Beginner Novice… Take Two.

Beginner Novice Eventing at Chattahoochee Hills
Queen of Beginner Novice? Not quite yet, but I'm working on it...
Queen of Beginner Novice? Not quite yet, but I’m working on it…

After such a rough first Beginner Novice event, we decided to try again. It doesn’t get any easier if you don’t keep working at it, right? So, I signed up for another 3-phase, but made sure it was a schooling show this time as JJ and I clearly needed a little more practice on cross country…

My wonderful friend and teammate, Beth, knew I was having some anxiety after the last event, and I arrived on Saturday morning to find a surprise outside of JJ’s stall. To help with my nerves, she made me a special seat which was “reserved for Ainsley Jacobs, Queen of Sr. Beginner Novice.” Thanks, Beth! :)

We got through our dressage test without any major incidents, and although our score of 41.58 on the Beginner Novice A test wasn’t great, that was the least of my worries that day. I had gone from having loved cross country at our first Tadpole, to being terrified of it after our first Beginner Novice.

JJ is an *extremely* talented jumper. He loves it, and takes his job seriously. I had opted to add an extra 2’6″ jumper round for this show thinking it would be a walk in the park for us. I wasn’t concerned about stadium at all until we started warming up, and he was just a touch more enthusiastic than I was comfortable with. There were tears, there was back-talking to my trainer, and, I’m ashamed to admit, there may have been a diva moment (or ten).

My wonderful trainer somehow talked me into at least trying the first jump of the course, and told me to continue on if that went well. I begrudgingly entered the arena, and JJ changed from “beast” mode to “baby sitting” mode. Miraculously, we went double clear once again.

As I was already a little freaked out and had some lingering confidence issues after the last event, I decided not to push my luck and scratch from the following 3-phase stadium round. I didn’t even attempt to school the cross country course, because I didn’t want to risk another bad experience for either myself or JJ at that point.

Somehow, JJ and I managed to WIN our 2’6″ jumper round. I went from so freaked out that I scratched from my 3-phase division but still won our jumper class. How crazy is that?!


Even when it all seems to be going wrong, it’s still worth trying. Jump the first jump. If that goes well, jump the second jump. Then the third. Then the fourth, and so on. If at any point you don’t feel comfortable, you can stop. There’s no rule that says you have to finish, but you owe it to yourself (and to your horse, and your trainer, and your bank account) to at least try.


Date: November 15, 2014
Location: Chattahoochee Hills in Fairburn, Georgia
Division: Beginner Novice 3-Phase, 2’6″ Jumpers
Type: GDCTA Schooling Show
Final Score: Scratch (3P), Clear (Jumpers)
Result: N/A, 1st