Thursday, January 17, 2019

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Team CEO Eventing Derby

Jan 24 2014

After 10 weeks of show jumping lessons in the indoor and outdoor arenas at Team CEO (and a successful show at Lakeside Arena), I was starting to feel much more confident and comfortable jumping bigger fences (3’3”+).  The quality and consistency of the canter has improved tremendously and my partnership with Owen continues to grow.  It was time to test our new skills over cross country jumps!  Unfortunately, we have not had weather conducive with outdoor riding this winter (it was 8 degrees today with a feels like temp of –5).  Fortunately, Megan (being the talented, wonderful, incredibly supportive coach that she is) came up with the idea to host the first ever Team CEO Eventing Derby on January 19th!

Sorry for the blurry cell phone pictures…

Prelim Roll Top Single Barrel

Owen and I had an amazing time tackling the challenging cross country-like questions that Megan setup in the indoor – a Prelim roll top, a single barrel, angled 2 stride combination, faux ditch, bending line to a chevron, and a tight roll back to a 3 stride combination with a skinny pointed towards the spectators. 


What’s Next: The Eventing Derby was such a success that Megan has decided to continue with “Epic Jump Days” every Saturday throughout the month of February.  This should really help us be prepared for the Aiken trip in March!

Lakeside Hunter/Jumper Show

Jan 12 2014

This has been a record breaking winter with cold temperatures, lots of snow and ice, and below zero wind chills.  I have spent the last 10 weeks riding in the brand new indoor arena at Team CEO.  It is gorgeous!

New Indoor 

When I am riding on my own, I have been focusing on dressage – improving the quality of the gaits, working on transitions, making frequent changes in bend/direction, and lengthening and collecting within the gaits. 

When I get the opportunity to take a lesson with Megan, I have been 100% focused on jumping – practicing a quality show jumping canter, learning how sit and balance the canter, getting more comfortable jumping bigger fences, learning how to make the right decisions and communicating them to my horse, and having my horse start to trust and let me make those decisions.

Our 10 weeks of hard work is paying off!  On January 11th, Team CEO loaded  3 horse trailers and headed to the Lakeside Hunter/Jumper show less than 30 minutes away.  When Owen got to the show, he sat on the trailer happily munching hay while we waited several hours for the hunter classes to complete and the jumper classes to start.  Despite the very long day (we arrived at 11:00 am and didn’t jump until around 6:30 pm), Owen was in a good mood and was a pleasure to be around.

We entered the first and third classes of the Schooling Jumper 3’ – 3’3” division.

Round 1 – Mission Accomplished!

Round 2 – Owen needed a little extra encouragement to get over jump 6.

Round 2 Jump Off – I was starting to get a little tired, but all went well.

Owen and I ended up getting second place, first place, and the division championship ribbon!  We also walked away with $11 in prize money, a decorative clay pot, and a Lakeside bumper sticker. 


What’s Next: Team CEO is hosting an Eventing Derby on January 19th.  I can’t wait to ride in the Training division!


Dec 14 2013

2013 was a huge year for me.  My most memorable moment was getting married to my wonderful husband.    The second greatest experience was relocating to Georgetown, Kentucky and getting settled into our new home.  Amongst the chaos, I was able to attend a handful of horse trials and earn a couple of awards:

  • Earned the Silver Medal Award at Novice
  • Earned the Blue Ribbon Award at Novice
  • Ranked 3rd Adult Amateur at Novice in Area VIII
  • Qualified for the Area IV Championships at Novice
  • Qualified for the Area VIII Championships at Novice
  • Qualified for the America Eventing Championships (AECs) at Novice

I am not a super competitive person by nature, but I am very competitive with myself.  This means that the bar will be raised and I will be working harder than ever to achieve even better results in 2014.  I know Owen and I are up to the challenge, especially now that we are based at Team CEO Eventing fulltime.

Consistency is my biggest enemy as an adult amateur.  Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was able to ride Owen 12 days in a row.  Once December started, I was back to work fulltime and went over 2 weeks straight without seeing my horse.  The lack of consistency in my riding, training and fitness also results in a lack of consistency in my performance at shows – 2nd place in a huge division one weekend, eliminated on cross country the next.  Unfortunately, until I win the lottery and become independently wealthy, consistency will remain to be a challenge.

This winter, Owen and I will be working on our jumping technique.  We will continue to strengthen our partnership as we work to gain confidence jumping around larger courses. 

Pictures from a recent lesson at Team CEO.

Lesson 1 Lesson 2

What’s Next: Owen and I will head to Aiken, South Carolina to train with the rest of the Team CEO gang in March to prepare for the 2014 show season.  We will compete April – October in recognized horse trials with the hope of qualifying for the Training Level 3 Day competition at Midsouth Horse Trials in the Fall.

