August 7, 2011

My First Event! (Watching...)

This weekend, I went to my first event ever, Penny Oaks at the Hoosier Horse Park.

Suffice to say...I'm hooked.

Gratuitous picture of my "aunt" Paula and her Oldenburg, Rudy, showing at Penny Oaks this weekend.

The thing I liked best about the sport of eventing was the total lack of pretense.  I mean, I didn't see a single $600 wooden tack trunk!  On a more serious note, everything about eventing was about getting the ride done the best way you could, with the best riding you could muster, and it wasn't at all about quiet rides to fences, having "the look" and having that season's "in" helmet.  It was raw, it was real, and it was about pushing yourself and your horse to the next limit both physically and mentally.

It wasn't perfect.  That's what I liked about it.  The winning horse and rider weren't ever perfect, at least not in the way hunters are.  The winners gutted it out together and demonstrated grace under fire, not "grace under perfect conditions".

Now I have to get up the guts to get over my jumping nervousness, and I'll be good to go.

I had a great time seeing Paula ride Rudy, taking in the sights and sounds of the show, and intently listening to my trainer, who was there with the FF event team girls.  She let me walk the course with her and another girl and absorb and listen, and then I watched a few rounds of show jumping with her.  I absorbed every bit that I could, I'm really lucky to have the quality of instruction that I do, even if I have to travel so far to get it.

Next weekend, it sounds like we're having a barn field trip to Traders' Point to watch the Grand Prix.  We'll be sitting in the stands and learning and watching and listening to her, and I honestly can't wait.  It feels good to have a barn "group", even if I don't know them yet.  Where was this when I was a teenager, these lucky girls!


  1. Eventing is a sport like no other. Welcome!

  2. I swear we will meet up somewhere - one of these days! My daughter competed at Penny Oaks this weekend - her first sanctioned event. She competed at Beginner Novice. Had a great time!

    You are right about eventers - you will see fancy trailers and rusty trailers - all kinds of jackets, helmets, horses - we love it. And people are geniune and friendly.