Every Horse Trials here at the farm is a lot to get ready for and most of the time very exciting and rewarding but this one gives me a very funny feeling.For weeks I have been calling my secretary ,asking,hoping and praying for some good news ,that people were entering. And there has been so little interest in this event.One swallows hard and goes on for another week or so,wondering whats going on and where are the entries?
I am very aware of the cost of eventing. I am aware of the economic crisis. I am also very aware of what is going on around my local area ,but it still baffles me about the lack of local interest in this competition.Where are the riders?
As we prepare the jumps,and the footing and the property,not a day goes by that I don't recognize the potential of the gallops here.Having buzzed around the Kentucky Horse Park last week and revelling in the ability to really gallop and jump good solid fences that are up to standard in size and breadth,it was a great outing for my horses and for me for the future.The horses jogged back to the stables with energy and great pride,ready to do it again.My last blog mentioned the "I" word(intermediate)
I was told today that people felt the courses here are too big and not flowing. I am out in the back field watching horses of all levels gallop and jump almost everyday and I was really surprised by that observation.I insist with all recognized course designers that have been hired to work here that the courses be 100% for the horses and their development.These courses have been analyzed and examinined by countless officials and I have yet to receive a report of that description.
I am jumping horses in their second season of jumping in their lives over these fences.True,I have experience.But I also teach beginners how to jump and go across the country on these courses. If people feel something about a course or a particular venue,they need to send their constructive criticism to the USEA or the organizer or someone,so we can learn from their views.Organizers want to know.We need to know.Wouldn't knowing and the chance of improvement be better for the sport than losing a venue entirely?
People definately ride in Horse Trials for different reasons.I was very surprised by these comments and saddened also as I was told I am tough and unapproachable.One has to be very tough in this game to stay in the game and I am in it for the long haul.How can I be so unaproachable ,when NO ONE has even tried to approach?Where is that coming from?
I have OFTEN heard my standards are too high. Yes they are high.I have been so honored and fortunate to have ridden and walked some of the best courses around.I have humbly waddled around behind some of the best riders in the world.I have polished brass and swept the trailers out for riders that we all idolize.And I am still out there trying to learn and make things better.Last week I set myself in front of a firing squad of assesors that were a lot tougher than me!But I passed and made it through with respect and honor and I am going to do it again for the next level next year.(if I survive this year)
Safety ,Balance ,Control, Confidence and Fun are my standards.They are the standards of this farm and this Horse Trials.This is a National level competition that is run like a well oiled machine,with an incredible group of people.The dressage rings,Cross country courses and show Jumping is definately up to the standard thatI wish to compete my horses at. If I thought a venue had too difficult a course for my horse at a particular time but I loved the ground and thought the run would benefit the horse,I would run a level lower.We even offer a TADPOLE course. There are 5 entries. How can that be considered too difficult?Where are Aikens eventing students? Where are the trainers,coaches and professionals with their own horses?
Blogging can be a two way street.It would be great if there was some response to this.Perhaps things can be made better.