PDA

View Full Version : Making the switch to eventing



apachepony
Sep. 28, 2007, 03:11 AM
Since Caleb has told me that he finds it way to boring to be a hunter, and it's looking like I won't get him sold without actual eventing experience, i've decided to suck it up and attempt to get him ready to event. Since my eventing experience stops at my barn's yearly horse/hunter trial as a kid, i'm hoping you all can lend some advice!

Since i'm poooor, my main goal is to do enough "homework" that when it does come time to actually go to an event, I can step in the ring thinking we can win. Now we all know that never happens, but plain and simple, I don't have the money to do event after event just for practice. Not to mention "was disqualified at his first three events, placed dead last at the next two, and after 4 more months, finally won!" doesn't exactly look great on a sale flyer. :lol:

Caleb is a 5 year old pony and has a pretty solid background of hunter training. Dressage is definitely not my forte, so i've been taking lessons. Even in the short time since those started, he's improved immensely.

My grand plan so far:
Continue dressage lessons and go to dressage/ct show in 2 weeks.
Over the next few months/winter, continue lessons.
Continue dressage/ct shows
Winter A shows (jumpers) if the wallet allows
February show at old barn's "horse trial"
March possibly event

It appears that in winning rides at BN, a 70 is a pretty average dressage score. It makes sense to me to be getting consistent scores in that range before doing an event. He's well prepped for the stadium portion. I'm not worried about that.

I am going to have a tough time prepping for cross country since I don't own a vest. I have one place to school without a vest but they don't have ditches or a 'real' water complex.

Does it sound like this is an appropriate plan for getting ready for an event without actually going to one? I know at some point i'll have to figure out the XC schooling/vest thing, but i'm hoping that will fall into place in the future.

I'm currently reading "Training the Three-Day Event Horse and Rider". Any other helpful books to read?

tarheelmd07
Sep. 28, 2007, 08:22 AM
apache -- I'm sending you a PM since I'm not sure you have my phone number :) Give me a call and I can give you more tips on the eventing thing (in your area :D) that I can by typing here! Seriously...give me a call and I'll give you a couple of suggestions to help you out!

Oh...and welcome to the Dark Side :lol: You might just get hooked!

c_expresso
Sep. 28, 2007, 08:42 AM
Sounds like you have a good plan so far.

JW though... why not sell him as a jumper? You are already familiar with that circuit and if he has good hunter training, he could go out and do the jumpers tomorrow. Also he will likely bring more money as a jumper.

frugalannie
Sep. 28, 2007, 09:04 AM
Do you have places where you can hack out, maybe even canter over trails/open terrain or just plain gallop? If he does well with that and is brave, eventing might be for him. Otherwise, jumpers might be a better market.

If you have trails where you can set up natural looking stadium fences (use unpainted rails, brush, plywood sheets) you can begin to replicate the feel of XC. That will help you assess the boldness of your horse before facing him with real XC fences.

Maybe borrow a vest from a friend?

frugalannie
Sep. 28, 2007, 09:07 AM
Oh, and check the threads started by GreystoneKC (I think) about switching from hunters to eventing. Lots of good advice in there!

Janet
Sep. 28, 2007, 09:12 AM
am going to have a tough time prepping for cross country since I don't own a vest. I have one place to school without a vest but they don't have ditches or a 'real' water complex.

Does it sound like this is an appropriate plan for getting ready for an event without actually going to one? I know at some point i'll have to figure out the XC schooling/vest thing, but i'm hoping that will fall into place in the future. Since XC is the area which is "most different" from what you have been doing, I would put that as your first priority- far above more dressage lessons.

With a horse for sale, a score of 50 on dressage with 0 on XC and SJ is a LOT more attractive than a score of 30 on dressage and 20 on XC.

You can get a vest for under $100. You can even probably borrow one.

snoopy
Sep. 28, 2007, 11:33 AM
Since XC is the area which is "most different" from what you have been doing, I would put that as your first priority- far above more dressage lessons.

With a horse for sale, a score of 50 on dressage with 0 on XC and SJ is a LOT more attractive than a score of 30 on dressage and 20 on XC.

You can get a vest for under $100. You can even probably borrow one.



VERY good advice....

apachepony
Sep. 28, 2007, 12:06 PM
I guess I did make it sound like all he's done is ride in a ring. :lol: My barn has 600 acres of good varied terrain that I regularly ride on, with a few simple cross country jumps. He's been on hunter paces and other cross country like rides, so i'm not just guessing he'll go xc. He hasn't schooled all the competition obstacles, but i'm confident he'll do fine when he does.

