I did it! First ever ODE

ponymum

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At the age of 50, I finally managed to compete in a ODE and I'm so chuffed I just had to share. My daughter and I share our horse which usually involves me doing all the mucking out, schooling, a bit of low level dressage and paying all the bills, while she comes home occasionally from uni and jumps him either in SJ or hunter trials/eventing. Now she's away most of the time, I decided it was time to put my brave pants on and enter a local ODE just up the road (Shelford), which runs an unaffiliated the day after their BE weekend. My daughter took our horse (Kyro) round the 90cm course last year and came fourth in her section so I knew he was capable but I'm a bit of a numpty at jumping so I never thought I would ever do something like this. I did a couple of 70cm HTs and then thought, it's now or never and in a mad moment entered the 80cm class.
I walked the course on Saturday with the BE coach there for the BE80(T) people and then spent the next three sleepless nights jumping it in my head. I had a quick tune-up jumping lesson the night before where he was very spooky but at least it got me ready. The day finally came and it was a gorgeous sunny day. My friend came along to help and encourage and then suddenly, I was on and ready for the dressage. My instructor was there with a bunch of students so she helped me warm up. He was lovely! He did a super test, a little unbalanced in the canter but I was really pleased. I was even more pleased when I found out we had scored 31.5!! We were in third place going into the SJ. Mindful of how he had been the day before, I was ready for any spookiness but I needn't have worried - he was a star! He was looking for the jumps and never felt like stopping, we rattled a couple but they stayed up and he went clear - I was thrilled! We were still in third going into XC, the start box was really close to the first fence so I got him moving quickly and he sailed over the first and second. There was a bit of a dodgy line to number three but he listened and then jumped it clear, that was one I was worried about. Then came the fourth, the "let up" fence according to the BE coach, that if you couldn't jump that, you shouldn't be doing it. You can guess what's coming -he only went and slammed the brakes on! Gutted! I was so cross with myself for getting complacent I was muttering all the way round. Needless to say he jumped everything else without batting an eyelid, including the humungous hedge and the huge owl hole last but one fence. So, our dream day didn't quite materialise but I finished, I stayed on and we came 15th out of 22 so not too bad for an ancient numpty at her first go. I now know that I need to ride EVERY fence. I don't think my daughter is getting her horse back :D
Sorry no pics but friend did manage a video of XC towards the end, I know we're not going very fast and that I jump like a numpty but Having had a stop, there was no point in hammering him
http://youtu.be/Nk5yONTpOyA
Phew! That was longer than I'd planned, thanks for reading, I'm still buzzing at having got round
 

casspow

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Super!! Well done you! I had a similar mishap the other week at Arena eventing.. must remember RIDE EVERY FENCE :D
Hope you've booked in for your next one!
 

Charmin

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A very positive outing and you look like you're having a whale of a time in the video!
 

little_critter

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It's great isn't it. I did my first ODE a few weeks ago (just 2'3") and we were just going for a fun day out with no expectation of placing.
We did a pretty reasonable dressage test so I though I'd best put some effort in and try to get a placing. We came home with a 2nd place and I was walking on air for 2 days!
Going to give an 80cm HT a go this weekend. The height shouldn't be an issue but there is a water obstacle so depending on whether we have to jump in / out of it or just go through we may or may not get round clear.
And yes - I must remember to steer!
 

ponymum

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Thanks everyone! Yes, we had a great time, after "the blip" his ears were pricked all the way round. Next outing is a HT and then I'm looking for another ODE to have a bash at. This time I will ride every fence :) and hopefully get in the placings. I can see why people get addicted, dressage seems somehow tame in comparison :D
 

MardyMare

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Thanks everyone! Yes, we had a great time, after "the blip" his ears were pricked all the way round. Next outing is a HT and then I'm looking for another ODE to have a bash at. This time I will ride every fence :) and hopefully get in the placings. I can see why people get addicted, dressage seems somehow tame in comparison :D
Well done! I think I may have walked the course with you on Saturday eve :) I did the BE80 on Sunday. I had a clear round but time penalties but like you was a bit worried about that huge owl hole fence. Sometimes I think the more difficult fences make you kick on lol. I am a couple of years younger than you but it is scary having a go when you are older so I know what you are going through. Again well done !
 

