This week has been AMAZING! Tuesday morning my dad and I headed down to KY with my pony in tow at around 8:00a.m. After discovering
I didn't have a trailer to use just 4 days earlier due to miscommunication... I ended up borrowing one last minute from bahada's
old owner. So all was well. This was the longest trip I would tackle driving a trailer myself, but there's no time better
then now, right? Everything went smoothly, and we got down there in about 6.5 hours. We bought shavings down there- and now
I know to not buy from devers again unless I have a spare arm and leg with me :-/ We set up and unpacked and met Amy and jean.
Jean was our "next door neighbor" and a very super nice helpful person. Amy was located across the aisle and was sharing the
paddock with us. She was super nice and awesome too!
That day we had our initial Vet exam to make sure our horse had four
legs and was breathing. My horse had a low pulse and low temp, so all was swell. I rode that day, doing some harder flat work.
She wasn't really through, she was runny in the yucky muddy footing, but the lateral work and changes helped slow her down
and she set to work after a little while. Then put her out in the paddock- I'm happy we got it! Then I bathed for about 40
minutes... The "eternal pee stain" refused to be removed. *sigh* It rained a little that day, and night... I found the leak
in the trailer... I brought my big popizon cushion to sleep on in the tack room of the trailer and my dad slept in the truck.
It all worked out well, though being in the middle of a parking lot in a trailer in a giant T-storm wasn't too fun... They
told us we couldn't park by the barns.... Next time I'll know to just ignore them and park there anyways, cuz everyone else
did and never got ticketed. That pissed me off, but o well!
Woke up around 7 and fed my pony and did other
"early morning things" that you do at horse shows.
At 8:30 we had our horse inspection practice with Janis Holmes. She
was such a nice person! She told us about the do's and don'ts of horse inspections, and demonstrated to us how to do it with
her 3-day horse. Most of it is common sense- like don't wear needlepoint heels so you fall on your face, etc. But it was still
informative and educational! Then we all got to practice with our own horses. Janis told me my horse had a pretty face and
that I shouldn't use my flash during the jog, which was nice of her! :)
after that I went to bathe my horse for another
hour.... still, the pee stain would NOT come out... *sigh*. I gave up. Then we had our competitor briefing to go over some
general stuff about the whole show/clinic. Then we went for a drive along phases A and C in the backs of some pick up trucks,
which was fun and let us see where we were going. They told us we could hack them if we wanted, which you can do at any 3-day
which is cool. I didn't know that! I also learned about the c-halt, where you have an assistance area and can meet a groom
to check shoes, get water, etc. Sometimes it is mandatory, but ever since the speeds on A and C were slowed down, now it is
normally just an "assistance area" not mandatory.
After this I went and braided my horse, then we had the vet inspection,
but it got delayed an hour because of rain, so we went at 4:45 instead of the original time. For the jog you "briskly"
walk in fron of the ground jury and halt- (hopefully) square up- the judges walk around your horse and make notes of any injuries-
then they ask you to walk a few strides then trot. You trot to the end, walk around the flowers, then trot back past
the jury and pray you here them say you pass over the P.A. If they want you to jog again, they will ask you to. and
if they still don't feel your horse is sound, you go into the holding area with another vet and try to figure out whats wrong.
Often the horse picked up a stone on the way to the inspection and is actually fine. I had to re-jog bahada. They talked
for what felt like an eternity and then passed me. I talked to the vet later and he said she looked sore on both her
front feet- which was strange to me considering we have been dealing with her arthritic hocks for the past 3 months.
