Jul 29, 2019

The Road to AEC: Sight Unseen

John Borys Photography Photo.

It all started with a cute face. That one with the golden-tan mule colored nose and that adorable little white star. I couldn't stop going back to the Celtic Manor Farm Website and checking it every three hours to make sure he wasn't sold! Sure, he was only 2 years old and I was seven months pregnant, but he was so cute! Why not, you only live once and I need a horse! So I called up his breeder.

Within 15 minutes of talking to her, I was sold. Perhaps it was her beautiful Irish accent or her convincing knowledge of breeding that got me, I don't know, but I kept thinking about that face and I was a lost cause. Sight unseen, I sent over the money (since he was young and not trained luckily he was still in my low budget plan) and off shipped this unbroken, untrained 2-year-old baby from Pennsylvania. My friends thought I had completely lost my mind. Who buys a horse never trying them, let alone not getting to meet them in person? What if he's nuts?

To be honest, when I picked him up from the shippers drop-off point, I cried. This horse was so small and scrawny and tiny and then, to make things worse, he wouldn't back out of my trailer. He didn't know how to go in reverse yet on a trailer. I knew I had made a terrible mistake buying a horse sight unseen.

The first few months we were together were hilarious. People at the barn laughed. Here I was with this gigantic belly leading around a baby horse trying to teach him ground manners without knocking him over with my belly! He was so awkward he kept tripping over his own feet. However, there was something very special about him. He was not like any other horse I ever had. He seemed to know me, he understood that he needed to behave and although it took him longer to teach him things, once he got it, he GOT IT and it was IN HIS BRAIN.

Fast forward to the summer of 2014, he was 3 years old, I had had my baby girl and I was ready to try getting on Jameson for the first time. I was so nervous! I had done plenty of groundwork so he was well-mannered and knew my cues, but would he buck and go wild like you see in all the movies if I sat on his back? I had never trained a young horse before so I had no clue. So the day came, and I got on . . . I waited . . . nothing. He sniffed my foot, chewed his bit, and stood there. "Big deal. What's next?" This was his attitude.

Now he's 8 years old and that attitude is still the same. We are heading to AEC at Training level and I am so excited. Meanwhile, Jameson is still more interested in snuggles, food, attention from little kids, than he is about the jumps that his rider is stressing over. I swear, if he were a human he would be the guy on the recliner taking it easy with a cold one while the rest of the world worried about the little things. I am so happy to have bought this "sight unseen" cool, calm, and collected boy.

About the USEA American Eventing Championships

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.

Sep 22, 2020 Profile

Now On Course: Jennarose Ortmeyer Shoots for the Stars

My road to success is a bit different and quite a bit longer than most. Hi, my name is Jennarose Ortmeyer. I am 24 years old and my eventing journey started three years ago in the summer of 2017. Originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, I moved to North Carolina in June of 2017 seeking to further my career. I was a professional in the hunter/jumper world then and I hadn’t the faintest idea of how drastically my life was about to change.

Sep 21, 2020 Education

How Strong is Your Training Game?

How competitive have your Training results been? What’s a good dressage score? What scores could earn you a top finish? We’ve been taking a look at each USEA level and as we continue this series, EquiRatings offers some stats and graphs to help evaluate your Training game.

Sep 20, 2020 Competitions

Smith Wins CCI4*-S, CCI3*-S; Turner Takes CCI2*-S at Twin Rivers Fall International

The CCI4*-S had an exciting shake-up of the top placings to finish out the International divisions at the Twin Rivers Fall International. It was Tamie Smith and Passepartout, an 11-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Pasco x Preschel) owned by Tamie's daughter Kaylawna Smith-Cook, who came out on top with the fastest cross-country time of the group. Ruth Bley’s 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding Danito (Dancier x Wie Musik) took second. Erin Kellerhouse and her own Woodford Reserve rounded out the top three.

Sep 20, 2020 Education

Foregut or Hindgut? That's The Question!

Knowing what sort of support your horse needs can be tough, but it can also make a big difference. There’s a lot of confusion between your horse’s foregut health and hindgut health. After all, the process of breaking down food and absorbing nutrients is all technically “digestion,” so isn’t it all the same? Not quite. The organs in the foregut and hindgut have different functions, and each area has unique health concerns.

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