If there is one thing that every event rider can relate to, it’s that combination of nerves and excitement and anticipation that comes in the form of pre-cross-country jitters. For some riders, that energy is best unleashed on the gallop out of the start box, while others need to find ways to unwind before they make their way out of the barn. We asked members of the USEA membership to chime in on their favorite pre-cross-country rituals that help them get ready to gallop across the country at each event.
Aiden S: “My mantra is ‘strong, capable, brave’ and I tell my horse over and over that I will not ask him to do anything that I don't think he can do.”
Caitlyn B: “I repeat to myself ‘inhale, exhale’ and always remind myself the most important thing is that both myself and my horse get home safe at the end of the day.”
Yeardly P: “I always say to myself, ‘you will have a clean safe ride.’ I also have a little pep talk to my horses and tell them the course and exactly what we are going to do at each jump.”
Taylor C: “I like to take a moment with my horse before getting on for any jumping phase, and trace Native American war paint symbols with my finger on my horse. Specifically: circle around the eye and nostril for enhanced senses, an arrow on the neck for victory, and zig-zag lines on the hind leg for speed. As I trace, I repeat what each symbol means to my horse. It’s a nice moment for us to take a breath and focus on our partnership before taking on a cross-country or jump course.”
Ashley E: “When I walk cross-country, I take pictures of each jump and primary landmarks between fences. Then I scroll through the photos and visualize how I'm going to ride each jump. This helps me develop and commit to a plan. I also have a "pump up" playlist full of upbeat songs to help me get in my groove.”
Ashley R: “During warm-up, I jump all but one. Then right before I head to the start box, I jump the one I didn’t so I can get a feel of how she will be with a ‘new’ jump.”
Laughter: the Best Medicine
Abby F: “I listen to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan on repeat an unhealthy amount of times.”
Callia E: “‘Blast “Girls in the Hood,’ dry scoop pre-workout, and pull our tarot cards.”
Caroline B: “I always eat a bag of Welch’s fruit snacks while walking my course. Did it at my first show and have done it every time since!”
In the final USEA Classic Series event of 2022, three horse and rider pairs rode their way to the top of the podium in the Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice 3-Day divisions offered during the Ram Tap Horse Park Horse Trials which took place November 18-20 in Fresno, California.
US Equestrian opened a bid process for one event to host the Advanced level in Area 3 on Week 10 for 2023-2027 due to an event cancellation. The bid process was conducted in accordance with the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, & Advanced Policies and Procedures. The USEF Eventing Strategic Calendar Review Task Force made recommendations to the USEF Eventing Sport Committee who made recommendations for final approval by the USEF Board of Directors.
Concluding the 2022 Area Championships season was the Area X Championships held during the SAzEA H.T. which took place November 19-20 in Tucson, Arizona. Three Championship divisions were offered, allowing three horse and rider pairs the opportunity to conclude their 2022 eventing season by being crowned champion!
“The highest priority must be given by instructors to developing in their riders a correct, balanced, supple, effective, and independent seat for dressage and for jumping.” - “Teaching Principles” in the new ECP Eventing Handbook by the Levels