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Our First Event

Earlier this month Tisca (my fantastic thoroughbred) and I entered our first ever One Day Event. Being the incredibly brave person I am (!) I entered the 18 inch class - neither Tisc' or I have done eventing (or even showjumping) before, so I figured that height couldn't result in many major disasters. We arrived three hours before my dressage test (which was at 10. 50something) to grab a yard in the shade and have time to plait etc. (I'd done all the shampooing etc the day before). Anyway, I was incredibly nervous and even managed to make myself sick - I had a sore throat all day. I had two friends who were my fantastic helpers all day, and without them I doubt I would have survived! Our dressage test was shocking - just a month before Tisca had been so calm at our first Walk-Trot test (we came second - yay Tisca!!!) and so I expected a similar display. It was not to be - he shied at the A marker as we entered at working trot (which was too close to the entrance anyway -you'd have to jump it to enter perfectly straight), snorted and shied at the judges car and brushed the white chains as we trotted down the long side. (which freaked him out even more). During our best movement - walk on an extended rein he saw something in the distance and stuck his head up to stare fixedly at it for half the diagonal. On the positive side Tisca was very different to his normal laid back self, and was full of impulsion. His canter was so bouncy I actually thought at first he was on the wrong leg! We must have done the test in record time. To my complete and utter amazement, we ended up with the incredible (compared what I expected, or even hoped for) (eventing) dressage score of 47 point something penalties. Which meant we got mostly sevens, a few sixes and even an eight! I know that sounds like I'm mad thinking that our test was shocking, or that I'm some sort of perfectionist, and I'm not! All I can put it down to is Tisca's lovely natural paces.

We had the showjumping next, with most jumps less then the maximum height. At the same time the 3 footers were galloping around their cross country course and I felt unbelievable small and insignificant. Tisca practically flew over the course (he practically sneered at it) and he didn't even blink at the dazzle boards and wall, similar jumps he would NOT jump at my lesson the previous day. However, although we did the first few jumps really fast I made him jump the rest a lot slower and more controlled and ended up with 1 time fault. We were equal first after the dressage, but now we were second. Nina and Sarah (my helpers) told me off for being too slow, but as it is Tisca's first proper jumping event, I didn't want him to think the idea was to go as fast as he could. Cross Country was an hour and a half or so later. Tisca loved the tiny little staircase - he bounded up it! He shied at the 3 foot hay bale jump as we cantered by (moron) and bucked after the wagon wheels - in the place he always does at pony club too. (the event was held at my Pony Club grounds) I think it has something to do with the jump heading towards our float (vaguely) and him thinking that that it is the way home or something. Unfortunately we had a stop at the water. He's never seen a water jump before. (normally 18 inchers don't get water jumps, so I didn't worry about showing it to him before the event. Also, the jump was dry the day before when we walked the course). But he jumped it second time no problems and so we ended up with one stop, time penalties (same theory as the showjumping - Nina and Sarah didn't agree) and SECOND place. I was so happy, I didn't expect to come anywhere near placing.

We're entering the 2 foot class next time, which is about a month and a half away. (It's a ODE series, and the placegetters get points depending on their place. If you go up a class, your points go up with you, but if you go down you lose them. The last (third) ODE is the final and the winners get gorgeous show rugs with Kelmscott ODE Series winner embroided on them. I don't expect to win [no way!! especially in two foot] but I thought I'd do the whole series anyway.)

Happy riding,
Leah and Tisca