photo by
Tales of Taco the Wonder Horse and his ammy rider on their way to a Training Three Day

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ask Taco: What are competitions?

Q. Dear Taco,
I am 2 years and 7 months old.  Everyone says that I will go to something called a "competition" one day.  What is that?


Rugie: only 2 years and 7 months, but big! (With mentor Star in the background)

A. Dear Ruger,
Since I love you like a son, I want you to have a very good life.  Competitions are hard but I have found that all of the work is worth it.  The kind of competition that you will go to is called eventing, and you have to be very good at several things when you do eventing.  You will have three rides: dressage, cross country, and showjumping.

The humans do competitions for very complicated reasons, including competitiveness, having fun, being with their human friends, and getting their picture taken (I'm not sure why this has so much appeal but they seem to really like it).  We do it because they ask us to, and because many of us (myself included) enjoy it very much.

I must admit, however, that I do not love every single moment of competitions.  Take dressage, for example.  I am very good at dressage, and I enjoy pleasing Stacy when I do it well, and I love to look fancy while I do it.  But after a while I get a little bit less enthused, because it seems a little bit repetitive to me.  I know that you will be good at dressage because your dad is Routinier, and he has mad dressage skillz.

On the other hand, the other two phases are both jumping.  I really, really love to jump.  I bet you will, too, because I heard that your mom Goldie is a daughter of Galoubet, and he was a really great jumper.  On the cross country, you will be asked to jump a variety of things that look different, but they are really very similar to each other.  Mainly they are round, loglike things, or sloping, rampy things, or up a step, or down a step, or into water, or out of water, or over a hole in the ground, or on an uphill slope or a downhill one.  And then all of these things can be combined with each other.  But you just remember that they are all the same things that just look different.  And Amy will never ask you to jump over one that you cannot make it over, so trust her and jump them all, and go as fast as she asks you to go.

Showjumping is the other jumping part.  The trick with the show jumps is that they can fall down if you hit them as you are going over.  So pick your feet up when you jump!  Also, they might have different colors but they are all just painted poles.  You do not have to be afraid of them.  Size up the jump from bottom to top and then go as high as you need to to make it over.  As I said, jumping runs in your family, so don't worry about making it over any of them.  Just listen to Amy as she helps you get ready to jump them.

Doesn't all of that sound fun? Furthermore, I happen to like the hustle and bustle of the show grounds, and seeing all of the different horses around me.  Sometimes I even get to see old friends.  But the best part is actually at the end, when the humans are happy that you have done a good job.  You can get pretty much as many carrots as you want at that point. 

Finally, I know that she gets a little annoyed with you sometimes, but Star, your neighbor and pasture-mate, also knows a thing or two about competitions.  If you ask her nicely (remember, she is a distinguished elder), she might tell you some stories, like how fast she can read the options in a water complex, and just how fast she could go.



Lauren said...

This was so cute that I cried a little!

Chloe said...

Cute blog!! i am a mad keen eventer to! curremtly though i am breaking in wild horses

check out my blog