Sunday, June 29, 2008

Watching The Big Dogs

So yesterday, the whole group of ladies went to Inavale to watch their annual Horse Trials (HT). We went to watch the Intermediate level, which is one step below Advanced (the highest level). For some perspective, here's some of the specifications for the fences on XC:

  • Optimum time should be 550 meters per minute (about 20 mph), so this is their average speed
  • Fixed fences are a maximum of 3'9", brush fences max 4'5"
  • The max depth (like an oxer) of the top of a fence is 5'3"
  • Drops (jumping down off of a ledge) can be max 5'11"
So keep in mind that there's another level higher than this...

It was pretty damn impressive. When we first saw the riders, they were coming out of the woods. On a pretty steep downhill, they jumped three logs/drops in a row (a fence in front of a drop), then made a hard right turn to another fence and into the neighboring field.
We could walk around to see the neighboring field, where they'd jump a few fences, come around, go up a hill, jump two fences on top of the hill, go down, through water, jump up a bank out of the water, over a fence, hard left turn (almost 90 degrees) to a fence that was in front of a drop to the water (so they jump up, and land further down in the water), then out of the water and over a narrow fence and away.

It gave me chills. I think I actually teared up at some points, it was so intense. After they did the water complex and a few other fences, they came galloping past about 10 or 20 feet from us. There is so much power in those horses.

All of the people I ride with were going "Wow, that's amazing...they're crazy."

I was going "Wow, that's amazing...I want to do that."

I know McKinna doesn't have it in her to go Intermediate or probably even Prelim (next level down). But I'll take her as far as we can both go.

And boy, do I have big plans for future horses.


mugwump said...

The first time I went to a show with the "Big Dogs" I was so freaked out I told the Big K, "I don't belong here."
I was horrified.
My mare did the best she could, everyone was kind, and by the next season we were in the money.
It's wonderful to work you're way up the ladder....

manymisadventures said...

An excellent point.
Not to mention, the eventing world is known for being very welcoming and friendly. It's a great feeling to be heading out to the course and meet people coming off who are grinning and telling you to have a great time.

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