Saturday, September 24, 2011

Choices, choices

There's been a lot of fuss in the eventing world about 'made vs. bought'. Some riders make their rides, some people buy them. I, being less than ridiculously rich, have a horse that I've made. I bought her even though I only jumped her over one two foot vertical and it wasn't very pretty. I bought her because she was willing to try and her conformation suggested there was a decent little jumper hidden away.
Fiona doing the Novice division at Green Acres.

Since then she's proven me right. She's a very decent little jumper and has a lot of gusto for the job. Through blood, sweat, and a lot of tears, I've managed to make her into a horse that can do a novice stadium round and look quite proficient at it. I've nearly given up at some points, but we both managed to tough out the growing pains and we've reaped the benefits of that. Bragging rights are entirely mine because, up until now, no one has jumped Fiona except me. Not a soul, not even my trainer or the instructor from the winter or my friends or the teens around the barn. No one has taken the princess over fences. I may not win at the shows, but I rest on no one's laurels but my own. But that's going to change.

I signed Fiona up to go south with my trainer and be in full training for three months.

Why would I do something like that, considering how much pride I get from riding my own work? Mostly because Aiken agrees with her while the winter barn does not. She was so happy and relaxed in Aiken while turn out was chaos in New Hampshire. I want her out in the sun, not stuck in her stall because she can't behave in turn out. I also want my trainer to take a look at what I've done and fix where I've screwed up. I'm an amateur, I know I've made mistakes. If I want to move the princess up to training, I need to have my work checked. If my trainer starts showing her in Aiken and decides she's ready, she may very well move Fiona up for me so at least one of us has a clue at Training level.

I keep forgetting that I can count the number of times Fiona's gone cross country on my fingers, and I'm not all that much more experienced than she is. Our first novice is next weekend, and we'll both be moving up. I'd like it if she moved up to Training the first time with someone that's been there, done that. Rather than having me hanging off her ears and screaming 'oh my gods that's BIG' closely followed by 'I've changed my mind!'. She's very green still, and while that seems to work just fine for us at Beginner Novice and Novice, I feel that a bit more mileage would be a good idea before we leap into Training.

Listen to me, planning her move to Training when I didn't even think she would be able to do sanctioned in spring. I can't even imagine what I'll be planning a year from now.

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