Ever wonder what the pros see when they're out walking cross-country? In the Ride Between the Flags series, riders walk us through their approach to tackling different cross-country questions. International event rider and trainer Barb Crabo talks us through fence 6AB, the Preliminary level water combination at the Coconino Horse Trials.
The Coconino Horse Trials run back-to-back weekends with their Summer I Horse Trials and Western Underground, Inc. Summer II Horse Trials & Three-Day Event in July each year. Both weekends offer Introductory through Intermediate level competition with the second weekend also offering Beginner Novice, Novice, and Training Three-Day divisions. Barb Crabo, Area X international event rider and trainer, took a moment to walk us through the first water combination on the Preliminary cross-country course, fence 6AB.
Riders gallop through the trees to the first water complex, which is circular with a small raised island in the middle. Riders gallop through the water and onto the island, where they jump over the A element of the combination – a log.
“There’s a lot to look at when they come in here so you’re going to half-halt as you come through the trees and then I would accelerate a little before coming to the water, realizing that it’s just a small span of water so their stride might not stay the same,” Crabo began. “Even if you see a distance, you can’t really anticipate when they’re going to jump the log. I’m just going to keep my shoulders way back, sit down, press into the water and then just keep pressing all the way up. Don’t actually jump with your horse until your horse is jumping the jump.”
“As you’re coming out of the water, there’s a change in terrain,” she continued. “They sometimes will see the line of the water as a ground line so they may adjust their stride so they’re almost jumping that little line. You need to press and keep that energy – if you take your leg away that uphill combined with the water and the log they’ll kind of fade away and then they’ll get there at a funny distance and then you have a bad jump or a stop.”
After tackling the log, riders go back down the slope of the island and into the water once more, looking to the right where the B element – a ramped log pile – sits six strides away to the right.
“Go straight until you get in the water and then look around your turn and it’s a pretty nice six strides,” Crabo explained. “You’ve got to get over the log and then look to get to your next fence. If you start looking for the B element before you get over the A element, you won’t have a good jump over the A element.”
“I haven’t experienced [the shadows] to be a problem,” Crabo continued. “They’re in and out of so many shadows that it’s not like you’re in a big open field and then suddenly in a dark shadow. The whole time you’re on course you’re already going in and out of shadows, so I think they’ve already started making that adjustment. You can ride to this and their eyes are going to adjust on this right when you get them looking at it and focused on it.”
“It’s nice and rampy, so even if the fact that this has so much of an up lip and then you’re going downhill that can change their gait a little bit – they might stumble or have to find their feet – so you just sit up and are patient to this with your leg on. It’s so rampy with a nice ground line that even if they have to add a step they can just pop over it. I would also be a little bit to the left because on the left you have the tree holding you and on the right you have nothing.”
In a bittersweet moment, USEA President Max Corcoran called to order her last USEA Board of Governors (BOG) meeting on Thursday, December 8th at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention. The BOG will meet one final time during this week’s gathering on Sunday, December 11 led by incoming USEA President Lou Leslie
Show jumping: there is so much more to it than just setting out a set number of jumps in a ring. Professional course designers Marc Donovan and Chris Barnard broke down the fine details that come with show jumping course design during the Show Jumping Building Seminar which kicked off the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention on Wednesday, December 7th in Savannah, Georgia. With an in-classroom session discussing rules, regulations, theory, and more, followed by a practical hands-on course building session held at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Ronald C. Waranch Equestrian Center where participants were able to put all of the morning’s education to work, this year’s Show Jumping Course Building Seminar was full of useful information for both eventing lovers and course design hopefuls alike.
During the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, there will be two meetings of the USEA Board of Governors (BOG), one on Thursday, December 8th from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and one on Sunday, December 11th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The USEA is run by a BOG of around twenty individuals. These individuals discuss and vote on important matters related to the organization and its members. BOG members come from all over our ten USEA areas and come from various backgrounds from grooms, to professional riders, to amateurs, to course designers, and much more. Each BOG member serves a three-year term.
USEA members from near and far are getting ready to converge on the historic city of Savannah, Georgia this week for the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention! With four full days jam-packed with educational seminars, committee meetings and social gatherings, the convention is sure to excite all members of the eventing community that will be in attendance. The USEA Annual Meeting & Convention will be hosted at the Hyatt Regency Savannah Hotel this year, and we have all of the information you need to know to make the most of your experience!