I got word last week that Presto’s entry was officially accepted for the 2021 US Event Horse Futurity, and as of yesterday the entry fee is paid, so he’s officially-officially in!
Of course I’ve already said that I highly doubt he’ll be the type that ends up at Championships, but I’m excited for the journey and the process. I’ve already started outlining his first vlog post… it has to be an “intro” one about the horse and it’s breeding, which I already made a similar one last year to post here. I just need to shorten in a bit (ok a lot) because well… y’all know I’m wordy, and I don’t think most people want to watch a 10 minute intro vlog on some rando girl’s rando horse. I’m trying to get it under 5 minutes. We’ll see.
I did start trying to plan some little local show adventures for him too. I was hoping the show facility near us would do their normal monthly winter shows but alas they aren’t starting their series this year until March. I’ve definitely penciled that into the calendar, although I’d been hoping for something in February. We’ll see what else comes up. I do have a tentative plan to have my favorite dressage trainer sit on him a time or two as well, as soon as we get schedules figured out. As of now I’m the only person that’s ever ridden him, and I think some rides from the dressage guy could really help a few things that are right-on-the-edge-of-his-grasp actually click into place.
I also took a tentative peek at the YEH schedule when it was posted. I’m not convinced that Presto will ever actually be ready to make it to a YEH class this year at all, but I wanted to see what was on the calendar anyway just in case. And LOL – there is a grand total of ONE qualifier in Area 5 and it’s in MARCH. Hilarious. We do have a lot more FEH options here if I wanted to take him to the FEH 4yo classes (they w/t/c under saddle and judge confo, plus freejump at Champs) instead of the YEH 4yo (dressage test and jump little sj and xc fences under saddle in more of a derby format), but honestly I’m not sure that I see a ton of value in spending the money on the FEH. Either he’s ready for the YEH or he’s not, and if he’s not I could do a lot of smaller schooling shows that would add more value to his education than FEH would, I think. Maybe my opinion will change as we move forward, but… meh.
I did get him ridden 3 times last week, the first time I’ve actually managed to pull that off. He did a dressage day, a pole work day, and a long (for him – 30 minutes – I’m still only riding him for like 15-20 minutes at a time usually) walk on the hills day. On his dressage day I took him out to the field afterward and practiced “galloping” a lap. He’s still not totally sure of his balance enough yet to get his true gallop going. Right now it’s a little bit like a dressage horse trying to gallop – far too uphill and climbing. I know it’s in there though, I see him gallop flat out ALL THE TIME, he just has to get more comfortable and sure of himself with a rider on his back.
The farrier is coming again this week and I strongly debated having his first pair of shoes put on (fronts only) but I think we’ll wait until next time. That would put us toward the end of February, and March is probably when he’ll start doing more stuff (starting his formal o/f training and going to some shows). I’d rather he stay barefoot as long as possible, naturally, and his feet are pretty good, but it’s really difficult for a horse to stay barefoot on the ground we’ve got down here. Rocks and coarse sand are tough once they actually start working and putting more wear on the feet (indeed, he already chips them up a lot since he gallops around like a maniac constantly). I fully expect that he’ll need a full set by summer once it’s dry as hell and everything is hard as concrete, but we’ll start with the fronts.
He’ll be a real horse soon, y’all! Can you believe it?