Sunday, January 23, 2011

An attempt at constructing some extra equine intrique

Let's see, what shall this first blog be about?   My trimmed fingernails are tapping while my eyeballs are rolling towards where the answers are...the sky. Ah ha! I got it! This blog should be about my mission.It's the meaning behind our affair. It has to be the reason for this rendezvous. Let's call it a "calling" or an attempt at constructing some extra equine intrigue. This blog's responsibility will be to bring more awareness and stronger notoriety to the Ultimate HORSE SPORT OF EVENTING! Everyone that does it works way to hard for the majority of the world not to notice.  I don't really know how to bring the kind of recognition this sport deserves, short of posing for Playboy magazine, which is OUT! It's not a bad idea, I just can't get my daughter to agree. You see, I'm not the one that rides it's her. She's the one busting her ass, riding and training these thousand pound monsters. On the plus side, she can now eat what ever, when ever (there's time) she wants . Hot fudge Sundae, no problem, the 400 bails of hay waiting to be stacked will  melt away any dae pounds, any day. You see she's 20, has an older twin brother, a  two year older sister and is a complete crazy person. Have you heard of the drug called "horse" sometimes one whiff and you are hooked. She has gotten herself completely hitched to tacking up and riding off. Clearly you should know that  her "riding off" isn't just some butt sniffing, trail riding, horsey train. It's down to earth dangerous! Eventing is unrivaled! It's  matchless, brutally hard, terribly frustrating, soaked with elitism and extremely expensive. The cost of this sport is high because it lumps three totally different equine disciplines (dressage, cross-country and show jumping) into one significant equestrian event. It's also know as the triathlon of equine sports. Since there are three different phases, that means three different outfits, three different saddles and don't forget lessons on three different ways of riding. Thank GOD it's not three different horses!  Speaking of horses, these mounts need to be the same quality horse that you would want if you were back in a Civil War battle. They need to be adventurous, extremely fit, brave and undaunted, military quality. In the end the winner of the eventing competition is the pair with the lowest score. First, the rider and horse that impressed a judge with the best dressage moves, goes into the number one position. Second phase known as cross-country, the pair must not have any stops, balks or refusals (20 penalty points for each) or time penalties while galloping across the ground, over logs, splashing through water, over ditches and various fences. If a rider/horse pair is going to get eliminated it's in this phase, that it is most likely to happen.  Rule is, if you have more than five stops total or three at one particular jump, you'll be whistled at and told to stop. You must then walk off, you're out. Challenge is to walk off  without bawling your eyes out. My heart hurts for the rider every time. Third, which is the last stage of eventing is the show jumping phase. Here is where the riders see just how fit their horses really are. Can they still lift up their legs and not knock any rails down? All riders do the same pattern of jumps which includes various questions. Rider must know how many strides it's gonna take their horse to get to the next jump. Jumps are embellished with bright colors, flowers and pizazz, in the attempt to test their courage. Another four unwanted penalty points for rails knocked down and any time faults for being to slow are then added. The pair with the lowest score wins!  Numerous times her goal has just make it through.

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I hold my breath and hang on tight, every time they gallop across the country. Mother of an EVENTER