Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Steward Goes Eventing: Day 1

Day 1 = Success!!

We started out with an early morning hack around the property. You see, Sam's pony side was in full force this morning as I led him from his night paddock to his stall for breakfast. He was being a 'spicy meatball' (Halliea's term) and he needed a nice long walk to blow off some steam and remind himself that he's half warmblood. Elizabeth Caffarelli (a.k.a Caff) one of Halliea's rock star young riders, offered to be our guide.

Caff and Conrad giving us the guided tour

What a beautiful facility! And those are some enormous fences!! My stomach was flip flopping just looking at some of those tables. Wow!

Caff pointed out that you could tell which level each obstacle was based on the color of the jump number on the side. I kept an eye out for the pale blue Tadpole and yellow Beginner Novice jumps Sam and I would be attempting in a couple hours. They were plenty big enough for me!

We finished our hack in time to join in on the end of a gymnastics lesson.

Yay bounce!

After a couple passes through the exercise Sam and I headed to the barn to untack and cool off for a couple hours before our scheduled cross country school. I had a chance to grab some screenshots off the videos Camryn Chapman took, which prompted the following text from me to Halliea:

Time for Cross Country!!

I zipped up my Kanteq eventing vest, mounted my hony, and headed out to the course.

We only jumped a few fences. Instead Halliea spent most of our time explaining the mechanics of the approach to each obstacle based on the terrain. She knows I'm an analytical learner and am most comfortable when I understand exactly how to do something before I attempt it, rather than just winging it as I go. (i.e. I LOVE counting strides).

We jumped two Tadpole barns and one very exciting Beginner Novice ditch to coop combination, schooled up and down a small bank, and played in the water. I really think Sam loved every minute of it. He was bold and brave and took good care of his mama. I had a blast! Wanna see some pics? I hope so because here ya go:

Then it was back to camp for lunch and an equine body work demonstration by certified Equine Body Worker Kathryn Scheiss.

You can find out more about Kathryn's work on her website: www.tprbodywork.com

After the demo it was time for a shower and a nap before our evening dressage lesson. Oh, and we almost died as a huge storm blew through. My trailer was a-rockin' lol

Once the clouds parted we tacked up for our first venture into the dressage arena. Halliea's assistant Beth Clymer was very patient with me as she explained how dressage letters are arranged (omg ?!?!?), proper saluting technique, and how to fit a canter circle into that little square arena.

Three phases in one day. Whew! I'm exhausted! Bed time for me and the Sammy pony.


Amanda Garner is an Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), and Georgia Hunter Jumper Association (GHJA) steward, schooling show judge, head coach of the University of North Georgia IHSA Equestrian Team, and owner of Epiphany Farm, LLC in Dahlonega, Georgia. She is also a member of the IEA Board of Directors and the author of "A Parent's Guide to the Interscholastic Equestrian Association."