Carefreegirl

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Owl hole in an 80 :eek3:

Well done and we've all had the 'this fence is easy stop'

Good luck for your next one.
 

ponymum

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Well done! I think I may have walked the course with you on Saturday eve :) I did the BE80 on Sunday. I had a clear round but time penalties but like you was a bit worried about that huge owl hole fence. Sometimes I think the more difficult fences make you kick on lol. I am a couple of years younger than you but it is scary having a go when you are older so I know what you are going through. Again well done !
Owl hole in an 80 :eek3: 😳

Well done and we've all had the 'this fence is easy stop'

Good luck for your next one.
Thank you. This was the fence causing the :eek3:

But it rode really well in the end, it was in all three classes 80,90 and 100. I have to confess I had a little "woohoo" when we cleared it :) It was a good metre in the middle and Kyro hasn't quite got the idea of brush, he gives everything air!
 

Levrier

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Well done that is brilliant :) :) So pleased you had a great time, a bit annoying about fence 4 but the fact is you completed and you are buzzing, that is what counts :) Now, fingers tightly crossed I can do an 80 ODE as well once my little TB has finally calmed down from 'racing pony mode' :D :D
 

Tobiano

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wow ponymum so impressed to see this! You have inspired me to do similar as I am now 52 1/2… though I would need to find a 40cm ODE!! Well done! :)
 

Nicnac

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That's fantastic! Well done - I think you may be the motivation I need to get out there and do it too!
 

ponymum

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Lévrier;12926869 said:
Well done that is brilliant :) :) So pleased you had a great time, a bit annoying about fence 4 but the fact is you completed and you are buzzing, that is what counts :) Now, fingers tightly crossed I can do an 80 ODE as well once my little TB has finally calmed down from 'racing pony mode' :D :D
That's fantastic! Well done - I think you may be the motivation I need to get out there and do it too!
wow ponymum so impressed to see this! You have inspired me to do similar as I am now 52 1/2… though I would need to find a 40cm ODE!! Well done! :)
Go for it guys, I had another sleepless night last night but that was because I was still buzzing, I'd love to think that I've motivated you to give it a go :)
 

claracanter

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Well done, thats so brilliant. I am in mid forties and hoping to tackle a BE80 next season, your post has spurred me on!
 

duckling

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Congratulations ponymum! That owlhole is pretty meaty for an 80! I don't suppose you got photos of all the fences on the course? I'd love to add Shelford Manor to the Unaffiliated XC Course Photos page (www.facebook.com/unaffiliatedxccoursephotos) :)

For others looking for smaller ODE's, there are a few out there! I list them on my calendar as mini ODE's and have photos of quite a few of them - see the Facebook page for more info!
 

ponymum

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Congratulations ponymum! That owlhole is pretty meaty for an 80! I don't suppose you got photos of all the fences on the course? I'd love to add Shelford Manor to the Unaffiliated XC Course Photos page (www.facebook.com/unaffiliatedxccoursephotos) :)

For others looking for smaller ODE's, there are a few out there! I list them on my calendar as mini ODE's and have photos of quite a few of them - see the Facebook page for more info!
I certainly did duckling! I will try and upload them :)
 

dark rider

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Wonderful for you ! I started doing BE80's at the grand old age of 53. Go for it, it's great fun, and age is no barrier. Although an owl hole shared with the BE100 is a bit steep I must say :)
 

monte1

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yaay . brilliant. well done to you, what a great buzz - can totally understand where you are coming from. having only managed to finally have a go eventing at the grand age of 42 ( 4 years ago) despite a lifetime of riding and owning. ( lack of funds and transport when i was younger, then ferrying DD to and from all sort of PC events for several years,meant I always took a back seat where competing was concerned) then it was finally our turn and I firmly believe it is never to late. in fact I have just bought a lovely five year old ;-O with the aim to event and BD him next year. look forward to hearing about your next event!
 

star

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Bloody hell that owl hole is a bit steep for an 80! Looks big enough to me and I'm doing 100's! Well done for first go - sounds fab!
 

dark rider

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I used to just get close enough to the fences to find out where they were, not how big they were! If it is still there, there is a hedge a Shelford round about fence 4 or 5, that only admired from a distance before jumping it :)
 

JGC

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Well done, you're an inspiration - maybe if I spend the next twenty years developing cast-iron brave pants, I'll one day get round a one-day event too, like I always dreamed I would :) :)
 
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