At some point most of us have an intermission of sorts in our riding careers, or at the very least a minor "hiccup" where we are horseless for a time. For many, this happens during college or during our debut into the "real world." (I still haven't discovered what constitutes the "real world.") Below are some ideas to keep you in the irons and prevent you from going crazy.
2. Ok, so the first one didn't really pan out, but that's why we have enablers, like parents. Just promise to keep a
3.3 2.75 GPA and they'll pay for your precious pony to attend college with you!
3. Well, studying is hard and your Underwater Basket Weaving professor hated you for no explainable reason, so scratch plan two. But that intercollegiate riding team always sounded like fun, right?
4. Who knew that riding new horses at every show wasn't a blast? Or that you have to be reasonably responsible and attend meetings...whoops. That's okay, you've got friends that have horses, especially greenies that need to be ridden.
5. So trying to drag the 4 year old away from his friends and into the barn was more work than actually riding. Settling to be the exercise-rider-while-owner-is-on-a-ridiculously-expensive-vacation isn't looking so bad now, is it?
6. Be an Equine Major.
How have you managed college, or any horseless time period in your life? Wearing my tall boots around and pretending I have something to ride can only placate me for so long. And its getting me weird looks at the grocery store.
There's an old proverb that says, "Change is the only constant." I was thinking recently about all the changes Eventing has seen through the years. The more serious and definitely the most discussed ones involve changes of course design, the change from the long format to short format, and consequently the different type of horse one needs to be competitive in the age of the short format. So after some heavy research on the COTH forums, I've come up with a few more.
The dress for eventing has evolved from virtually no safety equipment to some pretty high tech gear. Some of which is now even starting to make an appearance in the dressage ring! Head protection has evolved from absolutely none to the heavily tested and approved helmets we wear today. When helmet use did start to become popular a few decades ago, it was really only velvet hunt caps without harnesses that were worn. Eventually the famed Caliente skullcap came along and offered slightly more protection, but only slightly. Although we eventers generally leave it to the show hunters to be the fashionistas, our sport has witnessed some pretty
untrendy fashions as well. Rugby shirts used to be the shirts of choice for the cross-country phase. They came in many different color combinations that could be coordinated with one's cross-country colors. There were flared breeches, then there were rust-colored breeches. Today, both would be on most people's "Things-to-toss-or-give-to-Goodwill" list!
The famous Three-Day Events of past decades like Ledyard, Blue Ridge, and more recently Radnor have been discontinued; along with countless other small, family run horse trials. It needs not mentioning that Bruce Davidson's gold medal performance at the 1974 World Championships at Burghley in England gave the United States the right to host the next World Championships. They took place four years later at the Kentucky Horse Park, where Bruce brought home the gold medal for the second time. The Kentucky Horse Park has a legacy that goes far beyond the Rolex Kentucky Four Star that we all know today.
The famous You Tube videos that feature riders coming unstuck on the backside of a fence and clinging to the side of their horses' until they made it past the penalty zone flags were also from a different time. By doing so, one could avoid the penalties for a fall and afford the video cameras some very interesting footage. Fall in the zone, 60 penalties. Make it past and all it costs you is the time it takes to climb back in the saddle in and carry on. Most women that competed in Three-Day Events had to carry weight pads under their saddles to meet the 165 lb minimum weight requirement. After cross-country riders had to "weigh-in" with their saddles and weight pads to make sure they met the minimum requirement.
In one Chronicle thread, Denny Emerson wrote about how he felt at the 1973 Ledyard Three Day Event. "I was trotting on roads and tracks on Victor Dakin after steeplechase at Appleton Farm, and getting close to Ledyard Farm for the first big International Three-Day in the US, Ledyard `73, and hearing the roar of the crowd as some rider sped around x-c. I was thinking "what the f--- am I doing here?", scared out of my mind, but too committed to back out now."
I think he summed up the changes to Eventing best by later stating, "I have a hunch that the kids who are experiencing today's events, fresh, excited, and keen, will look back on the early two thousands as "the good old days", just as I do the 60s or 70s or 80s. I don't think it's worse, only different, and just as meaningful as ever. That fear I felt at Ledyard 34 years ago, some kid is feeling today going prelim or intermediate for the first time, just as poignant and intense as ever. I'm going to try to figure out how to make this new deal work, and not get into the "in my day" any more than I can help it."
One of the first things Steph did after winning the advanced at Richland and then driving home to Virginia all night was sit down and write her EN guest blog. We appreciate the dedication Steph! Please visit Steph's site to learn more about her and be sure to check out her fundraising opportunities. The road to the WEGs is, if nothing else, expensive. Thanks for writing this Steph and thank you for reading.
I have always been told that I have a face for radio. So when our friends at the Horse Radio Network asked me to come on their Stable Scoop radio show and chat about Hahahorses.com, I jumped at the opportunity. I had a fun time, but in all honesty, I haven't listened to the show because I always get really critical of myself when I see or hear replays. So, you might say I have a voice for writing, but you can hear the show below for yourself.
- Host: Helena Bakun and Glenn the Geek
- Guests: Sports Massage Therapist Jamie Cohen
- Guests: Eventing John - HaHaHorses
- Guests: Catherine Masters - 2nd Annual Women's Horse Industry Conference
- Guest: Kathleen Wild Ride - You Might Think This is Crazy, But... and follow her travels on Facebook.
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I just got word that Neville Bardos, Remington, Balynoecastle RM, My Boy Bobby, The Foreman, and Woodburn will not be required to run cross-country at the American Eventing Championships. The 6 horses received a full inspection by the US team's veterinarians on Monday morning and will likely just do the combined test at the AECs. The US Team obviously has good reason to be confident in these horses on the XC, and I think this further supports what I have been saying for a while--it's just a question of which horses Phillip, Buck, and Boyd will take to the WEGs. Go eventing.
The Eventing Radio Network has provided excellent interviews and advice on the sport to a constantly growing fanbase for almost 100 episodes!
Eventing Radio Episode 59 - Show Notes and Links:
- Co-Hosts: Chris Stafford and Boyd Martin
- Guest: Jonathan Holling
- Photo Credit: Professional Rider's Organization at professionalriders.org.
- News: Mark Phillips to step down as US Coach after the London Olympics in 2012.
- News: Horse Park of NJ announces 2010 Jersey Fresh benefactor.
- News: SUCCEED USET Gala Raises more than $20,000
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