It was 2015, and I was still pretty new to the eventing world when I did my first classic long format. My horse at the time, Tango (aka Inate Dignity), and I arrived at the Hoosier Horse Park in Edinburgh, IN to participate in the Novice 3 Day.

Tango in the vet box
Photo Credit: John Bell

Over the course of the 3 days, we learned so much. From the lectures and helpful insight that was provided by Dorothy Crowell and Nadeem Noon, as well as the guidance and support of Lou Ann Wulf and my barn family; I successfully navigated through all the phases. Granted they weren’t all smooth and we had our hiccups along the way (yes, you need to be really well conditioned, yes you need a small army, and no, it’s not over until you cross the finish line after stadium). During the course of the horse trial, my understanding of conditioning, and horsemanship increased tenfold. As well as learning how deep the support is in the eventing world really does go.

It is one of those experiences that I think every eventer should either participate in at least once in their riding career or help in the vet box. The knowledge in horsemanship that you gain from all the time in the saddle, the blood, sweat, and tears… its all worth it.

Want to learn more on the Classic Format? Check out the articles that the USEA is putting together on the Classic Long Format

Inate Dignity after being accepted at the first jog in the N3D
Photo Credit: John Bell