Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bump In The Road

Wow, has it been a while. And I apologize for that. Thank you so much Striker823 from youtube to remind me to do this thing. It makes me feel good that people (or a person) are actually reading this little shindig! Soo much to say! I don't even know where to begin.

March-
March was incredibly snowy, so my season got somewhat of a late start. I had probably 7 lessons in March, whereas I usually had 3 lessons a week. It was difficult trying to start up our season on kind of a late start. Darn you, snow. On the other hand, my birthday was in March! :) I've been begging for a dressage saddle for the past two years, because I've been doing dressage & jumping in a hand-me-down jumping saddle that I got when I was 8 years old that doesn't fit me or my horse. So I asked for a dressage saddle! My mom told me no, but when she picked me up from school, she took me to our local tack store and had me fitted for a dressage saddle! I got a Collegiate Convertible and I also got a Kieffer dressage bridle. Let's just say I was stoked!

April-
April was a fabulous month! All of my lessons were kicked into full swing. We went to our first open cross country schooling that month, and I jumped loads of training stuff, and I think one or two prelims but I am having a hard time remembering. But you can find that video on youtube; my channel is malpal17. I was so happy with that day and I felt the most connected with Millennium than I ever have. Also... April was Rolex Kentucky!! My mom and trainer have a tradition of going to Rolex to watch. It's perfect timing because it's always two weeks before our first event of the season so it kind of gives us inspiration. Also, I got some new (LOTS) items while I was there. I got a Nunn-Finer 5 Way Breastplate, FITS breeches, Wellington Pro helmet, SMB Pro Choice XC boots, Marielle Monoflap jumping saddle, Bobby's English Tack jumping bridle, etc. It was a good year at Rolex. Not to mention, all of the new stuff I got made me feel more confident for my season. That may sound silly but think about it. When you get a new pair of jeans, when you put them on, doesn't it just make you feel more confident? Well now that I'm competing this season in brand new equipment, I guess I have more confidence than if I was competing in my 8 year old hand-me-down-too-small saddle.

May-
So we had our first event of the season in May. It didn't go as well as I'd hoped. To start of, we had non-stop rain the entire weekend. The rain stressed me out. During an event, I'm already stressed and want everything to go perfectly, so the rain was not in my plan. I had a TERRIBLE dressage test, a 48.5. That score put me in dead last and I was extremely pissed off at myself. Thank God for our jumping abilities, because I still managed to end on a high note. I went double clear on cross country, and double clear in show jumping. It bumped me up about 5 placings and I got a 5th place ribbon leaving that event. Which means one positive thing: I got my first qualification for AEC's. YAY! But I don't like how I got it, I mean I don't want to go to AEC and screw everything up. I win at the jumping. Never have I ever knocked a rail, had a refusal, or time penalties. So if Millennium and I can win in the dressage, we'd literally be unstoppable. There are a ton of people that come up to me and compliment me on my horses boldness and jumping ability, and how good we look when we jump. Also, during that month, I got pulled out of school early to go cross country schooling. Once again, we had a freaking flawless cross country schooling, as usual. We jumped mostly prelim stuff, with some training and novice sprinkled in there. I think it's embarrassing that I school prelim cross country regularly and then compete beginner novice. It's not right.

June-
This month I've only had one horse show so far, as I've scratched from the Queeny Park Event. I went to my USPC Midwest Region Mega Rally last week, where we did three dressage tests and 3 courses (equitation, choose your own line, and speed/jump off.) Well, once again I had perfect dressage warmups and then screwed up my tests. My jumping, on the other hand, came quite a surprise to me. The first day (equitation), I was putting in a flawless jumping round, when I freaking went off course and jumped the wrong jump!!! UGH! So I got eliminated that day. The second day (choose your own line), I put in a perfect jumping round. The third day (speed/jump off), I was putting in the best ride I think I've ever ridden in a long ass time, and right after jump six, I thought I was done. And then I had a lightbulb moment and realized that I had to jump 7a, 7b, and 8! So I raced around the arena trying to get to the jumps. So yeah, I went off course again. But since I didn't jump the wrong jump, I only got 4 faults for crossing my own line. It pissed me off completely. I had NEVER gone off in course in my life, not on cross country and not on show jumping. And I did it twice in one weekend. But it's whatever... we still jumped great!

Things will begin changing soon... Millennium is going to get sent to dressage boot camp with an advanced level eventer, because nobody can figure him out currently.

I will try and post some videos on youtube soon.
Take care for now! :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I know in time we'll find this was no surprise...