I also neglected to mention that he's a pony, and there's no market for pony jumpers in my area. If the kid can ride, they are on a horse doing much higher fences, and if they can't ride, Caleb's not suitable. Plus, the pony jumper classes are level 3, which are 3'6 w/ spreads of 4' (if I remember right). At 5 years old, he's just not ready for that.

I will go check out that other thread.

Janet
Sep. 28, 2007, 12:20 PM
so i'm not just guessing he'll go xc. He hasn't schooled all the competition obstacles, but i'm confident he'll do fine when he does. For a horse FOR SALE, I'd not be that trusting.

Especially since you said
I don't have the money to do event after event just for practice.

If it were me, I'd put everything else on the back burner and school XC until I had PROOF that he will "go" over competion obstacles. Not "guessing" or "confident".

CookiePony
Sep. 28, 2007, 12:30 PM
You might want an event trainer to go XC schooling with you-- there are some terrain questions, etc. that you might be happy to have explained. If you post your geographical area someone here on the BB is bound to have a good recommendation.

displacedyank
Sep. 28, 2007, 01:43 PM
I agree with Janet, any time I have a "horse turning eventer" for sale, the very first thing I'll do is the Big 3 - ditches, banks, and water. I *have* to know how they are going to react to those, b/c you might be talking some serious schooling before you can sell him as an "eventer". In particular with ditches. In that case, all the dressage in the world is not going to help you, b/c there are ditches on even most of the lower level (BN) courses that I can think of (at least in Area II), shoot, there's even a Trakehner on the N course of Carolina Horse Park.

I also think there are probably eventers in your area that would be more than willing to go w/ you xc schooling or school one xc for you. I know I would do that for anyone for a few bucks of gas money, or heck, probably even a beer (or maybe two if it's a tough horse! :D) *LOL* No need to put a ton of $ out to do this. You don't need a BNT to get on him.

JMHO!

apachepony
Sep. 28, 2007, 01:53 PM
a Trakehner on the N course of Carolina Horse Park.


Well that would make me pee in my pants! :eek:
http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1190953235055731734kBizVK
No thank you!!! :eek: :eek: :eek:*scurries back to hunter/jumper land*

I will be taking him as soon as possible to school xc. The only thing they are lacking is a ditch. I'll have to borrow a vest and go elsewhere to do that.

I honestly assumed it was a lack of dressage training that would be his biggest turnoff as a potential eventer. I didn't realize it was so important to have cross country experience.

Just because I think it's cute :winkgrin: :
http://www.geocities.com/apachepony8/pt/confojump.jpg

displacedyank
Sep. 28, 2007, 02:20 PM
OH, no, don't run away yet!!! :D Yes, that was the Trakehner I was referring to though, unfortunately, it's still there despite the fact that the AEC's have moved! *LOL*

No, it's not normally lack of dressage that people will turn away from, b/c that is a perpetual work in progress anyway! Most people want to know that he'll pack them around SAFELY on xc, first and foremost.

I think he's absolutely adorable, btw!

Speedy
Sep. 28, 2007, 02:26 PM
I second (or third?) the bring-an-event-trainer-to-your-xc-schooling advice (preferably one that has a good reputation with young/green horses). You DO need him to do ditches, banks and water - and there ARE ways to set yourself up for success with these, in particular the ditches and water. The horses that end up having trouble with these are typically the horses that weren't properly introduced (the very first time) to the questions - and there really are 'right' ways and 'wrong' ways of going about that.

I would also recommend that you ask someone to bring their been-there-done-that horse on the school, because you may very well want a lead the first time or two over these questions. If you don't need that lead in the end, great, but if you do, you may really regret not having had one to help out.

Spark
Sep. 28, 2007, 03:05 PM
First - I'd say to get or borrow a vest, you'll need one to actually compete anyways. You can usually find some used ones for sale if you look in the right places. You DON'T need a tipperrary for 200 bucks!

Also, at BN the most they'll have is a water run through. Just find a stream or even a large puddle near you and practice trotting through it. If he doesn't seem bothered, he'll probably be fine

As far as ditches go - I have a ditchy mare, and before I was boarding at a barn with their own ditches I made my own. I spread out a black cooler and put small poles on either side, my horse was more terrified of those then of any ditch we ever saw! You can also do something similar with towels or a tarp. I've seen horses figure it out right away and have no problem with stepping in the "ditch", but my mare (granted, she is a irrational TB mare) is still afraid of them!

bornfreenowexpensive
Sep. 28, 2007, 03:20 PM
Go splurge on a vest...they are useful when breaking horses as well anyway!