October Happenings

Oct 27 2013

Owen and I had a busy October.  We finished the 2013 show season with back to back  horse outings for 6 weekends straight.  This blog post covers the last 3 weekends.  I’m sad to see the season come to an end, but I’m determined to spend the winter working hard so that I can start the 2014 season stronger than ever!

Cross Country Schooling: On Saturday, October 12, Megan took a handful of students over the Masterson Station Park to go cross country schooling.  After warming up over some of the Novice jumps, Owen and I got to jump a handful of Training and Prelim obstacles.  We had an amazing time and felt very well prepared for our big move up to Training the following weekend.

Roll Top Prelim Oxer

Ditch Water Drop


Team Challenge HT: For many, Team Challenge Horse Trials in late October is the highlight of the season.  Unfortunately, this continues to be an unlucky event for me. 

Owen started out performing a very respectable dressage test on Saturday morning. 

After dressage, it proceeded to rain for 5 hours straight at the Horse Park. This left the footing for cross country super sloppy for my afternoon ride time. Between my nervousness about the tough Training course, and Owen’s apprehension about the footing, we were not in sync on course and decided to retire and try again another day.  

 Right Lead Canter Halt

Owen and Kelly - Training Test B - Team Challenge HT 2013

As part of the Team CEO Happy Holidays team, Owen and I dressed up as St. Patrick’s Day for our cross country round. 

St Pat's Front St Pat's Rear

St Pat's Gallop

Octoberfest CT
: As our final show for 2013, I entered Owen in a Training Combined Test (dressage and show jumping only, no cross country phase).  I was super happy with our dressage test.  This was our third time performing Training Test B in front of a judge.  There are still several things for us to work on, but I feel like we get a little better every time we perform this test.

Owen and Kelly - Training Test B - Octoberfest HT 2013

For show jumping, Owen and I were not in sync and made several errors early in our round.  We will spend the next 5 months practicing 3’3”+ courses so that we don’t make the same mistakes next year.   Show jumping is usually our best phase, so I think we will get back on track quickly.

Blue Verticle   Purple Oxer

What’s next: Owen and I will spend November-February riding at Team CEO and taking  lessons with Megan.  In March 2014, we plan to go on the annual Team CEO Aiken trip.

Team CEO Eventing Weekend: October 2013

Oct 09 2013

Megan hosts several eventing clinics at Team CEO throughout the year.  I attended the clinic in June and had a fabulous time and the clinic this past weekend exceeded my expectations as well. 

Friday: Megan setup what looked like an easy hunter course in the jumper ring.  I quickly learned that looks can be deceiving!  We had a forward 5 stride double line on one side of the ring and a holding 1 stride to 1 stride triple combination on the other.  In addition, there was an airy vertical set on the diagonal line with a long galloping approach.  All of these situations combined set us up to send the rails flying if we didn’t properly prepare our horses on the short sides of the arena. 

Oxer 2 1269737_10151935890952112_651482266_o

Now that Owen and I have started jumping bigger courses (3’3” to 3’7”), it is essential for me to become more influential in our rides and help him navigate the courses for success.  Owen was wonderful during our lesson and with Megan’s guidance we ended by sailing over a 3’7” oxer with ease.



Saturday: On Saturday we headed out to the front field to school cross country.  Megan had a bunch of new jumps and challenging combinations setup for us.  Owen and I rose to the challenge and confidently jumped around.  This was our best cross country school to date!

1390558_10151858371072092_1719173482_n Owen Ditch and Wall

556628_10202143199680494_771071024_n  1383673_10202143200320510_245779600_n

Video includes: Tooth brush, sunken road, to tooth brush; log bounce; 2 different ditch and wall jumps.

Sunday: Many of the Team CEO riders are preparing for Novice, Training, or Preliminary Level long format competitions for Fall 2013 or Spring 2014.  After listening to several educational presentations over the Saturday and Sunday lunch breaks, I have decided to aim for a Training Level 3 Day competition for Fall 2014.  This means that Owen and I will have to successfully complete 4 or more regular Training Level horse trials between now and then to qualify for the long format event.  We will also need to prepare for the steeplechase phase of the long format event. 

Megan was fabulous and setup a full steeplechase course for clinic participants to practice on Sunday.  Owen, as a professional steeplechaser in his former career, was in his element and LOVED the steeplechase track and we had a blast! 

902542_10151939847542112_139605633_o  906740_10151939848192112_1379052797_o

What’s Next:  Next weekend I will flat Owen twice and jump him once as a final prep for the Team Challenge HT the following weekend.

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