Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thus begins the road to the Training 3 Day.

Thiiiiiis is an entry. Not just ANY entry, though. See that upper right hand corner where it says T3D? Yep. A lot of things have to happen between now and trotting out for phase A in 40 days or so, but I am EXCITED!

My goal is to document as much as possible for you and me both, and since a conversation with Amy (my fabulous, wonderful trainer) this morning has my conditioning schedule planned out and my entry goes in the mail tomorrow, I guess today is the "Start of the Road to the T3D."

Well, I guess technically it started in... 2008? Three years and three horses ago.

Initially, my goal (along with a dozen or so others) was to run the T3D in 2010. I was supposed to run it on Ari. At this point, Ari may or may not be destined to run training. He may or may not be destined to be sound enough to be a lesson horse... I don't know... but in the meantime, I've been blessed with an incredible, unlikely partner in Miss Brandy, aka SPF's Big Idea- aptly named by Susan minutes before I sent her first entry in to KY Classique in 2009 after selling my first (successful) eventing partner, Lyra.
Lyra at our first Novice (and last show together)
Baby Brandy, just 8 months under saddle at her first BN
I'm sure most of you know her story, but in short, she was a (ubercheap) Craigslist purchase, intended to be my lesson horse for a couple larger adults who wanted to trail ride. After all, a draft cross should be pokey and quiet right?

Wrong. Brandy is forward, quick as a WHIP and um... expressive (aka opinionated.) However, she is also brilliant to jump, so our dressage has been hit or miss, but she has taught me SO MUCH about jumping and XC and given me oodles of confidence!

So, assuming my entry is accepted etc, my basic conditioning schedule will include riding 6 days a week. Two days of dressage with a 20 minute hack out on the hills, one jump school with a 10 minute hack, one day of trot sets (3x5), one day of canter sets (3x5), and one day of walking hills for about 45 minutes. I'm certainly open to amending this as needed, so anyone with experience, please chime in! Brandy is a drafty, but not very heavy. She's fairly easy to keep fit, so she's not your typical draft, but she's definitely no thoroughbred!

We did our trotting 3x5's today and, as always, Brandy was delightful. I did, however, learn that she knows how to count. Maybe not while she's trotting, but after two minutes of walking, she's DONE and she knows it, and don't you try to tell her otherwise!

Brandy's "pre" picture

As for my "ground crew," I'm very, VERY lucky to have my friend Megan in my crew. She has decided not to show so that she can be there for me, and I can't tell you how glad I am! She's also excited to attend the clinics etc, but I just know I'm going to be relieved to be able to know B is in good hands in between phases.
I'm hoping Stacy (the queen of the T3D herself) will be around to help me, and Julie (groom to IEA's 2010 T3D Winner) as well.

I know I'm going to be relying heavily on Stace and Amy to educate me in the next few weeks, and any one else who's done a T3D, please, I need your guidance!

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