Tuesday, March 25, 2014

IHSA - Next two weekends

My next show with Ronin isn't until April 13, where I will be showing at the PG Equestrian Center (home of the Capital Challenge Horse Show).  This facility is a lot like the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in that it hosts a large variety of shows, including 4H, Dressage, Western, local hunter/jumper shows and the big A hunter/jumper shows.  As a child, I always wanted to show at the Capital Challenge show (especially the indoor) and now I have been able to ride in it a few times (not at the same level), but it is still very fun.

My next few weekends will be spent showing, not Ronin, but in the IHSA.  The IHSA is the college level riding program (not NCAA), but usually club level teams.  I showed throughout college on the Lafayette College Equestrian Team (LCET) and did quite well, able to go to Nationals as a Junior in Open Fences (3') placing 4th and with my team as a Senior (team placed 8th).  After taking a few years off to work on my career, I decided to show in the IHSA as an Alumni.  Most of the shows in the region that I live in are very close, so very easy to get to.  Nationals is in Harrisburg, PA, only about 10 minutes from where my husband works, so it is also very easy to get too.

I am currently qualified for Regionals in the O/F class, but need 4 more points to qualify for flat.  Our last show is this Saturday at Goucher College and Regionals is on Sunday at Tulip Pond Farm (GWU).  If I am one of the top two riders at Regionals, I will advance to Zones, which are held at Hollins University in Roanoake, VA, the following weekend.  Since this zone only has one region that holds alumni classes, if I make it through Regionals, I will be going to Nationals.  I will still show at Zones (as it is required), but the pressure is off.

Nationals will be held the first weekend in May.  I am really hoping that I will get to go all the way through as it will be fun to see my old team (LCET already has at least one rider going as they have the Cacchione Cup Open rider showing) and coaches.  Plus it is just a fun event.

Here is one of my rounds from November at Goucher.  For those who do not know about IHSA, you draw a random horse.  This region is pretty nice because they do have limits on certain horses.  I am 5'10" and look pretty ridiculous on a small horse.  So usually, the smallest horse I will ride is 16hh.  Everything is equitation, so it is judged on the rider, not the horse.  It is judged on the rider's position and how they guide the horse around the ring and over the fences.  Simple lead changes are not penalized as it is not our horse, but usually school horses.  As long as the simple change is done right, no deductions occur (in contrast to a regular horse show where a simple change is counted as a break in gate and heavily deducted).

This little horse was awesome and really went well for me.  I was very happy with my round and I ended up winning the class :)

Hopefully I will be successful in my last few shows and can make it to Nationals.  Wish me luck!

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