My conclusion was my horse is a QH with a short little stride and that they are just used to big fancy trots :p but what do
that I went for a hack with Amy on A and C. We did a short little hand gallop (was supposed to be a canter, but Bahada wanted
to go faster) and then after that went in the ring for about 10 minutes just to make sure she was listening since I had dressage
the next morning. I walked my course that night too, just to check things out and see what was on it.... Only 4 combinations,
and one wasn't even numbered as one. Everything was BIG but not very technical. I described it as "straight forward", because
that's really what it was. Not one jump out there worried me, which was weird, but oh well! Take it where you can get it,
Thursday I woke up early and bathed my horse for another hour. Still the pee stain remained. I gave up, for
the 3rd time :-/. My horse just wants to be dirty. My braids had stayed in over night, so at least I didn't have to do those
over again. My dressage ride was at 10:30, so I got on about a half hour before. She was being really good in the warm up,
considering the hideous footing. A little runny, but some lateral work slowed her right down. The ring was running ahead,
and she was being so awesome that I decided to go early. Bad idea. We got up there, and I dont know WHAT happened, but she
started looking at something, and my immediate thought was "o shoot, she's gunna be tense", so what do I do? Get tense. My
fault! I tried doing transitions to get her listening to me again, but she wouldn't walk, which annoyed me further, and then
they rang the bell so I had to go in. *sigh* It was definately not our prettiest test. Our free walk- she jigged the WHOLE
way. She stretched some, so I at least got one 3 on it, haha... we usually get 7's on it :(. We got a handful of 7's from
one of the judges, but the other one only gave me 1, but either way it was a crappy test and I got a 46 from one and a 48
from the other, so I got a 47. That wasn't too hard to figure out. So that put me in 12th out of 16 I think. Not as bad as
it could have been... I was still not too happy with it. Well, afterwards I put her out in the paddock and took out her braids,
then we had a course walk with Nick Larkin at 11:45. He is cute! As he said, the course was pretty straightforward as well.
Gave us a few tips here and there, and it was nice just to hear another persons perspective.
At 1:30 we had our vet box
forum with a Vet from Rood and Riddle who has competed advanced, Ralph Holstein and Janice Holmes and her groom. They gave
us the run down on the 10-minute box, and the dos and donts and how to more efficiently cool down your pony. The vet gave
us a few drug rules, and told us a lot about what was going on inside the horse when they come in to the box and how and what
we were doing to them helps them cool down. He also told us about how to keep up on passports for your horse and how to keep
it valid, etc. We also discussed that at the 2* and above level, if you want to use anything such as electrolytes or massage
therapy or the like that you have to fill out a form and sign it saying that you did in fact do it. There was more to it,
but it was really interesting. Ralph gave us the first timers point of view and told us what he personally does in the 10-minute
box. Janis told us her routine as well. They both have quite different routines, from a rider POV anyways. Janis also told
us about how that evening we would all probably be really mentally drained, which ended up being very true. Also, the 10-minute
box is not a place for the rider to be running around freaking out. You are supposed to sit, talk with your coach about any
last minute things, talk with other riders about how the course is riding, make any last changes to if you will take any options
or not, etc. One thing she stressed to us was that if your horse needs to be re-jogged to the vet before going out on course,
DON'T FREAK OUT! Don't be worried about your horse being unsound if he is passed. If he's passed, he's passed! Go out and
ride, don't be freaking out. This show is about your horse. You must be there for your horse. You must be mentally and physically
ready to go out there and guide your horse around clear. Once you set out on D, your goal is to finish D clear, don't let
the fact that you may have left the oven on creep into your head! We were told about one girl who did freak out and her coach
was freaking out too, and it was not a pretty sight!
Another thing that we went over was about the timing of all the phases.
Everything is timed independently of one another. If you finish A late, your time on B is not going to start and make you
late on that too! It will still start 1 minute after you finish A. If you come in early on any phase, YOU DO NOT GAIN TIME
on the next one. The goal is to come in about a minute early on A and 2-3 minutes early on C into the 10-minute box. In the
10-minute box YOU DO gain that time that you made up on C. Also, if your horse needs more time to cool down then some, they
can hold you in the 10 minute box and let you go at a different time to make sure your horse is adequately cooled off and
safe to go. This does not make you lose time on D! This whole bit was stressed a lot.
So- for those of you that don't
know, in the 10 minute box you come in and immediately all these people run up to you. You ask the vet for permission to dismount,
and your head groom throws a halter on your horse, the vet's take your horses T P and R, you loosen girths, run up stirrups,
or take tack off if you wish. Then the rider gets to sit, and the grooms go to work sponging your horse and scraping the water
off immediately. The key way for horses to cool off is through evaporation- so sponging and scraping is the best. How vigorously
you sponge and scrape depends on how hot or cool your horses temp is. If they are fairly cool, you don't want to cool them
down too much, etc. In the box you want spares of anything that could break, like reins stirrups, and anything you can lose,
like shoes, spurs, crops, etc. at about 5 minutes out you (or your groom) jog your horse for the vets again, and they take
T P and R again and decide whether to let you out on course or not, or if you have to wait, etc. Then about 2 minutes out,
you get back on and head to the start box.
