Posted by: eventer4life | June 29, 2010

Inavale: Stadium and Recap

I’m finally home from Inavale! It was a long, long drive home haha. We split it up into two days this time, so we drove 5 and a half hours to Kennewick, WA from Philomath on Sunday after stadium and then yesterday drove 7 hours from Kennewick home! Dawkins drank really well, as usual, so even though it was hot the whole way I wasn’t too worried about him.

So, stadium! The course Jr Training jumped was really really easy and not too big. I forgot to walk it until the last second and pretty much ran down into the arena, stood in the middle, and tried to find all of my jumps. Luckily it was an easy course so I figured it out quickly. My division was the 2nd to run in the arena, after the other junior Training division, so I had a lot of time after that!

When I went down to warm up, Dawkins started out fussy and irritable. Then suddenly, he changed. It was weird, but really cool. He relaxed and we had one of our best warm ups, and probably our best jumping ever. He was soft, adjustable, and listening. Every jump we took he took the perfect distance, kept the same stride length to the base, and didn’t accelerate from the base. I have never had a horse jumping that well! When it was our turn to go in for our course, it all fell apart, of course. We were sitting in 6th place but had over 20 penalty points separating us from the people in 7th, so I wasn’t nervous at all.

We trotted in, the bell rang-oh excuse me, it was a whistle, the bell was in the arena next door which confused everyone!-and off we went! I’m sure it was my fault, but he got quite a bit rushier and wasn’t as soft as he was in warm up. But we went around just fine! Our first jumps went well, a little quick and we were taking longer spots more than I would have liked, but we didn’t even touch a rail. One of the harder turns on course was from 4-a one stride-to 5-a vertical. You landed from 4 and had to be turning right away to get a straight approach to 5. I was so focused on getting over the 1 stride clean that I completely spaced on my turn! As you can see in the video, I kind of whipped him around the turn to 5, but he did great (: So it was all good! At around jump 7, the bell rang for the rider in the arena next door and I immediately panicked that I had gone off course. I decided that I would just keep going and if I had, they would ring the bell again. That made me nervous haha. But obviously, the bell was not aimed at me! The rest of the course was easy, then we got to 8, a 2 stride on the far side of the arena by the judge’s tent. As we came around the turn to 8 he was spooking at the tent like CRAZY. He wouldn’t go near the stupid tent, and by extension wouldn’t go to 8! I was NOT going to let that happen so I was kicking him with my right leg and smacking him with my crop. He weaved up to it and managed to jump it. It was not too pretty đŸ˜› But oh well! He did it! So we jumped clear! Many people had problems with this course, lots of rails, so we moved up from 6th to 4th!

So, obviously, I was THRILLED with Dawkins after this weekend! I was NOT expecting to do as well as we did. I was hoping for a qualifying result, but considering it was my first recognized Training ever, and I’ve only owned Dawkins for 3 weeks, I wasn’t expecting too much! After cross country I was just hoping to move up into the top 10, so I really can’t believe I got 4th out of 16 starters!

On the saddle front, I went to Gallops Saddlery and had Dawkins fitted for saddles by an AMAZING saddle fitter! There were 2 saddles that fit him, but when I rode in them, the Stubben flap really didn’t fit my leg at all, I need a really forward flap, apparently. And the other saddle we tried fit me better, but it was really uncomfortable because there was a weird piece of leather that hit me at the exact wrong spot and rubbed! So I’m going to use my Mattes half pad on Dawkins for the near future, since Molly thinks it will help a LOT and then at Rebecca Farms I’m going to be fitted for an Amerigo and ride in some of those. Since those saddles have really forward flaps and we already know there’s at least one that fits Dawkins (Hawley is sponsored by Amerigo so that’s what he was ridden in), we’re hoping we’ll find one at Rebecca!

I also found out last night I got into a Buck Davidson clinic up in Kalispell at Jil Walton’s place! So that’s this weekend and I’m hoping it’ll help me for Whidbey Island, which is in 2 weeks. And I’m excited because Buck owned Dawkins before Hawley so he knows Dawkins and will hopefully be really helpful!

And of course, I have to mention it (: I got on this morning and noticed that this blog was on there! Um, WOW. I pretty much worship eventing nation so I’m AMAZED that this got on there!!! I have no idea how my blog was found, but I’m pretty much more happy than anything right now, after my weekend and then this (: So THANK YOU!!!

Finally, here’s video and pictures from Inavale!

Stadium – PICTURES! If you ignore my face in a lot of them, there’s some good ones! And in the dressage pictures you can see my first attempt at button braids-thanks to Sunday Jog Up on eventing nation, they’re not as bad as I expected!

Cross Country-well, some of it. Haha. Most of the course was in the woods.

Thanks for reading!


  1. I saw your blog on Eventing Nation, and I love reading it! You and Dawkins look great for being together less than a month. I’m actually really impressed on how you seem to stay so calm about everything and just deal with it. Anyway, I’m 17, have a new horse, and kind of live in a Eventing Black Hole as well so I have empathy for you.

    • Thank you! That means a lot to me.
      Haha eventing black holes are the worst! They make things so much more difficult

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