As a pair, Eagle and I have been up and down all across the board. We've never gone to registered shows. Our 'first' shows were small, unregistered dressage schooling shows. It didn't seem to agree with either of us.
Eagle is, in many ways, 'made' for dressage. Everything is there.
Well, except his mind. Once we get that lined up, we should be ready to go.
Until then, eventing is our comprimse. I love to jump, he's good at dressage, we both enjoy the thrill of cross country.
Standing in our way?
Several seemingly insignificant issues.
Well, except the lack of brakes. I like those.
Our two 'events' from last year were small, and we did well. In the first, we took a fifth. The second, we took third.
However, in the beginning of the school year I took Eagle to college with me, to the University of Findlay.
He isn't, will not, nor ever will be, a hunter. The knees, the attitude, the personality-he simply isn't a hunter 'type', even if he can look like it from a stand still. Being bullied, pushed, and shoved to achieve that has set both of us back.
Me? I can't sit a canter for the life of me.
Him? Contact on the bit is taboo. Balancing himself is also foriegn.
Don't get me wrong. We made some huge strides in improvement. He and I worked out that "Thou shalt not rush after fences" is indeed, a commandment of riding.
However, at the beginning of second semester I did what was right by my horse and took him out of the program. They were asking too much of a greenie.
Eagle was brought into work in 2007. He was six. He was bred for racing, but deemed too big. So after being 'track broken' he was retired to pasture with all the other kidlets. He was, however, gelded in may of 2007, and brought into work by the farm's owner's wife. Shortly thereafter sold to delightful trainer by the name of Fiona.
She started him in cross country, brought him into work. Didn't encourage brakes, but really-he had a sound start. I got him in February. So, he had been under saddle since July. A grand total of, what, eight months?
So. Yes. My horse is(/was?) green. Inexperienced.
So I took him to a quiet barn on the outskirts of the college town. Personal life disregarded (It was, let me say, 'interesting'.) Eagle was thriving there. The barn was small, not even a 'boarding' barn. The arena had about 20x35 of workable space. Tiny, particularly for a horse with a 14 foot canter stride.
Therein lay our difficulty in canter. Canter issues: explained.
But now, as of march 2009, he's back in Illinois, with the trainers that know me-and him-like the back of their hands.
Hopefully this will clear up our issues and, dare I say it - make presentable individuals of the both of us?