The sport of eventing has always fascinated me since my best friend and I split our horsey ways and she started eventing around the local circuit while I pursued dressage and combined testing. She would post pictures of her and her steady eddy thoroughbred gelding jumping these incredible fences and posing with a smorgusboard of people when she won a ribbon. All through middle and high school I quietly collected my dressage tests and ribbons on my lease horse- an ex-foxhunter appy that was about as solid as they come- stowing away my eventing fever for a while.

When I moved out on my own to North Carolina and the best friend moved to Kentucky, she immediately invited me to come watch Rolex with her. It was history from there. This will be my sixth consecutive year of running around like a maniac in the trade fair, taking pictures sitting on the duck in the Head of the Lake, and rubbing elbows with some of the most prominent folks in the industry (Jimmy Wofford is a RIOT). This is also the year I decided that I would complete my first horse trials!

I’m lucky enough to be working with a mare that has the talent and attitude to take me through the lower levels. Chipper, more affectionately known around the blogosphere as #Maredrama, only started her jumping career last August and has most recently completed her first maiden level combined test. Green eventing rider plus green eventing horse… recipe for disaster or the perfect learning opportunity? I mean, I read Denny Emerson’s Facebook posts daily so I’m obviously an expert, right? *JUST KIDDING!*

I’ve schooled the mare through XC questions from green as grass up through a couple of beginner novice elements and she again astounded me with hardly blinking an eye. We needed a buddy through the water complex the first time then she was happily galloping through it on her own. Later in the same day, we completed a combined test so naturally, in my mind, I convinced myself we ‘technically’ completed a horse trials that day! We were tired but happy, uninjured, and had loads of things I made note of in my brain to work on in the coming months.

Have no fear my fellow horse junkies, I have already reached out to a local instructor and have scheduled some lessons in the coming months with our target goal being a schooling horse trials on June 4th. In light of recent events in Australia, we as equestrians were reminded just how dangerous our sport can be. I may be a confident SOB but I’m not reckless. The safety and welfare of my horse and secondly myself are always on my brain and I know seeking professional advice is the best way to set myself up for success.

Watch out eventing world, #Maredrama and I are making our debut this year!

Sarah and MareDrama XC schooling - photo Michelle Eng

(Photos used with permission from @MichelleEng, Write the Vision Photography)
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