Thursday, February 23, 2012

It takes a village to raise a horse

It takes a village to raise an event horse.

This statement is something that has been on my mind a lot recently. Having moved with my horse to a new state one month ago, I have gone through some very interesting mental evaluations (yes, that's what we will call it) during this time. Some of you reading this have also relocated; some of you have never changed stables from the one where you took your first lesson. I feel quite strongly that this post will resonate with most equine dedicated people, though some may not have had to face this type of realization as abruptly as others.

I suppose it can go without saying that I attempt to over analyze things. Up until very recently, I had a sounding board of riders, stable mates, and a trainer on site to discuss all things equine. In many ways, my riding team was (is) my family. My biological family is, of course, amazing but I don't get quite the same reaction from them when I say things like, "Arvo was moving off my leg and coming into my hands brilliantly today!"

It seems the major reasons of riding safety and forward progression with your horse speak for themselves in favor of being involved with a riding team a/o stable of similarly minded equine obsessed individuals.  I would like to draw attention to the smaller, yet immensely important and gratifying reasons that may not be as obvious to the individual rider.

Eventing, by definition of physical and mental requirements, draws a slightly adrenaline-oriented following. Most Event riders, by default, have a certain aptitude for taking on the world solo, if need be. There are many successful Event riders that do just that. They haul to shows, complete all three phases, and do it on their own.

I would like to propose, that while Eventing solo can be successful, having a team of friends and companions that train together, travel together, dust off the shavings together, and laugh together brings everyone's game to a higher level. Having additional sets of eyes are invaluable to riders. Guess what? Getting a hug after a rough ride or a high five after you and your horse nailed a cross country course is so immensely gratifying that words don't quite capture it. Hearing your crew screaming their heads off at different points of cross country can't help but put a smile on your face. You may not hear the announcer calling your clear fences, but you will DEFINITELY hear your team's show mom scream, "That's my girl!" As you go galloping past! Having a teammate hand you a bottle of water, while someone else is helping you untie your pinney because you forgot to take your helmet off before the pinney, as you come off course are just a few of the little things that we do to help each other.

We are a team.

That's the beauty of teammates. We laugh together, we cry together (well, we would, but Eventers don't cry), we have a beer together, and we memorize dressage tests on long hauls together.

I miss those things.  I miss the knowing smile from a teammate while schooling a dressage movement at home that has been sticky.  I miss cracking a beer after a kick-ass cross country schooling and chatting about upcoming shows and scary questions on those courses.  I miss being the support and the supported.  

I'm glad I miss them; I can't imagine never experiencing that type of camaraderie.  

As I am slowly rebuilding that type of network here, I am constantly thinking about my teammates back in Utah, stalking them on facebook, and harassing them about what they are up to.  We all miss each other.  In fact, I think I have had longer phone conversations with my trainer about: how things are going, different exercises, what I feel, what she feels, etc. than we ever have before.  

Once a team, always a team.  

I know that no matter where I end up- these crazy, awesome people will be in my life.  I will travel to see them compete, and some of them will travel to see my compete.  They will add more people to their team there; I will add more people to my team here.  

For you individual riders out there, I commend your personal motivation.  I would still suggest finding a group of people or a team to become a part of.  I couldn't have come this far without my equine family and I'm a pretty damn stubborn, "independent" person.  (Just ask my boyfriend)  

For my current team and future teammates- thank you.  Your smiles, laughter, and support have made a tremendous impact on my goals, enjoyment, and general wellness as an Eventer and social being.  I look forward to working with more of you, but know this- I will never forget those that have walked the course with me.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Exciting things are in the works!

First off, I'd like to say, "Thank you!" to all of the people that have already started to communicate via Austin Eventing's facebook page! It has been thoroughly enjoyable watching people "like" the page and post comments. I am very excited to see the community reaching out to each other for a support network. I would also like to thank the existing eventing associations and dressage association for their continued support and information.  I also very much appreciate everyone's patience as this is a newly launched idea and went live before any of the infrastructure was in place.  Ha!  Talk about putting the cart before the horse!

The great part of having people interact with the Austin Eventing Facebook (hint hint) page is that the more feedback I get, the more streamlined I will make this blog!  For example, the newest addition to this blog is a calendar page!  Over the next few days, I will be combining the 2012 show, clinic, and schooling schedules of as many organizations as I can find.  My hope is that this calendar will be a one-stop-shop for Austin Eventers to check out what exciting events are up and coming!  Also, it should be integrated so that you will be able to import events straight to your own google calendar, if you should so choose.

This is a work in progress and although I have had quite a few cups of coffee, if there is something you would like to see addressed on this blog, and you don't see it yet- let me know!!

In the meantime, please start sharing your photos and videos on the facebook page!!  I have a ton of photos of my horse and of riders in the Mountain Region, but would love to see your fancy ponies here too!!  Post a photo, give and introduction, and don't be shy!!!  It's either that, or you will all be very familiar with my chestnut gelding!  Trust me, I'm sure he would love to be the only horse displayed here...

Also, if you know of any events (show related or otherwise) that you think would be fun to share, let me know and I will do my best to help get the word out!

As always, be safe and make sure to have extra carrots!  Ride on.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Introducing Austin Eventing!

Hello All!!

I am excited to be launching Austin Eventing!  My name is Lisa Bauman and I am an eventer.  I recently moved to Austin, Texas with my horse (Arvo) and my incredibly supportive boyfriend (who incidentally still thinks my horse growled at him once)!

One of the hardest things about relocating was leaving my stable, riding team, and equine family behind.  I just kept thinking about how amazing a show season that runs more or less all year long and warm weather to train in would be!  So, here I am.  Being new to the area and having to re-build all of my horse local horse connections has lead me to some interesting research discoveries.

It seems that the eventing community near Austin is somewhat segregated.  Of course, I don't mean segregated by breed or cross country colors, but that there seems to be a lack of cohesive communication between riders.  I could be completely off the mark, missing a piece to the puzzle, or just haven't stumbled on the facebook page yet...  However, after chatting with more than a few event riders, it seems that there are a bunch of us down here, but that most riders compete, travel, and train as individuals.

While being an individual event rider is certainly a determined and motivated state of being, I personally have always enjoyed the camaraderie that eventing has offered.  There's nothing quite like being on course, nailing some crazy suspended log, corner, over a water feature, and galloping off while hearing your riding friends screaming in excitement!!

That being said, I wanted to test the waters to see if the Austin-based Eventing community would have any interest in gathering forces!  This blog (as well as the facebook page I just launched) is intended to gather the community for social purposes.

I am hoping that people will interact and share their information about the local eventing scene.  I intend to do my best to update people about shows, clinics, schooling opportunities, and other equine related obsessions.  I would also like to suggest a periodical social gathering!  Let's pick a place and all get together to meet and great each other.  In addition, I will be working on a calender and some sort of ride-share program so that those with trailers and those without can communicate to travel together!

So, don't be shy!!  Comment, e-mail, send your stories, videos, and training shtuffs!  The more the merrier.  If you have an event coming up and want people to know, let me know!  I will do my best to cross promote everything you send me!

Thank you for your interest!  I look forward to learning more about all of you!