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We Are Flying Solo

September 30, 2009

There's A First Time For Everything...

Big Horse, Little ArenaIncluding horse trials!

It was summer 2008 & the time had come to GET OUT THERE and do it. 

A local farm does a nice little greenie horse trial smack in the middle of their pecan groves, making it a beautiful shady spot to try your hand at eventing in a welcoming setting with obstacles that are simple & inviting to the horse and rider just starting out.

We left our farm somewhere around the butt-crack of dawn but I was hardly brain was churning all the way there: Do I know my dressage test? Have I forgotten my girth? Will our horrible Race Canter surface? What if Solo limps?

You see, my genius of a red horse had given himself a stone bruise several weeks before.  I had outfitted him with a set of EasyBoots Epics (love 'em!) & pads & he was floating around in comfort, but the worry was still there....

Arriving, I parked under a spreading pecan canopy & walked out the grounds. The XC course was small with one tiny bank & a puddle to splash through.   The only thing "looky" was a set of lighthouses framing one jump, but I thought we could handle it.  Everything else looked quite manageable & I had my game face on.


Big horse in a little arena.  This was only our second time in the 20 x 40 m arena & Solo's easy strides swallowed up the lines faster than I could comprehend. 

We did stay on course though & while not exactly a picture of roundness, we managed to put in a calm, accurate performance for what remains our best score to date, a 41 (I am still convinced the judge was just eminently kind & forgiving!).

Airborne Over Hay WagonCross Country

It was a very short course, but we LOVED it. Solo was thrilled to have at it & was quite forward, leaping in exuberant style over every obstacle.  I am sure people could hear my giggling as we cantered past, occasionally sideways as I had to convince Solo that we REALLY didn't need to gallop a baby baby course!

Turning to approach the lighthouses, he went, "Agghhh!!! WTF is that?" accompanied by a leap sideways, but we corrected & cleared it with room to spare.

Our only shortcoming was the inability to trot, so we ended with 12 speed penalties. Oops (if I pretend to feel guilty does that count?).

Mini Bank

Scary Lighthouses

Stadium Jumping

We finished it off easily in the stadium round.   One boot came off mid-course, I thought I heard it but by the time I was sure, Solo had finished the course with it flapping around his ankle, bless his willing heart.   I leaped off & removed it as soon as I could get him stopped & there was no damage to horse or boot, whew!

All in all, we ended up in fourth place with a clear stadium round.  It was a heady beginning that only further fed the event-hungry beast inside me!


  1. Looks likes fun! And you can see from the photos that Solo (and you!) are enjoying those XC jumps.

  2. That's the best part! It makes all the other headaches worthwhile -- and I will be waiting impatiently to see pics of you and your boy merrily sailing over logs!