This page is designed for equine enthusiasts to come together and read about and share experiences they have had. The love of horses is one that is shared by many people so feel free to comment or just read about other peoples experiences and their favorite equine friend.

About Me

My photo
I have been riding horses for 10 years and I am an active member of the United States Pony Club. I own 3 horses and I am an HB in the Pony Club rating system. I enjoy eventing, dressage, and instructing younger club members but love to do anything dealing with horses. Currently, I am studying animal sciences and hope to use this to increase my knowledge of horses.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Favorite Memory

Since I have been riding for so long, there are many events that I vividly remember. One of my favorite memories though is when I qualified to go to the US Pony Club Nationals which is held every year. You qualify at a regional show and then during July can go to Nationals and represent your region in the discipline that you qualified for. I have been to Nationals twice, but I only rode one time. In 2006 I qualified in Training level dressage on my pony Luke. Then in 2007 I went on our regional team but only as the barn manager. I am going to talk about my 2006 experience though. My friend, Sarah and I decided that we were going to get a team together and we were going to try to qualify as a team. In our region that would not be an issue because not many people wanted to go to Nationals in Dressage. We had to commit by February which gave us four months of intense training before our regional rally. We all had our horses in top shape going into our regional rally. One of the things that is required to qualify is that you have a freestyle prepared and you have to perform that at the regional rally as well as at Nationals if you qualify. A freestyle is a ride choreographed to music. Sarah and I decided to do this together and decided to use songs from Grease the musical. After many months of long practices and a few collisions, we thought we had our freestyle ready. Everything went as well as can be expected at the rally and our whole team qualified plus one additional person who competed on a different team at Nationals. Now we had one more month before we had to drive out to Lexington, Virginia to compete. This month went by very fast since we were all excited about going. I remember the day before we left trying to pack all of the necessities for 3 people and 2 horses for a week into a truck and trailer. The hardest part about that was trying to squeeze eight bales of hay into a short bed. After squeezing everything in though we were packed and ready to go. We had to leave by 5 AM at the latest if we were going to get there and get the horses settled before they closed the barns. Needless to say, the 13 hour drive gave plenty of opportunities for napping.
We arrived and got the horses settled and equipment unpacked and we were ready for a week of showing. It was the same routine everyday, arrive at the barns by 6 AM, ride once or twice a day, and leave at 6 PM. The week went very well and the team had some very respectable scores. The last day was when Sarah and I were scheduled to do our freestyle. Unfortunately, our music didn't start at the right time so we were forced to make it up as we went along and my pony decided to buck as we were cantering toward each other. Other than that slight mishap though the week went well and we all had fun. We finished 6th out of 14 teams which we thought was pretty good for the region's first time competing in Dressage. I had a really good time and I am hoping to go again next time it is hosted in Kentucky.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed reading your blog. I thought your story was very interesting. I was in 4-H, and even though I showed cattle, I can relate to your story a little. I liked showing cows, but I always really enjoyed watching the horse shows. Your story reminded me of my county fair because the Horse and Pony Club would put on show the last day. They would dress the horses up and they had a whole routine planned out. I always liked to watch it. Your routine sounded like it would be really fun to watch. It's great that you did so well at such a large competition!