Friday, September 1, 2017

#creepstar3000

Alternate title: Gosh I really love cheering friends on at shows!!!

Loch Moy is one of my favorite show venues - they host everything from recognized and starter events, to rated h/j and dressage shows. It's a gorgeous venue and one of my favorites for competing and spectating.

Grif and Kenai's expressions make this photo for me lol
During the summer they also host a weeknight twilight eventing series. These are fantastic schooling events that are less formal than their actual starter trials. The format is basically: Go on in for your dressage test (no stewards or anything, fewer rings than for the bigger events), then ride right on over to stadium to warm up. Ride stadium, then head out to cross country.

The cross country phase of this series is what really makes it special: it's basically glorified schooling with a distinct "choose your own adventure" flavor. Fences from all levels are all set up in a line with the flags set at either end. And no real combinations. Riders can jump whatever height they want from each line of fences. And like... it's nbd if you have an issue or need to skip something or want to do a little extra schooling. They do score the final placings but there aren't ribbons or anything. Suuuuper casual.

picture of a picture from a video screen #meta. also, yea that's me in the background. chasing grif across his first ever xc course. with beer in hand. obviously. #helicopterfriend #cantcutthecord #anythingforthemedia #shesrightbehindmeisntshe
Naturally, this makes it a very attractive setting for riders looking to move up but first get some experience at higher levels. And for riders just entering the sport of eventing. Thus, enter: Liz and Griffin!! Liz has been working her butt off since last year to begin introducing Grif to the idea of all three eventing phases with the ultimate intention of making their debut this year.

Obviously the full story is hers to tell - but I couldn't have been happier and more proud to watch the two of them navigate their way through all three phases for the first time! :D

over the last and through the finish!!!!!!!!
Between Austen, former barnmate Rachael (who had just run novice with her mare Birdie!!), and myself - we had basically all media angles covered haha. This got an immediate boost when the venue proprietor saw me at the start gate cheering Liz on and was basically like "No time to explain, get in the gator!!!!"

Obviously you don't say no to a command like that, so I hopped in and we took off like a bat out of hell, chasing Liz and Grif across their full cross country round while I desperately tried holding the camera steady for video lol. Somehow I still managed to fuck it up (twas a bumpy ride, yo!) and only actually captured the last half of her course - but it's great footage that I'm sure Liz will share soon!

nothing beats that post xc feeling :D
Mostly tho it was just so so so cool to watch them go. Again, all details are for Liz to share - but they basically made it look easy. And Griffin looked like he was having the time of his life through each phase! Ahhhh so excited for them!!

gorgeous day for a show
Getting into eventing has been such a big deal for me personally - so fulfilling and rewarding and it's completely changed how I see myself as a horsewoman and rider. That might sound over the top or exaggerated or hyperbolic or whatever, but to me it's my reality.

truck, trailer, pony and pup -- the stuff of dreams ??
Beginning to event with Isabel was the catalyst for going out on a limb buying a truck and trailer. For seeking out (and traveling to) new lesson programs with professionals who have been difference-makers for me. Who understand my goals, attitude and work ethic and have shown me how to channel all that into creating a horse experience and lifestyle that means the world to me.

Eventing was the motivation for investing in my horse hobby as an adult in ways I hadn't even known were possible as a horse crazy teen and college student. Even with a full time job (at a nonprofit), limited extra spending cash and no horse of my own, the opportunities we have in this sport in this area have allowed me to go as far as I want for what I'm willing to put in.

fun new faces!!!! sweet 'n salty thing on the left, and horse in desperate need of endless nose scritches on the right
And of course, when push came to shove and I was faced with the decision to continue my partnership with Isabel, tho it probably meant leaving jumping behind, or gamble on an uncertain future in order to continue eventing.... Well. You all already know how that worked out.

Because of how much this sport has meant to me since starting out in 2014, because of what it's done for my growth as a rider, development as a horse person, and the blossoming of new and very important friendships among my riding peers, because of all this I ended up horse shopping for a prospective event horse. Charlie <3

"plz more scritches!"
I know that's all very sappy. All sentimental and mushy and what not. But at the end of the day, aren't we all in horses because there's something deep in our hearts that needs them? Needs this? We all define it a little differently, but it's that same most fundamental of feelings. We love these horses and the experiences and joy they bring us.

