My name is Molly Hunt and I am 13 years old from Area II. I have qualified for the American Eventing Championships at Beginner Novice with my 19-year-old mare, Lena. She is an American Paint Quarter horse. We have had a tough road to the AEC.
We used to compete in jumpers with my previous trainer, then we got into the world of eventing only in the last 18 months. We had two great events in Beginner Novice in the summer of 2018 and decided to compete at the River Glen Horse Trials at Novice in November of 2018. We had a rotational fall at jump number 13 on cross-country. Lena was okay without injury, but I broke my arm. It was very scary, but when I realized we would be okay I knew I would get back on in a couple of months.
After a couple of months I was able to ease back into riding. When I went to a short arm cast, I was able to ride short amounts of flatwork. On New Year's Day I got my cast off and it was great to fully get back on, although we had to work back slowly until we both got our strength back. For the first months, we did lots and lots of trot and cantor sets to build up her fitness again. We slowly started to jump by just doing short combinations with little jumps then eventually longer courses with higher jumps. Shortly after that, we started cross-country schooling again to prepare for FENCE Horse Trials in the spring. We just needed one clear cross-country course to qualify for the AEC.
Our first event back after our fall was April 2019. After dressage at the horse trials, we were in 4th place, then after a clear cross-country later that day we were tied for first. Show jumping the next day happened to be my birthday as well. It was a great birthday because we had a clear round which made us end up in first place! Lena gave me the best birthday present EVER, qualifying us for the AEC!
She has the biggest heart of any mare I know and is one smart girl! All of our hard work has paid off and we can’t wait to be in Kentucky!
The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) is the pinnacle of the sport for the national levels. Held annually, the best junior, adult amateur, and professional competitors gather to vie for national championship titles at every level from Beginner Novice to Advanced. This ultimate test of horse and rider draws hundreds of horses and riders from around the country to compete for fabulous prizes, a piece of the substantial prize money, and the chance to be named the National Champion at their respective levels. The 2019 USEA American Eventing Championships will be held August 27-September 1, 2019 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.
Start teaching your horse to jump by working over cavallettis first at the walk and then by trotting over them slowly. Then school him over a variety of small fences at the trot. Schooling over low fences will build the horse's confidence. Then do the same thing at a slow canter. Remember, never force your horse over high fences as he will lose his confidence.
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