Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A new Journey

I am about to finally embark on a more focused journey to learn more about cross country course design.It is very hard to do everything.This year I set my sights on the USEA'S ICP program. Now I can take a huge deep breath and put that behind me.

Practically all the officials that have come to this farm for the events and most of the pro's that have come for clinics here have encouraged me to pursue getting a license in cross country design.I have put it off for a million reasons but now I am going to begin the journey. I look forward to mentoring with as many designers as I can to improve my knowledge and further my perspectives on this aspect of our sport.

I bought Paradise Farm years ago as the back field is a most amazing place. The footing is perfect for galloping horses and there is just the right amount of terrrain.Though we lack trees and forrest,the jumping possibilities out there are only limited to my lack of funds!

Over the years I have had a lot of knowledgable people out there ,that are always impressed with the quality of the grass,the construction and presentation of the jumps and the concepts behind them. I have receieved many compliments and a lot of encouragement to carry on.It is fun.

Yesterday I spent the day with Tremain Cooper who has thankfully agreed to come back on board as course designer here and also spend some time teaching me about his craft. Tremain was kind enough to buzz me around Poplar Places courses last weekend.I took notes in between bumps and lumps flying around in the gator!I was a very lucky girl to get this private tour and wanted to take it all in.He was full of explanations as to the why's and theories behind the questions proposed to the riders at the different levels.We'd quickly hop in and out and he'd describe how to make things look a certain way yet still measure ect.We spoke about so many things there just wasn't enough time to even scratch the surface. This is going to be a long project!

At Paradise, Tremain spent a full day out bonding with the field, redesigning new courses for the future.I spent the afternoon walking the tracks ,just spinning with his ideas and information.Again I am very lucky to have had this time as Tremain has traveled around extensively and seen a lot of cross country courses worldwide.I am excited about working with him once again. Can you tell?

Paradise farm lends itself to the education of horses and riders. That's what its all about.The courses are up to a national standard. One has to ride to the level and be prepared. All the jumps and questions asked are there to bring horses on not discourage them.It is an amazing place to school as most jumps can be seen from one location. Horses can jump lots of fences at a time without pulling up.

We take a lot of care of the grass here. I understand that people are not aware that schooling is avaialable here..That is certainly not true but we do limit the use of the courses prior to the events so the tracks can be in their best shape for the competitions.I do hope people will come school this course as they used to as the funds brought in from schooling all go towards new jumps and the upkeep of the course.There are tadpole jumps at 2 feet up through preliminary level.I encourage people to come with their own coaches to use this facility or they can ride with me,or within their own groups. We do discourage people jumping by themselves however for saftey reasons.

Tremain was really positive about what he saw. That meant the world to me.I look forward to learning more about the inner workings of a course designer.I hope to travel a bit and have some time to devote to this end. Stay tuned. Of course I am not giving up the riding end yet though!I think furthuring my knowledge in the course designer end will only help my riding.Hopefully!

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