I can't even tell you how excited I am for my plans this year. When I was a little girl, I had a Shetland pony. That poor little thing tolerated every whim of a 7-year-old's imagination. We did all the things that would make a parent's heart stop: from my daring attempts pretending to be a stunt rider, or racing my sister on her (much slower) pony out in the fields, to pretending I was eventing, taking my wee pony through ditches, over fallen trees and just general galloping around as fast as her little legs could go.
|Flash and Flicka (no I did not name her that)|
I progressed with horses through 4-H, competing in everything Western with a bit of English and then as an adult getting into much more of an English focus with hunter/jumper lessons and competing as well as immersion into dressage madness last year. However, that dream of eventing has always been in the back of my mind. It really feels like now or never. I am not getting any younger.
As fate would have it, the Manitoba Horse Trials Organisation had decided to hold an information session for newbies to the sport this month. (Bonus it was held at Greenhawk tack store and they offered us special discounts that evening-so shopping!) They filled us in on how everything runs here in Manitoba, tack/equipment needed, coaches, rules, upcoming events, etc.
So here are the levels:
- Pre-Entry Entry (equitable to USEA Beginner Novice)
- Pre-Training (equitable to USEA Novice): XC: fences maximum height 0.91 m; ditch 1.50 m; drops 1.10 m; Stadium fences: 0.96m
- Training: XC: fences maximum height 1.00 m ditch 1.80 m drops 1.40 m; Stadium fences: 1.05 m
- Preliminary: XC: fences maximum height 1.10 m ditch 2.80 m drops 1.60 m; Stadium fences: 1.15 m
- Intermediate: XC: fences maximum height 1.15 m ditch 3.20 m drops 1.80 m; Stadium fences: 1.20 m
- Advanced: XC: fences maximum height 1.20 m ditch 3.60 m drops 2.00 m; Stadium fences: 1.25 m
There is a planned clinic in May and three derbies scheduled for this year. They explained the derbies are very 'beginner' friendly and are basically schooling shows.
There are cross-country jumps located in the park 20 minutes from my house. These are available for use for a $20 fee per day, but you must be accompanied by a coach who has also paid a fee.
Also because of reciprocity agreements, having a MHT membership (which is surprisingly affordable) allows you to attend two Dressage Winnipeg shows without paying for the DW membership (not affordable), as well as I believe two hunter/jumper shows without additional membership fees. This is under review however, but hopefully does not disappear.
|Possibly my hero - Elisa Wallace doing her thang, being awesome as always.|
My plan at this point is to start out riding Savvy at the first clinic and derby. Shiraz is still a green-bean walk/trot machine and will be turning 4 this spring. Even though she has been really good so far in her training, I am still a bit concerned about jumping a 4-year-old but we will see how it goes. Savvy may not be an overly talented jumper at this point, but I feel safe riding her and think she is actually going to enjoy the challenge and variety this sport brings. (She is super smart and gets bored pretty quickly!) Plus I get to still enjoy working on dressage because it is in my blood now and there is no cure.
For now, I need to get back to riding and I have a plan for that - trailer over to a heated arena once a week and possibly jump lessons once every second week. Riding at home beyond a walk is just not possible because of snow, but I am filling each and every day with tons of ground work, lunging over poles/cross rails and desensitising work.
Are you trying something new this year? I would love to hear about it!