So personally - knowing my own journey to get to my current situation, it brings me intense happiness to see others make the dive into this new sport. To give it a real go - and then be rewarded by discovering just how fun it is, and how much fun the horses have too!

and so the cycle continues!
Grif looked like a million bucks out there and got better with every fence - hunting and galloping and carrying Liz forward to wherever she might point him. What a feeling! I can't wait to watch how these two continue developing in the sport! Hopefully we'll get that chance soon as they go to their next outing at one of Loch Moy's upcoming full starter trials!

And of course, it's only whet my own appetite to get started on our own Fall Season asap - c'mon Charlie, those cross country courses are beckoning!!!!

Happy Friday, y'all! Be sure to stay tuned for Liz's recap of her debut eventing experience, and hope you all have a wonderful weekend full of fun horsey things!

35 comments:

  1. Yay for new victims- I mean participants! I can't wait to read about it.

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    1. Bahaha yesss lol come, children, we have candy!!

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  2. very cool and what a neat event. I need to be closer to you guys you have Way too much fun!! And yay Liz and Grif! Great job. (LOL at you in the gator trying not to fall out, film, and drink your beer #priorities! HA! I too agree the eventing bug bites deep!! SO MUCH fun (if i could stop wanting to vomit)! HA!!

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    1. Lol that gator ride was near vomit inducing too! (Or was it the beer?!?!? Haha!)

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  3. LOVE!! My heart is just exploding with joy for Liz! And never change, CreepStar. <3

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  4. grifs face in that group picture is amazing.

    and i seriously laughed out loud at the picture of you in the gator following her. and the hashtags.

    as to your last couple paragraphs: <3

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    1. ha i'm pretty sure there might be a future gif of that gator-chasing-grif scene at some point lol..... but yea, it was a good day and a good reminder of what this is all really about <3

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  5. Ugh the crab chips teaser toooo. DYING.

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  6. Bahahaha, gator creeper!
    Despite my own personal struggles, I am really looking forward to the fall season. What a great post <3 This is what it is all about.

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    1. definitely what it's all about!! it can be so hard sometimes to keep pushing, to keep trying. but... that feeling when everything finally comes together? nothing beats it!

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  7. " But at the end of the day, aren't we all in horses because there's something deep in our hearts that needs them"

    YESSS

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  8. ummmm 100% would jump on a gator to stalk a friend going xc. Cheering each other on is one of my favorite things about the horsey community!

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    1. haha right??? i felt like such a fangirl chasing around a 4* rider or something like that - like how you always see grooms and working students whizzing around in the background while their trainers gallop across the fields??? was SUPER fun tho!

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  9. Love this! That'd be me: wanting someone to stalk me so I could get media and me stalking others so I can give them media lol. I must admit I am very jealous of those twilight runs at Loch Moy. It sounds absolutely perfect!

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    1. ha errybody stalkin errybody around here!

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  10. That is so cool that you guys were able to meet up! I would love to live closer to some of my favorite blog people to get to go cheer them on.

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    1. lol yup i was absolutely determined to make it to her debut!!! being around so many great venues has that unexpected benefit of being able to meet up with folks when they come to show!

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  11. Best creeper ever. <3 thanks so much for being there. Couldn't have done the thing without you!

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    1. i'm so so so happy for you - i LOVED watching you and Grif go!!! can't wait for next time!!! :D

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  12. What a great sounding event. I love the idea of choosing your own way around the course. I was so happy to see her teaser post go up.

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    1. yea the cross country is really really inviting - it's a well defined path - everyone follows the same course. but you can just do whatever height looks best. so if you're feeling brave, you jump bigger, or if you had trouble you can jump smaller. it's very nice!

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  13. It is a pretty amazing sport and community. So glad you're a part of it!

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    1. aw thanks! i really love eventing!

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  14. Now I've jumped over to her blog to catch all the details (love the orange on him) but yay on you for being such a supportive friend :)

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