Hello, all! I'm still not sure if anyone is reading this but I will still keep it updated for my own sake. I want to be able to remember the entire journey through this and also, I never keep my mind set long enough to be able to do these. Hopefully I won't lose the desire to keep this updated by March. If I seem lackadaisical on post updating, feel free to email me at mal.stvr17@gmail.com. Also, hit up my youtube (malpal17.)
Today was a big day for me, combined with yesterday. I got a small pomeranian puppy that weighs less than a pound who we named Cookie. She is currently playing with my other small dog, Sassy, on my bedroom floor. I'll have to figure out how to put pictures on here. You could also check out my mom's website dedicated to our dogs, PawsForSharing.com.
Earlier this morning, I went to my first pony club meeting of the year. This will be my 4th year in pony club, but I am in a new one this year due to drama that arose at the end of last year. We met at an indoor arena to ride, but because of the icy roads (and not to mention, my driveway looks like a ski slope) there would just be no possible way we could've trailered my horse over. So I just watched everyone and got to know them. I can already tell that this is going to be a fantastic year. It's a pretty small pony club; only about ten girls are in it. But we're all teenagers, ranging from 14-19 so it's going to be a blast! They all ride gorgeous horses and I can't wait to be able to bring my horse out there!
And the third and final excitement of the day... the SAiNTS WON! Who dat! Who dat! :D Sorry all you Colts fans... apparently Manning CAN and WAS defeated. :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Introduction

Prologue

If you're an eventer, whether professional or not, I can almost promise that you know about the American Eventing Championships. I'm sure every eventer has sometime or another. It's a big accomplishment to be able to compete there, nonetheless win. I have been eventing since January of 2008, so exactly two years. Due to some issues that have arisen the past year and a half, I've only competed at one horse trial... and that was in November of 2008. I competed my jumper-turned-eventer in beginner novice and placed first out of a starting field of fifteen. I was ecstatic. In early of 2009, my best friend (who also events) told me how that year, she wanted to qualify for AEC. Over the next few months, I looked up everything there was to know about the prestigious event and became obsessed. I was determined to go that year and compete side by side with my best friend in beginner novice, but then the issues with my trainer and my parents started and nothing was going my way. So I stayed out this past season, but on top of that, my friend got reserve champion out of 60 riders. After that, I had to put up with the (well-deserved, yet slightly obnoxious) bragging rights. So this year is my year to go. Compete. And win.
Now that I've got all my shit together, I feel that this coming season will be fantastic. It's definitely going to be a long & extremely difficult journey and I've got to start now. My first event of the season looks as if it will be in May, and I have to place first through fifth and at least two events to qualify. Sounds easy, right? Yeah... that shouldn't be too big of a problem, I hope. I've got lots of events lined up for this season and I feel getting qualified will be no problem if all goes as planned. The only issue would be my dressage work and all the practice it will take to place well at AEC, and hopefully win!

The Decision

The decision to qualify and compete at AEC this year was quite simple. Come late December-early January, my mom and I were discussing plans of attack to dominate this show season. At first, I suggested we go to lots of the bigger events. But as I slept on it, all that was on my mind was AEC... AEC... AEC. I mean, it's practically calling me to come compete. And being the polite person I am, it would be rude of me not to answer. So the focus of this season all aims for The 2010 Bit of Britain USEA American Eventing Championships @ Chattahoochee Hills in Georgia. And believe me, man am I pumped.

What To Expect With This Blog

Basically, anything that has to do with AEC/riding in general, will come straight from my mind and emotions to this blog. I will not leave a single detail out. Expect the leisure days where I go to give my horse a carrot, intense dressage lessons, horse trials, and some other random stuff I feel like posting. I want to make this fun & interactive and I want to remember my journey of how I got to be the 2010 Champion. ;)

What is AEC?

The USEA American Eventing Championships are the national championships for the sport of eventing.

Amateurs, juniors, and professional riders alike can compete at any level from Beginner Novice through Advanced to test their mettle against the best in the country, and vie for exciting prizes, cash, and the chance to be named the best in the nation at their respective levels.

The AEC has been known to draw more than 500 entries and approximately 20,000 spectators from 42 different states. We are returning this year with more media coverage, activities, parties, and good clean competition come rain or shine! Become a part of the USEA American Eventing Championships and become a part of one of the United States’ biggest and most unique eventing festival!

And....

Guys, I'm so stoked for AEC... you don't even know. I really hope this is the best year ever but I am almost certain it will be. You can also follow my Road To AEC videos on youtube. I would like to make this as interactive as possible, so give me your feedback and if you've competed at AEC, how was it? I want to know everything there is to know! Email me at mal.stvr17@gmail.com. :)

So let the countdown begin!
219 days left. Let's do this!