I’ve had my horse Beau Tie aka “Beau” for just over four years. When I got him, no one thought a single thing of him. He was a scrawny Thoroughbred that had been sitting in the pasture for months. A year and a half went by and we got nowhere. We had done one show, but Beau was not in competition shape and he wasn’t as healthy as he should be. My trainer at the time told me that he was healthy and just needed muscle. So, we kept going.
Beau and I were preparing for a combined test when we had a bad jump lesson. We were struggling to see distances and make the turn. My trainer told me something that would stay with me forever and give me the motivation I didn’t know I needed. She told me to give up because I was going to embarrass myself at the show. I was heartbroken, and I knew something had to change.
We changed our trainer, vet, farrier, and boarding facility and Beau and I began to thrive. With our new training program, Beau and I dominated during our 2017 show season, winning 12 out of the 18 shows we competed at!
The fall 2017 show season came along and with it the USEA recognized events in my area started up again. For two years I have been dreaming of competing at the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), but due to limited income we could not afford the expenses of recognized events. So, I got a job at a local barn, I pet sat and babysat, and did little jobs here and there to save up enough money to compete at three events that fall.
With hard work and determination Beau and I qualified for AEC with two first place finishes! Our 2017 season gave Beau the recognition he deserved. He went from the little Thoroughbred no one batted an eye at to “the horse to beat”!
Sadly, Beau was off this past winter due to several unforeseen health issues. But we didn’t give up! We slowly brought him back in just enough time to compete at the last three USEA recognized horse trials in Area V. Even with a few kinks to work out and having subpar dressage tests, Beau still managed to place in the top six at each show, improving each time.
With each show this spring I became more and more confident that we will be a competitive pair at the AEC. We have one month until our big debut and we still have a lot to work on, but I have no doubt we will do our best! Twelve-year-old me picked a great horse with a heart of gold and I can’t wait to show everyone else that!
In this time of uncertainty, it can be difficult to know what steps to take next. Now that the spring season has been cut short, how do we adjust our goals for the fall season? And in the meantime, how do we manage the anxiety of not knowing what tomorrow will bring?
So far this year, three USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) competitions have taken place. From those three competitions, nine horses have earned qualifying scores for The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH Championships in October 2020. Out of the nine qualified horses, there are seven 5-year-old horses and two 4-year-old horses.
And just like that the spring season was gone . . . All the plans. All the excitement. All the goals. The calendar now has scratch marks on the days we were meant to travel and nothing more for the rest of the season can be filled in yet.
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