FEH hesitations

Yesterday I sent the entry in for Presto’s first Future Event Horse class! Despite my pretty gung-go attitude earlier this year about taking him for FEH, I admit that I’ve really been waffling a bit. It took a lot of convincing and second guessing and back-and-forth on my part just to enter this one, and honestly it kind of left me wondering why I was being like that.

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Entry form, 2 releases, copy of his papers, copy of his coggins – aaaaand I forgot the check. Had to go retrieve the envelope from the mail room and open it back up.

I love Presto. I think he’s going to be exactly the type of horse I was aiming for when I bred his dam, and I’m pleased with how he’s developing. His temperament is super, his gaits are good without being too much for an amateur to ride, he doesn’t have any major structural issues, and he’s brave and smart. That said, I have always been able to very easily see the flaws in all of my horses, and Presto is no exception to this. My eye is probably more critical than anyone else’s and I always go the imperfections first, like I have some kind of weird case of reverse barn-blindness. It’s made me hesitant to take him to FEH, although I don’t really know why, because logically it doesn’t make sense.

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really just wants to stay home and eat fly masks

It’s not like he’s for sale. I don’t even put much weight on FEH scores translating to useful feedback about a horse’s potential – all they can do is evaluate confo and walk and trot on a baby horse, which are definitely not the most important things for an eventer. Not to mention that babies go through some seriously funky stages, and the judge may or not be able or willing to see through that. I tell people these things ALL THE TIME. Some babies score really well at FEH and totally flop as eventers. Some score really meh at FEH and are fabulous eventers. Line classes are really hard when it comes to predicting horses that will do well in a sport like this.

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His thoughts on my first attempt at wrangling that crazy-ass mustang forelock

For all of those reasons, his scores don’t actually matter. At the end of the day, it’s just one person’s opinion of a horse on that day, given what they can see. I know all of this. I know it really well. But that hasn’t stopped me from being hesitant about entering him. I already know his scores will just be average (y’all, the llama phase, it is real) and I already know that it won’t matter anyway. But I was still hesitant. I just… I dunno. I’m not sure if it’s that I don’t want to take him out in public when he doesn’t look his best, or if I just don’t want someone handing me a scoresheet telling me that they think he’s gross. It’s not as though I’m not already very used to the concept of subjective judging and one person’s opinion.

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Hoping he’ll decide to bring this trot, but honestly his patented PokeyPony Trot is more likely

After thinking about it for a while, I still don’t really know the root of my hesitation. I don’t totally understand my own psychology here, so I’m probably just being dumb as hell. But after talking it through with some people, and realizing that this next show is my last chance at getting him to a FEH class at all as a yearling, I decided to just buck up. Yeah so he’s gawky and he still hasn’t sprouted his chest and the orientation of his neck can change 100% from day to day (today: upside down). Who knows what he’ll look like the day of the show. But we’re gonna go and support the program and trot around that triangle like a real horse with no actual expectations (aside from good behavior), because why not? And if the judge doesn’t like Presto then oh well.

So Henry has a schooling show this weekend where we’re gonna play with a few new ideas and get an XC run in (we haven’t been out on XC at all since our March show, I think?), then Presto’s FEH is next weekend, and then Henry and I leave for Chatt! The next month is going to be busy.

14 thoughts on “FEH hesitations

  1. I think it is great that you are participating and supporting the effort. To me, part of the effort is data building and trying to create a better system of identifying young talent for eventing. Right now, the system isn’t a strong predictor of future results, but it is new and could definitely get better. Bringing a horse that you plan on keeping and can evaluate how his FEH scores compare to who he is in several years could provide a lot of insight.

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  2. I get it. There are days I look at Joey and say please please don’t look like this in October hahah. Especially since I’ll have to send in entries in August to get the best deal…kind of hard to pull out last minute if they’re in a llama spell if you’ve prepaid. :/

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  3. That sums up how I feel about showing in general now. As a teen, no problem, no stress, etc. Now getting back into it im so selfcritical. In the end it’s just a thing… Doing things is good and fun. But it doesn’t intrinsically mean anything. Presto gets another adventure under his belt (girth?) And you get to show off your pride and joy. Just make sure you get a picture with you smiling while presenting him!

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  4. I am so glad that you are doing this before I have to LOL. I am planning to show my filly in an FEH show in October, and going into it I know she won’t score well, being an Appendix. But I think the experience for both of us will be invaluable, and it will also be the kick in the rear I need to get her USEA registered and get the ball rolling. My main fear is the unfamiliarity of it all, since I’ve never shown at a recognized event, much less in-hand with a baby. What if she’s a total nightmare and I completely embarrass myself? What if I mess up and prove to everyone that we shouldn’t be there? These are the things that are worrying me, but I will never get over it if we don’t just do the thing!

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  5. I think you’re just being a nervous mom honestly. Like you say, it really doesn’t matter a lick what anyone thinks but you. And for what it’s worth, all of us readers love Presto! Either way, it will be a great piece of education for Presto to go out and do the thing in a show ring.
    Have fun with Henry this weekend!

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  6. If nothing else, it seems like a good opportunity to get him out and get some show miles, as well as potentially get some great awkward-baby-phase photos of him all gussied up that you can look back at and laugh!

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  7. If it helps, keep thinking that the others will have all the yearling strikes that he does, in some form or fashion. πŸ™‚

    It’s a big step, really. It’s a toddler getting out of his own living room where everything is so comfortable and predictable. It’s dealing with lots of strangers. It’s trouble, packing up & prepping. And it’s all about Presto the younger brother, who has been happily trailing after BTDT Henry. Time to step up, little brother! Eek! πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

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  8. I mean, this is basically my approach to showing Niko, and he’s uhm obviously farther along bc he’s quadruple Presto’s age, lol. Go, have fun and get the experience. Why not?!

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  9. omg i read this on Friday and just now finally got to go back to comment. (Weekend FROM HELL). It will be such a good experience for Presto it will be worth it. I have been known to hand my phone to total strangers at lessons with Sally and ask them to video/takephotos you do the same. I want at least one photo of him all snazzy with you on the end of the lead rope πŸ™‚ have fun! PS I am a lot closer to you know but am not eager to get back into the truck anytime soon LOL

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