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.

Feb 16, 2020 Education

Grid Pro Quo with Alyssa Peterson

From the time we begin jumping, we are always working on perfecting the canter. Throughout my career I’ve been lucky to train with a variety of top professionals and each had their tried and true method for developing the right canter to jump a clear round. The best instructors have their own methods for helping their students recognize this “perfect” canter.

Feb 15, 2020 Profile

Now On Course: Cindy Rawson Returns from Across the Pond

In 1984, 19-year-old Cindy Rawson (née Collier) and a chestnut mare named Deer Creek finished their first CCI4* at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. In spite of a fall on the cross-country, they completed inside the time and with a clear show- jumping round finished the event in 13th place.

Feb 14, 2020 Education

Featured Clinician: Martin Douzant

For Martin Douzant, experience is everything. As the owner and operator of The Frame Sport Horses based in The Plains, Virginia, Douzant has been able to build a successful training business on a foundation of great education, involvement across equestrian disciplines, and a distinct reverence for the horse.

Feb 13, 2020 Volunteers

New Addition to VIP: The Volunteer Medal Program

The USEA Volunteer Committee is pleased to announce a new Volunteer Medal Program has been added to the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program presented by Sunsprite Warmbloods (VIP) starting this year. The Volunteer Medal Program will recognize the volunteers who consistently volunteer year after year.

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