For ditches...you can start by simulating one in the ring. Use a dark (or it doesn't really matter) tarp. Large tarp. Fold it up so that it is less then a foot wide and as long as possible (usually I think ours are close to pole length). Pile two poles on top with standards on either side. Jump poles from trot until he does it calmly. then role the poles so each on is on the edge of the tarp. Jump again until calm. Then open up the tarp to make it a bit wider with the poles on the edge....jump again. Keep repeating until the tarp is rolled out to about 2.5-3' wide. If he is happily doing that, it will help for the ditches.

Not a sure thing, but if you can't get them over the tarp (which is also good for teaching them about liverpools)....you may have a real battle about ditches.

LookinSouth
Sep. 28, 2007, 03:34 PM
Most people want to know that he'll pack them around SAFELY on xc, first and foremost.

I think he's absolutely adorable, btw!

Especially when it comes to a pony which will most likely be for a child. I agree that he's super adorable as well. Definitely focus on XC!!! That is the difference between horses that are eventing material and non-eventing material.

apachepony
Sep. 28, 2007, 10:20 PM
Good advise born. I've got a tarp and some 1x4's that i've been meaning to make into a liverpool. Even more incentive to get my butt outside with the hammer.

Lose That
Sep. 29, 2007, 12:18 AM
Why are you so determined to sell him as an eventer if he's never even cross country schooled? Why not just sell him as a hunter if that's what he's good at?

Eventers buy horses BECAUSE they are good at cross country usually, not because they can jump stadium and do dressage. That's the easy part. Cross country is the important thing to us usually, like the others said. I would cross country school as much as possible because that's what eventers want to know, is the horse really brave? Has he schooled ditches, banks, water etc? Any horse will jump a log in a field (usually), it's the tough stuff that matters when selling. Definitely bring a trainer, especially if you're never schooled cross country before. It's a lot different than jumping in a ring and even than jumping out on trails and stuff (especially when it comes to said obstacles above)!

Also, why bother bringing him to A shows in the winter if you're not going to sell him to that market? With the money you spend at an A show, you could do an event instead (and give him more of a competition record) even if you have to sit on the money until spring to do it.

apachepony
Sep. 29, 2007, 01:46 AM
I'm selling him as an eventer because he doesn't have the style to be a hunter and he doesn't have the desire to be a packer kid's pony that hunters insist on having.

He was bred by pwynnnorman to event. He wants to event. I started him in hunters because it was what I was familiar with, we have a lot of hunter shows in the area, and it was a good all around start to training. He's telling me he doesn't want to do that anymore, so i'm doing my best to help him out with that, rather than force him to do something he doesn't enjoy.

He schooled banks, water and a variety of small cross country jumps when he was 3. He's continued to school whatever is avaliable. He just hasn't schooled a "real" cross country course yet. I grew up with a cross country course that I frequently took advantage of. I do understand how to present him to xc jumps in a safe, confident fashion.

I would take him to the A shows over the winter because *I* want to do jumpers. Since that falls in line with what he needs to know as well, it seems like a good outing. I can trailer in for the day (about 20 minutes), so i'm not shelling out my life savings for stalls. Plus, if it turns out that the eventing crowd isn't interested in him, that leaves him with some more jumper experience to fall back on. There's a big gaping hole in shows from November to March if I don't take advantage of the A shows. It's not the end of the world, but winter is awfully dull.

Janet
Sep. 30, 2007, 12:20 AM
I'm selling him as an eventer because he doesn't have the style to be a hunter and he doesn't have the desire to be a packer kid's pony that hunters insist on having.
That is kind of like saying "I am selling her as a hunter because she doens't have the speed for the jumpers."

YOu should decide what to sell him as based on what he DOES have, not what he DOESN'T have.

Lose That
Sep. 30, 2007, 01:25 AM
I agree with what Janet said above.

And you guys can flame away if you want, but this sounds a bit like they typical "oh he's not really good at anything else, so I'll just sell him as an eventer". And I won't even get STARTED on that subject.

apachepony
Sep. 30, 2007, 07:09 AM
He was bred by pwynnnorman to event. He wants to event.

He's Teddy's nephew for god's sakes!! Are you telling me that he shouldn't try eventing??

He turned 5 in april... yes, he started his showing in hunters. That doesn't mean that he was going to stay there. According to the eventing rules:

1 LEVELS
1.1 BEGINNER NOVICE (B) - Open to competitors of any age, on horses four years of age and older. So it's not like he could have tried eventing much earlier.

The making the switch questions were more for my benefit than his. I haven't done eventing before... that doesn't mean he can't try it if that's what he wants to do.

Ultimately it's my job (and his future buyers) to decide if eventing will be where he stays. In the meantime I posted a question about a timeline for training, not if he should try eventing or not.

