Eventing Team Party and FBR Rides Connor

On Saturday, we had our annual eventing team party at my trainer's house.  We all bring snack food to share, watch a re-run of a show jumping competition and have a good time.

There's also an organized learning activity.  Last year, it was watching a Dr. Deb Bennett video, analyzing photos of our horses standing in the crossties to see which shoulder they tend to naturally stand over, and being tested on the footfalls of the lateral movements by "walking" them with our hands and feet.

This year, my trainer had printed out tests on the USEA rulebook, and also provided us with a printout of the relevant sections of the USEA rulebook.  We were split into two teams.  My team only got one wrong: If you drop your whip on the XC course, is a spectator allowed to hand it back to you?

The cutest Husky says hello.

The answer is yes, but we all agreed it's a stupid rule for a number of reasons.  The USEA is pretty strict about not allowing outside help on XC (like a trainer yelling your time to you from the bushes 2/3 way through the course), so what's to stop someone from saying they saw a spectator whisper your time to you as they hand back your whip?  And why are we encouraging spectators to come onto the actual track of the course?  And is it really worth it to lose 30 seconds over your whip as you stop, call to the nearest person "hey, can you grab my whip?  It's over there," and stand there while they search the grass for it and then hand it to you?  On your horse that probably doesn't want to stand still right that second?  IMO, you should just leave it and go on.

ETA: Hannah pointed out that it is illegal for someone to hand you your whip in stadium.  It IS legal on XC, however.
I mean....neither one of us are thinking "Stop and stand around for 30 seconds" right about now.

We all learned a lot.  My trainer pointed out that when on XC especially, we HAVE TO know the rules by heart ahead of time, so it was a good exercise, and it got us all thinking about show season in the dreariest months of winter.

Of course, the more fun thing to happen was letting FBR cool Connor out after I rode just before the party.  Reminder: the girl is at least 5'9, if not taller, and Connor is 14hh.  She was like "I'm going to have to let your stirrups out all the way," and I was like "Ha!  Those are childs leathers, they won't even fit you all the way out. I'm taking them off."


It was a lot of fun.  She was just going to walk, then she got curious about trotting him, and then she was just going to trot, but she decided to canter in the end.  She had fun comparing him to her current ride, a former steeplechaser, then show jumping horse, now eventer, who regularly jumps 4' with his other rider.  He's spicy, and a very different ride from Connor.


I'd love to give FBR legitimate rides on him, but she's just too tall, which is so sad.  It's really the only thing that makes me sad that Connor is so small.

17 comments:

  1. I'm just happy someone besides me uses children's leathers. I comfort myself that the tag said "large child" :)

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    1. Haha yeah. Breeches are the same way for me. I feel no guilt though, childs' leathers and childs' breeches are always cheaper.

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  2. Replies
    1. Less a Christmas party and more a "get pumped for show season in the depths of winter and motivate people to keep training hard" party. But still fun one way or another!

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  3. what a cool party - i esp love the rule book test idea (and agree that it's wise to know those rules *ahead* of time, since i've mistakenly thought myself eliminated before, and have seen other riders accidentally eliminate themselves too....)

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  4. I hate to be that guy, but handing someone a whip is explicitly prohibited. EV151.b...

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    1. Sorry, you were looking at the stadium section. On XC it is legal. See 138.9b, Authorized Assistance.

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    2. Oh, interesting! Sorry and thank you; I usually cross-check better than that. Wonder why it's different between phases.

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    3. No problem! It was good for me to find the rule my trainer referred to. There are two rules that I know of that are like that, this one, and the combination rule. If you jump the A element but have a disobedience at the B element, on XC you're allowed to either retake both A and B, or just take B if you can swing it (which is the better option, because if you retake A and get a refusal there the second time you jump it, it counts). On stadium, you must retake all elements if you get a refusal at any element.

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    4. That one has always made sense to me, since XC combos tend to have more strides in 'em and be terrain questions compared to stadium combos. The diagrams I used to draw on the whiteboard when I was doing a former barn's how-to-get-eliminated presentations...!

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  5. I hear you on the small-sized horse trouble: all my suitable mounts are no taller than 14'2, and the boy is 5'10", so.. the ponies have to periodically be tolerant. And someday I'm going to need a bigger horse for him.

    I have to wonder if anyone has ever actually had a spectator hand their whip back. I assume they must have or else the rule wouldn't be there?! But I can't really picture it either.

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  6. Ehhh, who's to say she's too tall? ;)

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  7. I had no idea about that rule! How random. That party sounds like it was a really good time!

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  8. I am sad I am tall and couldn't ride a Connor either

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  9. My favorite barn kid just outgrew Bridget. So sad! Add me to the child sized stirrup leathers club...:)

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  10. Why is she too tall? She seems to be like me, long waisted. She just has longer legs than me. Some people thought I was too big for Barry, 13.3 because of that. I miss my jockey stirrups. They were great.
    I am with you, if the whip drops I'm not stopping. My trainer had me put a band on the whip and my middle finger to prevent that from happening.

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    1. She's not physically too tall for just playing around, but for lessons or riding, she would struggle. Her center of gravity is so high above him and he requires a really steady ride, plus her leg didn't hit him the right place to ask for anything - she was basically pulling her feet up to avoid his elbows in these pictures.

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