Did your kiddo catch the eventing bug? While it can feel a bit overwhelming at first, we know you will find the sport and community of eventing to be a fun and welcoming one. Getting through the learning curve can feel a bit cumbersome, but top eventing parents from around the country chimed in to share some of their best words of wisdom to make your transition into your new role as a horse show mom/dad extraordinaire as smooth as possible.
Nancy B: “Teach them how to time manage school with riding. Teach them how to organize and plan ahead. My daughter had a planner and each week wrote in all her responsibilities for the week. She created a show list and taped it inside her show trunk and would use it to be sure everything she needed was packed. Let them pack their own show trunks. Let them make mistakes and learn from them. Volunteer so you can learn more about the sport. It will be helpful for the good days and the bad. Good luck to all, and remember to enjoy the moments!”
Stacey C: “Let the coach, coach! Then read that again. It isn't the journey up the levels, it is the safety of horse and rider. Never tell your kid what they can do better, just hug and be supportive. Remind them it is always, always, always about the horse first no matter how tired your kid is. The horse comes first, it is a trusting relationship between the two.”
Kathy S: “Buy a battery-powered scooter so you can race back to the barn every time she forgets something right before going into the ring! This was a lifesaver when mine was young and very forgetful!”
Danielle V: “Have a tribe of more experienced horse show moms and dads and learn everything you can from them. Pay attention to how they prep for shows, what they bring, and how they organize.”
Kellie A: “I am new to this and still learning. Be patient and supportive. I refer to myself as the barn/show mom. I try to sweep for everyone and pack lunches for long show days. The coaches and riders have enough to worry about.”
PJ W: “Don’t just drop your child at the barn and go on your way! Watch the lessons, watch the on-site and off-site training especially when not under the guidance of their trainer, and give them support at shows. You will watch their independence grow and learn when to back off.”
Paula C: “It’s not all about the placing. Don’t let them get caught in that! They need to understand early on that it’s a very humbling & hard sport, and they need to go out there and do their best on that day. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!”
Sue M: “Keep two of everything (that’s reasonable), you never know when something will break or a fellow competitor needs help. Keep a double-sided checklist, one side for you to check off needed items, then have your child do the same.”
Lisa E: “Have them talk through their schedule with you so they know they are prepared. You also have to let them fail sometimes in order for them to not make that mistake again-whether it be not walking the course enough times or not getting ready and into warm-up on time.”
And lastly this sage piece of advice from Debi R: “Perfect your margarita recipe and bring enough for all of your friends.”
There aren’t many riders who can say they competed at five of the world’s seven five-star events in 2023, but the 2023 World Equestrian Brands USEA Rider of the Year Boyd Martin can. With nine starts across the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials (Germany), Defender Burghley Horse Trials (England), MARS Maryland 5 Star, and Pau (France), Martin earned five top-5 finishes.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation has announced the combinations selected to compete in the 2024 USEF Futures Team Challenge at the Carolina International CCI and Horse Trials, from March 14-17 in Raeford, North Carolina. The Challenge is designed to replicate the experience of competing within a team environment and thus is a training opportunity embedded within an existing competition at the CCI3* and CCI4* levels.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
The Colorado Horse Park (CHP) in Parker, Colorado, has deep roots in the sport of eventing. Originally known as High Prairie Farms, owner Helen Krieble purchased the property in the early 1990s with one dream: hosting horse trials. That dream took off and for many years High Prairie Farm was host to many eventing competitions. Krieble later donated the ground to Douglas County with the agreement that the land would be used for equestrian sport and the CHP was born.