Right after this clinic we had our steeplechase school with Kathy Wieschoff.
I tacked up real quick and trotted over with Jean, and we got to practice over a steeplechase jump (not on our course) 3 times
each. Kathy rode Westlord, and showed us the position that you want. Then after riding we got to walk the steeplechase course
with Kathy. We found our minute markers and she showed us how you would ride it in a real 3-day. Our course was measured following
the middle of the track; normally it is measured hugging all the turns. We walked it hugging all the turns, and it was 40
meters shorter that way.
When we were done, my dad and I went out to dinner at the cracker barrel and then took showers-
by the time we got back to the trailer, the lightening was going CRAZY. Every 2 seconds there was another strike somewhere.
Needless to say, sleeping in a trailer in the middle of a parking lot didn't sound too safe to me! I also was worried about
my horse after I heard the tornado sirens go off, so we headed back to the barn area where we had our little black and white
TV. Sure enough, all of Lexington was under a tornado watch. So I slept in the tack stall next to my horse. I was very worried
that I was gunna have to let her free in the middle of the night. So, I taped a plastic bag with my name and number in it
to her halter just in case! I stayed up till 2 watching the news. A tornado hit about 3 miles away from the park, and the
waffle house right next door to the cracker barrel we were at got destroyed- it's roof torn off and the front is missing.
That was kind of creepy. But I woke up at about 6 in the morning and put my horse out in the paddock for a little while. Everything
looked fine now. Then my dad ended up walking her for a few hours during the day, which was awesome, to let her out and stretch.
I was scribing that day from 9-12 for the Prelim Judge- Terri Buzan. I had an "improving your dressage presentation" clinic
that was supposed to start at 11:45 so they were going to try and find someone to replace me, but never did. I was supposed
to meet at the tower between the 2 rings at 8:30, and when no one was there I thought maybe I was supposed to go upstairs
on the tower. No one was up there either, and on the way back down I fell down the stairs. Not cool. I was ok but I still
have a big bruise on my bottom. Then I met the judge and all, and scribing was a BLAST! I didn't know I could have so much
fun. The judge was wonderful, super nice and very polite and just a very smart judge. 2 apprentices came at one point and
sat with her, and so she explained all the scores she was giving, which was really cool to hear. When my clinic started I
told her that I was missing it and she said that I would learn more sitting there with her anyways. She liked me as a scribe
and requested if I could scribe for the rest of the afternoon. I could do one more division, but not the last one of the day,
but that was fine. So I stayed again, and I got to have lunch with the judges, which was sweet. I passed up on the jump practice-
for those that hadn't jumped their horses in a while and wanted to school a little bit, but Bahada didn't need it. The judge
told me about when she did her apprenticing- that she basically mapped out where all the "big" judges would be during the
year, and followed them all around- putting 80000 miles on her truck. She was such a wonderful person/judge; it was obvious
she knew what she was talking about. And, she liked me as a scribe, so that made things even better! Yay!
At 3:30 I had
another clinic- the after care of the 3-day event horse. Janis was there, Ralph and a new girl- Robyn, who was younger but
has also done a number of 3-days. They told us about how often to ice and when to poultice, and how to care for injuries,
etc. We also went over more drug rules and just other techniques of caring for your horse. Robyn also told us about her most
embarrassing moment at one 3-day she did where her horse saw the horse ahead of her and wouldn't settle down till he was right
next to that horse. It was Ralph hill, who she later overheard saying, "well, there was this one girl who thought phase C
was a pony ride". It was funny :).
