It took me decades to successfully get around at training level.
I started eventing back
when dinosaurs roamed the earth, cough, around 1980…..
The first entry I sent in with a T on it (training level) was in the fall of 1990. Yeah, it made a big impression on me. But it didn’t happen. My lovely ride got a terrible belly ache when we arrived at the show and we had to withdraw.
It was 19 years later, and many MANY attempts before I finally got a number and not a letter at training level!
We won’t talk about the fact that the number was in fact 143.4
Numbers not letters people, numbers not letters!
It was 3 horses & 2 years after my first training completion before I jumped around my first Preliminary.
Whoop! It seemed I was finally speeding things up and I started to think I had a SLIM SLIGHT MAYBE chance of getting to Advanced before I was too old or broken to saddle my horse anymore.
I still remember my very first Bad Eventer fan who came and found me. It was at that particular show. She walked up and said, “Are you Bad Eventer?!” This was waaaay before the logo, and the shirts, and the horse trailer. No one knew who I was. She was a big fan & knew from my blog I was attempting my first Prelim. She said if I got around she was going to buy me a beer! When I got off cross country, true to her word there was a cold Irish beer on my stall door!
Feeling the love………….
Things started moving right along and a year later I found myself entered in my first Intermediate.
I – was – terrified.
I really didn’t think I’d survive stadium…….
Before the event I had NEVER, not ever jumped a show jumping course at full intermediate height in my entire life.
For the record, Intermediate show jumping height is 1.2 meters or 3’11.244 inches. So, it’s basically 4 feet.
In the end, I survived. All I did was kick and hold my breath for the entire show jumping round so it wasn’t exactly pretty, but we did stay in the game.
Then he jumped around cross country like the cross country machine he is………
and I got my first Red Numbered completion.
That was 5 years ago.
And I’ve been trying to get back to the level ever since.
I’ve had a couple “test runs” this spring.
We did a schooling show and jumped around a 4′ show jumping course.
Then after the Carolina 1* we did the dressage and show jumping at Intermediate the next weekend.
but we withdrew before XC because we had just run that massive course the weekend before. We won the dressage, and the first thing the fearless leader says is, “Congratulations, you won. No you still can’t run XC.”
Then we jumped clear in show jumping and before I had even started my round he turned to the BadEvent Groom and said, “No matter what she says do not let her put that horse in the trailer tomorrow!”
We withdrew as planned, while in 1st place, in our first Intermediate………………..
I had joked earlier this year when we started planning when we would move up to Intermediate that it would be nice to win a Prelim before hand, you know, just to prove we were ready.
I never imagined in a million years that might actually happen. At the time of that conversation in, cough, 35 years of eventing I had only ever won a single blue ribbon so I found that prospect unlikely.
And I can’t even begin to describe how different it feels this time!