What is 3 Day Eventing?
Eventing could be termed an “equestrian triathlon.” It involves working with a horse both on the flat and over fences. The three phases are: dressage, cross-country (endurance) , and show jumping. Over the centuries it has developed from the test of the ideal military charger. Eventing has now evolved into an exciting sport attracting interest from all levels of sports enthusiasts, from weekend hobby riders to professional international stars.
Phase 1- Dressage-“The dressage phase begins every eventing competition. In French, dressage means “training.” Originally designed to show the horse’s ability to perform intricate movements on the parade involved with reviewing troops, today the dressage test comprises a set series of movements performed in an enclosed arena. Precision, smoothness, suppleness and complete obedience show off the horse’s obedience. Ideally the horse appears to perform the test moments of its own accord, working in harmony with its rider. The test is scored on each movement, rather like the scoring of the compulsories in figure skating, with the overall harmony and precision of the test taken into consideration.
Phase 2- Cross Country- The cross-country course covers approximately 2.75 to 4 miles, along which sit 24-36 fixed and solid obstacles. This phase is ridden at a gallop, with exact speed requirements depending on the level of competition. Cross-country courses require horses and riders to be bold and smart, while testing their physical stamina. The aim of each combination of horse and rider must complete, on time and with as few penalties as possible.
Phase 3- Show Jumping- A show jumping course comprises a series of colored fences usually made up of lightweight rails that are easily knocked down. The test takes place in an enclosed ring and the course must be negotiated in order for the horse and rider to successfully complete the event. This final phase tests the stamina and recovery of the horse after the endurance phase and shows that it is fit enough to continue work. The show jumping course requires very exact riding; it consists of between 12 and 15 show jumping obstacles, which normally include at least one combination, two spread fences, and in some cases a ditch. ”
The USEA Levels of Eventing
Beginner Novice – 2’7″
Novice – 2’11”
Training – 3’3″
Preliminary – 3’7″
Intermediate – 3’9″
Advanced – 3’11”
I have never ridden before, do I need experience to take a lesson at your riding school?
NO! We welcome riders of all levels. That includes pupils who have never been on a horse! We will customize your first lesson to accommodate your needs and your level of experience.
What do I need to bring to my first lesson?
All riders need to wear breeches, riding boots or paddock boots, and bring their release form. Release forms can be found on this site. If you aren’t sure where to get your breeches and boots, contact me and I will provide a list of stores (in person and online) that these items can be purchased at. Here are some stores we love