“The Optimum Times” features two ambitious young riders: Emily Przybowski and Sarah Jeffrey, both chasing their dreams of becoming professional event riders. These two girls are here to share their experiences with you as they work and compete their way to the top.
Originally created for military horses to show strength, accuracy, endurance and agility, eventing has evolved into a sport where hard work, determination, and a little luck might get you all the way to the top. Eventing is the triathlon of horseback riding combining dressage, cross country, and show jumping. In the first phase, dressage, the horse is supposed to show willingness and relaxation, while the rider appears to not be doing anything. But in actuality, the horse is responding to the most minimal aids and direction that the rider gives through their seat, legs, and hands. You are given a score, known as your “dressage score”, which is the amount of penalties you received during the test you performed. The second phase, cross country, is an endurance test for the horse and rider, as they gallop and jump solid obstacles. Fitness of the horse and rider is imperative, especially when you reach the Upper Levels of eventing. One refusal at a cross country jump costs you 20 penalty points. The third and final phase of eventing is show jumping, also known as stadium jumping, where the horse and rider demonstrate their technical skills as the rider guides the horse around a course of jumps. One rail down costs 4 penalties.
Emily and Sarah hope you enjoy reading and following along with their journey!