After that clinic we had a phase A&C clinic where the clinician, Susan Harris,
gave us ideal numbers for where we want to be at the K markers. We were also told that if your horse is being giddy on A and
C and won't walk, to just let them go so as not to waste energy. To me that is a no brainer, but just thought I'd add it anyways!
we had another course walk with Dorothy Crowell. Basically we went over the same things, though 2 of our jumps had changed
due to newly added water complexes that the rain thought we needed on course. She brought her 3-year-old daughter with her,
who made things quite interesting. It was nice to walk the course again though, and with another professional eye in case
there was something we were all missing. Then Jean and I walked it again, for good measure.
After the clinics I went and
rode my pony for about a 20 minutes, just doing a little flat work until the other people in the ring made me want to shoot
myself because everyone was in everyone's way. All the people there now made us feel invaded! I like 3-days, having the barn
all to yourself early in the week, and all this extra time to just relax and take your time doing stuff. It must be so nice
to do a real 3-day! That night it actually didn't rain again! It was a nice change. We went to dinner at Ramsey's with Jean-
it was good food! :) And the guy made fun of me for dancing to the "hip 80's music"...
Saturday morning I woke up a little
late, around 6:30, and got to the barn and fed my pony and gave her a bunch of hay. They said you want to feed them about
4 hours before XC, and have hay available to them up to 1 hour before. The Hay helps them hold water. Also, electrolytes are
good! I went and got official show time from the starter and shared it with most of the 3-day people I could find. I also
spent a bunch of time worrying about studs, and ended up opting to put in some smaller bullets. My ride time was at 11:31
for phase A, so I headed down at 11:20 and had a few minutes to walk her and relax. We headed out on A right on time, and
it was fun! Though I definately got the feeling from Bahada that she was saying, "so, mom, uh, why are we hacking around the
horse pack all geared up for XC?". We trotted a lot of it, I wasn't totally sure about our pace- but I made sure to hit the
K markers around the right times, and then did a little hand gallop at the end just to get her stretched and going before
B. Got to B with about 2 minutes to spare, so I walked her around a bit. Then headed out, and OFF she went! She flew! Though
the first two jumps she tested me on the running outness- I think that was mostly cuz of her speed- but she was fine. We hit
our first minute marker 15 seconds early!!! So I slowed it up a little, but we still finished 30 seconds early. C starts right
at the end of B, and so I just glanced at my watch to see what time it was at (2:41, and I started it 10 seconds early on
B)- and made sure to adjust all my times accordingly. Resetting my watch would take too much! I didn't stop in the assistance
area- just kept trotting. Every time I tried to walk she kept jigging, so I let her trot. Though she never wanted to walk!!!
We basically trotted all of C in a very slow trot :-/. We came into the 10 minute box about 2 minutes early, and asked for
permission to dismount, and went and sat down. Her TPR's were a little high :-/ and when they rechecked they decided to hold
her for about 2 minutes longer than the 10 minutes to make sure she was alright, and her temp came down significantly- she
jogged out great, and the vet even said she looked a ton better. Amanda took control of my 10-minute crew, she walked Bahada,
and her dad, my dad and Staci sponged and scraped her, and then Amanda would walk her after about a minute. Bahada treated
it all like she was a pro. After they re-temped and she was good to go, I got on and headed to the start box, and had about
30 seconds- a little close for my liking. But we headed out on course and she just went to the first jump, an inviting loggy
flowery fence... no trying to run out. She just went. 2nd jump, a roll top, same thing. 3rd jump- logs down a hill, same thing...
what is this? Is my horse being... honest? YAY! I took the inside short cut to 4ab, a small log to a trakahner, rode well.
Left inside turn to some barrels, right hand turn to a log drop- very smoothly! No flying off it like the water at hunters
run last year! Dorothy, during the walk, told us to hold them up big time to the jump, but then soften about a stride or 2
out so that they can look down and don't jump up into the sky- it made a ton of sense- and is pretty common sense, but sometimes
it just takes someone reminding you to actually start doing it :). 7a was the 2-minute marker, 2 simple coops, 2 strides.
Rode great! 8 was into the steeplechase fence line (not phase B, the actual steeplechase field in KY) and 9 was the giant
brush jump- she sailed over it! :) On to another brushy jump, then an oxary thing, then log into the water, then the Mayfest
ramp, up the hill to the coop 2 strides to the bank up, then, as I affectionately call it- the huge frickin table that was
on our course last October, then the half coffin- in and out like it was nothing! Then the small red house, then some logs,
up the hill to a brushy jump and then we were done! Such a star! My pony was awesome and just cruised around that course.
