Thursday, September 1, 2011

Little bit of a deviation ...

Seeing as how I haven't had the opportunity to ride since Wednesday a week ago, I'm going to deviate from my usual type of blog post and vent about something common I'm "seeing".  I put "seeing" in quotation marks because most of my "seeing" is via blogs and online forums.

I don't understand the obsession with eventers about ALWAYS trying to move up, move up, move up.  
"YAY!  We were able that time to jump our stadium course with only THREE split legged jumps, and only TWO refusals on cross country!  Time to move up to TRAINING!!"

What is up with that?  Why can we not be satisfied to remain at a level for a certain period of time without pressuring ourselves and our horses to move up?  Coming from Hunter Land, I have to say that once you make it to the A and AA rated shows, the numbers of horses and riders making BIG glaring mistakes at the modified Juniors and low A/O's is much lower than those at the schooling shows.  In the 3'3 world in Hunter Land, most of the horses clock around pretty nicely, swap their leads pretty consistently, and maintain a pretty decent rhythm throughout.  

I have recently read a few blogs and looked at some pics and videos of eventers ready to MOVE UP! to Training and even PRELIM on horses that do NOT have confirmed lead changes, no cadence to their canter, and a run on cross country where they made it to the end without falling off.  Seems to me that maybe you ought to spend a little more time at BN or N and get things SOLID.  

I can tell ya Tiki and I will NOT be moving up to N on the recognized level until we have confirmed lead changes, and I can jump around a 3' show jumping course clean and organized.  That's my background.  We will NOT move up until we can jump around the cross country course with tons of "go", and no stops.  That's why it makes me CRAZY when I watch a video of my round, and my leg swings, or Tiki stalls before he jumps, or we miss a lead.  I just feel like it's asking for a big problem if you move up to the next level before you're solid and safe at your CURRENT level.  I'm reading so many blogs of riders doing 2 shows at BN, one at N, and now they're READY to move on up to Training ... without a HINT of a lead change.  And with lots of hesitation during the stadium jumping round ... and putting 2 strides in the one.  Just seems a little unsafe, I dunno:)

I love eventing so much, if I NEVER move up to N, I will be ok.  BN is SO much fun, and different courses have different questions, not like a hunter show where your course will always be inside/outside/inside/outside.  I think our sport would improve DRAMATICALLY if the "little people" would just SLOW down.  Why all the time tables?  All the blogs I read are written by adults; it's not like a JR rider striving to make it at Pony Finals, or the Junior Hunter Finals, or the Maclay Medal Finals.  It looks like my September Poplar trial isn't going to happen.  That means my opportunity for a recognized trial in 2011 has pretty much gone out the window.  Oh well.  Try to live in the moment, and enjoy your horse for what he/she is.


  1. I agree 100%, Jen! There was a great USEA blog entry a few years ago that was titled something like, "There is Nothing Wrong with Taking Beginner Novice Seriously." I loved it! It was all about being a confident, capable, and happy competitor at whatever level you're matter for what reason or for how long. As long as you are having fun, learning, doing a good job, and loving life, the level doesn't really matter. I have waivered between BN/N for a long time (well, for the 2 years I was really competing before I had to take a financial hiatus). That is my comfort level and when I start back eventing again this fall, I'm not going to scramble around a BN in order to go right back to N (which is where I was when I had to stop the presses and put on the brakes). I may go BN for another year before I move up again. It's funny, because I never go into an arena or into the start box thinking "Oh, this is just BN," or "Ok, this is NOVICE," or whatever. I always try to forget what level I'm competing and just focus on "What do we have in front of us today?" That's much better than getting caught up in the "level drama" of eventing, which causes people to feel like they are valued only in relation to what level they ride.

    I hear what you're saying, and I think it SHOULD BE OKAY to love BN. I know I do. :-)

  2. I hear ya!

    I myself will not move up until I know my horse and I can jump around at the Entry Level (in Canada) at a nice, controlled pace. This is what we are working on. We can do the dressage, we can do the height, but I refuse to upgrade until we are at %100 ride ability. What is the point? Are we not doing this to be the best we can be? Showing at a higher level does not mean you are a better rider then someone showing at a lower level!