I am a hunter and my husband is a showjumper who produces fox hunting prospects. We always have green horses and always need somewhere low-key to get them out and about. Aiken offers a plethora of choices for higher level competition but there aren’t too many places we can go with the greenies. We have discovered, however, that combined training shows suit our needs pretty well. They are relaxed, informal, relatively inexpensive and offer entry level divisions.
This Sunday, we plan on going to the CT at Full Gallop. I have two horses that I plan on taking, both of which are yet-to-be-shown hunter prospects. As many of us have experienced, hunter shows are not always the friendliest places – definitely not the venue for me to display publicly all of those inevitably embarrassing first-show moments. Eventers, who frequent combined training shows, are much more forgiving and encouraging. I am a heck of a lot more comfortable making a fool of myself in front of them than the hunters.
My husband has two sales horses that he is taking to the show: a super sweet draft cross and a repurposed ex-WEF Holsteiner showjumper. This will be the first competitive outing for the draft cross. He will be entering the Amoeba division (walk-trot dressage and cross-rails). The former mini-prix horse will be entering the Tadpole division (walk-trot-canter dressage and max 2’3″ jumps). As we got him because he decided that he did not want to jump ANYTHING in a ring (hence the career change), his round may be a bit more interesting than we would like. That’s why we are going to this show.
Lara Anderson, owner of Full Gallop Farm, says, “These shows are for learning. We will help you do whatever you need to get around. Your coach can come in, you can get a lead over a fence – whatever will make things work for you.” Thank you Lara – that’s what we are counting on! Thank goodness for CT shows.
See you there!