It was great! I don't think I've ever had that much fun in my life! We walked on into the D box and her temp was lower than
it had been when we left the 10-minute box! Go figure. I got off, untacked her, and we sponged and scraped her, and her temp
dropped down to 101 and they released us to head back to the barn. I walked her back, and then put her in her stall- letting
them sit for a little while to just recoup is good. I took out her studs, and then took her for a walk a little while later.
Then I put ice wraps on her for 20 minutes. Then took em off... walked her a little each hour, then 4 hours after XC I poulticed
her leggies. That night they had the competitor party at the "big barn" and we sat w/ Marian and Staci and Bethany- interesting
convo b/t Marian and my dad about alcohol since they had beer there. I won't get into it, but it made me laugh.
Marian Bethany Staci and I went and saw Annika's new horse. He is a cutie! We all talked for a while, which was nice! I like
Annika; she is such a sweet person! When we got back to the barn, Amy was heading out and everyone else went off to bed, but
Amy told us we could use their golf cart if we wanted, so I took my dad on a tour of the park and showed him our A, B and
C and other stuff. It was fun.
The next morning I got to the barn around 6, and they ended up announcing that all competition
for the day was cancelled due to incoming storms except for Prelim stadium and the 3-day stadium. Kind of sad, and the barns
were then a zoo for most of the rest of the day, but at least it cleared out by the time we were leaving. I braided Bahada,
walked her, took off the poultice, and then went for a hack. I didn't realize how late I was hacking for until I was walking
with Jean and looked at my watch and realized my horse was still extremely dirty and only had 30 minute to get her clean.
Oops! I spot washed her, but she was still super dirty. Oops! She was sooo dirty though; I was expecting the judges to tell
me to go clean her before presenting her for the 3rd vet inspection. She was presentable though, and I think the hack really
helped because she jogged super fine :) Wayne- the vet, looked at me and said, "so do u want to jog again?" and I must've
had the most miserable look on my face, and he laughed and said he was just kidding. I went back to the barn and packed up
everything except what I needed for stadium. They moved up the time about 45 minutes, and I thought they would start it earlier,
so I hacked up there once the course was open for walking.... should've waited. They still waited 15 minutes even though no
one was walking the course. *sigh* o well! The footing was SOOOO bad, but the course wasn't too hard. She warmed up well,
and then we watched a few people go before we went in. It had started raining and there was some lightening off in the distance,
which was creepy, but we went anyways. The first jump she was getting flat and I kept picking at her when I should've closed
my leg and let her go to it, so she slammed the top rail, but after that everything rode really well! Very good round minus
the first jump. :) I was pleased. I watched the next 2 riders in my division go, but then a giant crack of lightening caused
us all to trot back to the barns quite quickly! The 2nd division ended up getting canceled cuz the weather was terrible. Back
at the barn I untacked and packed up everything and wrapped Bahada. I sent my dad to go get the trailer, and I went to go
get Jean and mines ribbons. I got 8th and she got 9th. We also got our vet records of our TPR's for the week. And some nifty
buckets with these snap on lids that have compartments in them. They were kind of cool- cept I didn't pick those up until
later after jean had left, so I will bring it to Encore with me for her. After that we tossed everything in the trailer and
headed home as quickly as possible to hopefully miss the worst of the weather- which we did, thank God! We got back around
7 or so, and I let my pony out to graze on the lawn for a bit while we unpacked and parked the trailer. Then fed her in her
stall, and headed home after my first 3-day. I can't wait to do my first real 1* now. I had such a blast and I would recommend
this to anybody. It's very educational and just FUN! My pony was SUCH a star! The organizers did a wonderful job and deserve
a big pat on the back, especially for dealing with 480+ horses at once, and then telling them all on Sunday that they have
to go home early! What an interesting scenario that must've been. Well, we are now aiming for our first prelim June 26-27.
Hopefully all goes well! It may be our first and last, depending on what happens, but only time will tell.
:) The End.