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.