Janet
Sep. 30, 2007, 08:34 AM
Hey, I am not saying he won't be a great eventer. He may very well be.

It is that your STATED REASON for marketing him as an eventer is a BIG RED FLAG for most eventers.

[ You didn't say you were marketing him as an eventer "becuase he is Teddy's nephew". You said "because he doesn't have the style to be a hunter ".]

Yes, you can't compete at a recognized event unil the horse is 4, but you can compete at BN, N and T. There are many horses competing at N as 4 yearolds, and more than a few 4 yo's at training. So lots of 5 yos will be further along- some competing at Prelim. I am not personally advocating that schedule, but it puts your comment about "So it's not like he could have tried eventing much earlier." in perspective.

apachepony
Sep. 30, 2007, 09:01 AM
Lose That asked why i'm not selling him as a hunter. I'm not sure why it was a red flag to answer that honestly.

Eventers aren't judged on style. Most i've seen don't jump like Popeye K (though i'm sure some do). Caleb doesn't jump with his knees to his eyeballs, on a lopey stride, with no rider guidance. He jumps like a normal horse. Could he be a passable hunter? Sure. He won 4th place in year end awards as a hunter. Now, do I think he could go on to do the regular large ponies at A shows? He might be competitive enough for a local A show, but not WEF. But that all goes back to: why force him to do something he wasn't bred to do? Something he doesn't love doing?

As far as jumpers, yes! I think he would do very well continuing in jumpers. However, if I can't find someone who wants a pony jumper, what's the point? At 5 years old i'm not willing to push him into 3'6 pony jumper classes just for a sale. If I can't get my act together and figure out how to get into eventing, you can bet i'll continue jumpers with him. He did fabulously at his first jumper show.

So please explain to me why saying he doesn't have the style to be a large pony hunter is a huge red flag to an eventer, where style isn't judged?

And no, you're right, i'm not selling him as an eventer because he's related to Teddy. I'm letting him try it because it seems that that's what he really would love to do. I've never seen him happier than on a jumper course or a gallop across the farm. Eventing isn't really my ultimate goal in life (too dang far away to travel!) but i'm willing to do it for his sake, and I would regardless of if he were for sale or not.

Rulebooks are always annoyingly confusing to read. Thanks for setting me straight about the ages.

Janet
Sep. 30, 2007, 09:37 AM
So please explain to me why saying he doesn't have the style to be a large pony hunter is a huge red flag to an eventer, where style isn't judged?
OK I'll try again.

What would your reaction be if an eventer told you they were "marketing their horse as a show hunter because he doesn't jump water, hunter courses don't have water." Would you think- "that sounds like a good prediction that the horse will be a good show hunter"?

BarbB
Sep. 30, 2007, 10:45 AM
People come on this forum all the time and post that they want to learn to jump and want to do horse trials and obviously have no experience whatsoever and the horse ditto. Everyone posts encouraging remarks and tell them that ANY horse can do BN and how to get started. And it's a big happy party.

Someone with experience and (from the photo) a very nice pony comes here and wants info on helping this pony change careers to something that he will hopefully like better than what he is doing and gets ripped on because............why exactly?
Her motives aren't pure?
Eventing is a second choice as career?
There is some implied insult because she really wanted to do the hunters but when the horse didn't like it she decided to give him a chance at eventing?
WTF ???????:confused:
apachepony, I'm sure you will do fine. Welcome to Eventing. :sigh:
I agree with the (constructive) info you have been given. If you want to market this pony as an event horse he really needs to understand XC, not just be willing to jump a log and gallop in a field. Forget the dressage, teach him about ditches.
Good luck.

Eventer13
Sep. 30, 2007, 11:11 AM
I agree with BarbB, lets not pile on Apachepony. I dont think she came here with the intent of stirring up anything or trying to make it out that eventers are somehow the bottom of the barrel, cant-do-nothin-else horses. She's trying to find the discipline that her horse will enjoy the most, give her a little credit for that, rather than pushing her pony to be something he's not.

Whisper
Sep. 30, 2007, 02:16 PM
He's adorable, and I don't see anything wrong with saying you feel he's more suited to eventing or low-level SJ. He's only 5, so I don't think you can expect him to be a complete packer at this stage, but most of the market for pony eventers I've seen has been for kids and smaller adults who are relative beginners to eventing. It sounds like he does have some XC experience already, but the more you can get out there and school, the better. If there is a local hunt, perhaps see if you can go hilltopping or do some hunter paces on him?

