SUBSCRIBE TODAY Smiley face  Get updates via email! 

We Are Flying Solo

May 5, 2013

Not So Live From The Other Side


I have just returned from the best event I have ever attended.  What you get as a competitor is unparalleled -- heck, you get a bucket full of NICE swag just for showing up!  The clinics, the parties, The Derby!, OH MY!  The experience as a core team member is phenomenal.

Baby animals cry if you don't jump them.
There are pictures to share and stories to tell.  I met some new and amazing people, artists, product designers, facility builders, and officials, all of whom work untiringly for the sport and for those who attend, out of the sheer force of love.  Every time I work at an event, I learn more and see our eventing world from yet another new angle.  To do so from perhaps the most beautiful amateur facility that is generously opened to us on the east coast, with a group of talented individuals at the top of their game, is a privilege.

For now, it will have to wait until I have a bit more consciousness.  If you have never been intimately involved with putting on even a horse trial, you cannot begin to imagine how hard people work, most with no reward beyond the grins on riders' faces, and how long it takes to put all that together for you - it's exhausting!  It is also thanks to those people that we had only two minor rider falls due to rider error, no injuries, no one who got lost, perfect footing, an exquisite XC course, and a level of detailed preparedness for ANYTHING that the competitors had no inkling of! 

I will say, though, CONGRATULATIONS to all the competitors who successfully arrived and rode (heck, getting there with a sound horse is challenge enough!!).  And to those who completed this special opportunity, I envy and salute you.  One day, with hard work, I aim to be you, if the horse stars would care to align for me.

For the rest of you out there, I can't encourage you strongly enough to enter these long format events -- they are in danger of disappearing forever and with them, an indescribable educational experience in horsemanship and partnership that you simply will not get anywhere else, something in that category of "you don't know what you are missing until you participate yourself."  Without your entries, we cannot keep going.  What you get for your fee is an incredible bargain that I will describe in more detail later.   However, there may not be that many times you can say, "Maybe next year..." (of course, no one can control soundness, sigh).  I will keep doing everything I can to support these events because I have seen it with my own eyes:

Every person matters.


  1. My long-term goal for now is to do a long format. I just hope I have enough time to get to one. Thanks for your hard work!

  2. Go for it, Amanda, woohoo! It's been my goal for, oh, how many years now? Although when I made the goal, Training was the lowest level and you had to get qualifying scores at FOUR recognized events - hard and expensive. Now both lower levels are represented (although only at So8ths) and you simply have to COMPLETE four events, no NQRs. Much more attainable for pretty much anyone competing!

  3. Unfortunately I sold my horse right before I moved to SC! I am hoping their lower level long formats hold on for a few more years so I can participate. That would be my Rolex!

  4. I am aiming for the novice 3 day here in Indiana for next year. Like you said there are some things you just can't control but it is the goal. This year I am working the 3 day instead of riding.

  5. Mine too, Heidi, mine too!

    And hooray for volunteering, Amy!

  6. Hunters should have more jumps featuring baby animals. Seriously!

  7. I am in love with that jump.

  8. They should, shouldn't they? I have never seen jumps more beautiful or more well-designed than this course offered. Wait until you see the sculptures. OH YES, THERE ARE SCULPTURES!

  9. I love that photo, and your description alone makes me want to go volunteer. As like many of us She Who is Queen at my barn can't seem to stay sound two days in a row and we're probably looking at her retirement and me saving up for a new partner. But at least I can go watch other people do even if I can't. Now going to go google S8s and Wardeca.

  10. Exactly, EAM -- I have learned as much, if not more, by volunteering, not only about the long format, but about our sport in general. Hanging out with judges and officials over beer can reveal all kinds of things! ;-P