the next jump already and not wavering so I knew I could trust him to take care of me while I found the stirrup just as we went over the jump.  It was truly amazing.
We had 2 time faults which were only because I was holding him back putting us in 9th spot in our first big USEA Event.  I was so happy with him!

And a totally dorky photo of me on top of one of our "big" jumps... they seem really small now.  I'll have some nicer photos soon.
The best part is EVERYBODY wanted to know what kind of horse he was and I even talked to a family that has allergies to horses and they were really interested in looking at some Curlies!  I pointed them to Curly Horse Country of course :-)


  1. AMAZING POST!!! I am so proud of you and Theo! I laughed out loud when I saw the picture of you on the jump. It is how I felt after reading your post, because I was thrilled for you! Excellent job, you get 'em, Girl!!! Theo ROCKS!

  2. Excellent job! Knock 'em dead! Loved reading about your event. Congrats to you and Theo.


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