Catching Up & IEA HT 2021: The Beginning

Yesterday evening I realized I’ve done something horsey (and time consuming) every single weekend for going on seven weeks in a row. Oh. No wonder I’m exhausted, my life is in semi-shambles and I’m living out of laundry baskets (clean… I… think?). How do people do this all the time?!

How I feel rn

Needless to say, there’s a lot to catch up on here. The highlights are on Instagram, but I love having the longer form posts to look back on, so there may be some retroactive out of date things coming up. Since we left off, I’ve taken some lessons, schooled XC, rode CobJockey’s Connor, acquired a bike (thanks Jen!), went to Archie’s first sanctioned HT and ended up in a last minute Tim Bourke clinic. I… think that’s everything? Honestly, who knows.

Our lessons and schooling leading up to IEA HT were great. Super progress, Archie was basically loping around like, “I got this mom!” I conquered the stupid starter slatted table at home that I’ve had a mental block over for like, 8 months. We dressaged. Off to the Horse Park we went on Thursday morning (in the rain), despite my not showing until late Saturday.

Cannot be bothered with this log anymore I guess?

It was so much fun to have so many of the barn there – between all of us, we had something like 17 horses across the regular HT divisions and the Classic 3 Days. Archie got settled, we watched everyone jog for the three day and I went off to Jen’s to spend the night, with a pit stop to ride Connor!

Also adorable and v good at posing

He is so much fun and Jen has done a great job with him. She asked if I wanted to get on and I wasn’t about to turn down a ride. Bareback and new pony makes me sound a lot braver than I am, but the truth is Connor is so well behaved and trained (and the damn Brockamp pad is so comfortable) it wasn’t nerve inducing one bit. I didn’t want to do too much on him, seeing as it was already getting later and I was his third rider of the evening, but once I was told to shorten my reins like 4′ we were off. Some trot, a little canter, played with a tiny bit of his lateral work – man, I felt spoiled riding such a confirmed dressage pony! Also, very jealous when hacking my very not-confirmed pony 24 hours later.

Mexican food and margaritas followed (aka my love language all in one, ponies and mexican food) although we rode bikes to dinner which was slightly questionable at a few moments seeing as I hadn’t been on a bike in… twelve? years. Only ran into one wall though, so there’s a win, and apparently ride/steer better post-margarita, which is an interesting data point to think about for my dressage…

The three of us spent basically the entire evening discussing ponies and tech stuff (so, like, my only two interests in life?) before I finally sent myself to bed knowing I had an early alarm clock. I’m so grateful for their generosity (did I mention they also gave me said bike after I mentioned I’ve been trying to buy one for a year?) and it was basically a perfect way to kick off a horse show weekend.

Settled in and looking adorable

Since I had the World’s Worst Ride Times (Dressage Saturday at 3:53pm, SJ Saturday at 6:18pm and XC Sunday at 4:10pm…) and a barnmate was the volunteer coordinator, I ended up helping out with Steeplechase practice Friday for the 3 Day competitors. It ran like a mini-clinic with Dorothy Crowell and I learned so much. It was a ton of fun too and I got to hear lots of fun stories from Dorothy and I mean, talk about being starstruck. I finally snuck out around 3pm to go ride my own horse (who at this point was thinking horse trials were GREAT, hang out and eat all day?!)

Greatest compliment of my life

Archie was a little distracted and slightly up (completely understandable) so we hacked over to the indoor to school and put all our marbles back in. Within just a few minutes, he realized what this game was and was such a grown up I could not have been prouder. I figured we’d go hack for a bit to cool off, semi-forgetting this was Cicada Country. Back on the roads & tracks there were places they were so loud it felt like a jet was overhead. One of the wildest things I’ve ever experienced. By day two, we were used to just throwing them off of us and (mostly) no longer did the cicada dance every time one landed on us. (Fun fact: they make a fun scream when you grab their wings…)

Spotted on our way to coursewalk

We finished the evening doing some course walks and having dinner with barn mates. We got super lucky and all of our campers/trailers ended up being grouped so we spent a considerable amount of time eating, drinking and generally being merry.

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5 Comments

  1. So fun!!! I love that you got to see Jen and Connor (and ride him!!) while also having fun at the horse show. What a great start to the show! Can’t wait to read about the rest!

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