Tuesday, October 30, 2012

3 Day Event or BUST!

After learning/watching the T3D this past week/weekend I am super intrigued about doing one myself, next year, at either Novice or Beginner Novice division (Full Moon Farm does a 1/4 star event all the way down to Elementary division). I know this is ambitious and will require a LOT of hard work starting basically NOW! and I know nothing about how to train, what's required, or much of anything other than a vague concept of what happens. I have contacted one of the riders from this past competition to ask for advice and I will talk to my instructor but here's what I've found out (these are rules for T3D so it might be different for Novice or Beginner Novice which I'd expect to probably be unrecognized):

1. You have to Qualify. Sadly the qualifications don't include cute horse or a 500 word essay on why I love ponies. For the T3D you need to get NQRs in at least 4 recognized HTs at Training level or higher. I am not sure what NQRs are but I'm guessing National Qualifying Records?? aka do well at 4 recognized HTs and not a big fat E or RF.  One has to be attained as a combination. No idea what that means, either. So that in itself is a lot of time and training effort and money getting to all of those shows and actually getting through them and doing well.

2. You must be USEA registered. Because I normally compete in BN I only have to pay like a 'visitor's fee' and temporary registration. Looks like if I go Novice I have to register both me and Smash. More moolah. Especially if the qualifications need to be recognized events, this will just be an expense I'd pay in January and get it over with.

3. You and your horse have to be fit. Not like going on lots of trail rides fit, but gallop sets, trot sets, jumping courses without feeling like passing out, or hearing your horse wheeze after a gallop around the field and then going out and doing it all again the next day. This is where I need help. I know generally what to do but I know I need more guidance/training plan to get me and Smash fit enough for this. Thankfully this won't be too expensive to accomplish - just lots of time in the saddle and probably on the treadmill. It probably also means knowing how to take TPR on your horse in practice, too, so you know how fast your horse can recover in practice.

4. You need friends. Sounds silly but for this event you need at least 3 really awesome friends to come out and help you for the whole show. These friends need to be organized and know the rules and what to do so they help and not hinder your experience. Optimally you'd want friends who have done a 3 Day before and perhaps one who is a good braider and knows how to replace tack like studs in your shoes. They are going to help you get where you need to be ON TIME and help you not completely spaz out.

5. You need to know the rules. This event is not like regular HTs - there are jogs to be done (yes, there is a proper way to do it - and no, I don't know how), gates and phases to get to, knowing how fast or slow you and your horse are actually going, how to do math (Do you think I can strap my TI-83 to my reins??), and know when you can get assistance and when you can't. Not to mention deciphering the notes on your arm/tape.

6. You need to have fun! This is probably guaranteed if you're considering this in the first place, but like with any training, if you find yourself hating the process you should probably reconsider. Sometimes the idea of finishing spectacularly is more exciting than the actual preparation and work required to do something. So you need to really think things through. Regardless of whether you make it to the Awards Ceremony victory gallop on the last day of competition or just do a lot of training it'll be good for you and your horse. From what I can see from the very small research I've done so far, I'll be putting myself and Smash to the test of fitness and dedication and athleticism/heart to the sport.

I'm still doing more research to find out exactly what will be expected of me and Smash over the next year but this could be an awesome goal for us next year! We shall see what happens!

1 comment:

Liz said...

Go for it! You've started getting yourself in shape; now you can get Smash in shape, too. No lounging around the hay field the winter months for her!