If you won't have much access to XC fences until Spring, I agree that working on the dressage would be a good idea. I find it helps the jumping, and often placings depend more on the dressage score, especially at the lower levels. He's obviously scopey enough to handle the jumps, but the more exposure you can give him, the better.

apachepony
Sep. 30, 2007, 02:54 PM
Janet, I appreciate you trying to explain this to me, and I sort of see your point. If an eventer had a horse that wouldn't do water, but had other hunter type attributes, sure, i'd take him. Of course my price range doesn't allow me to buy a perfect made hunter. But I do see where you're coming from in that if the only information about a horse was "he won't do water, let's do hunters" that would make it seem like hunters isn't hard in it's own right.

I do assure all of you i'm not trying to stir up trouble! The last thing I think is that eventing is easy and has bottom of the barrel horses. You don't see hunters in the olympics do you? :lol: If I thought every horse could event with no prep, i'd be out there doing it, not on here asking about it. :winkgrin:

I appreciate the positive responses.

Hannahsmom
Sep. 30, 2007, 09:09 PM
apachepony, I watched your video and I wish my 5 year old OTTB jumped half so nice. We're still on ground poles. :D Get the vest, get a friend and take that nice pony out to learn about ditches, water, and banks. He looks a treat.

Janet
Sep. 30, 2007, 09:32 PM
My REAL point is that the first thing an eventer is going to ask is "how well does he do ditches, water and banks?"

So if you are going to market him as an eventer, your best use of your time and funds if to make sure you have a good answer.

apachepony
Oct. 1, 2007, 03:03 AM
I understand you completely now Janet. Thanks!

Hannahsmom, aww thanks!!

Janet
Oct. 1, 2007, 08:14 AM
Glad I was able to clarify.

THEN, when someone asks "why are you marketing him as an eventer" you can answer "because he is better at ditches, water, and banks than he is at 'perfect hunter form'"

Trixie
Oct. 1, 2007, 11:02 AM
One could have mentioned that schooling over ditches, banks, and water would be more helpful than the dressage without acting as though the OP is here to commit a SIN!!!!!! by pointing her pony at eventing when he's unsuitable as a hunter. As long as, of course, that's not the ONLY reason he'd make a good eventer - which it doesn't seem to be.

AND, she IS planning to point him towards a horse trial and an event in March. Looks as though the OP is trying to do things RIGHT - and as far as I can tell, there's no obvious reason why she SHOULDN'T try her hand at eventing him when he hasn't found his forte yet. Are you only allowed to event when your motives are as pure as the fresh snow?



My REAL point is that the first thing an eventer is going to ask is "how well does he do ditches, water and banks?"

So if you are going to market him as an eventer, your best use of your time and funds if to make sure you have a good answer.

Why didn't you just say that in the first place?

Whisper
Oct. 1, 2007, 02:47 PM
Just want to wish you luck in finding the perfect home with him, and I'm sure you'll have fun with him and teach him a lot in the meantime. :)

Janet
Oct. 1, 2007, 02:52 PM
Why didn't you just say that in the first place? I THOUGHT I did, [at least twice]but apparently I was not clear.

Janet
Oct. 1, 2007, 03:03 PM
Who said anything about "sin" or "motives"?
My comments were all about "how to market" and "how to best use training $ and time" to sell her pony as an eventer.

Trixie
Oct. 1, 2007, 03:14 PM
I was referring to the repeated questioning of her motives in regard to selling him as an eventer... plus the prevalent attitude that seems to come out nearly every time a hunter rider wants to do something eventer-esque on these boards. I'm assuming the OP knows her horse. Read BarbB's post.

I know an awful lot of TB's that were bred to be racehorses...

Trixie
Oct. 1, 2007, 03:20 PM
I am not personally advocating that schedule, but it puts your comment about "So it's not like he could have tried eventing much earlier." in perspective.

If it's not really recommended (ie, you don't advocate it) and the OP was initially focusing on another discipline - one could see precisely how the pony wouldn't have been schooled XC much earlier. It certainly doesn't mean she can't start now.

I think it's a GOOD thing that the OP is trying to do what she feels is right for her horse.

bornfreenowexpensive
Oct. 1, 2007, 03:31 PM
wow...harsh....I didn't get Janet's post as being overly critical but educational.....be careful how you present your prospect.....it will raise red flags to eventers if you are selling him because he will not make a nice hunter....a lot of the traits that make a good hunter ARE the same traits that make a good event horse. But to say that you think he will make a better event horse then top A level hunter (and will enjoy eventing more) is a different presentation.

He is very cute...but he has a large strike against him as an event horse....he is NOT one yet. I have two 5 year olds....both at training level and both with miles of experience with ditches, water and banks and a competition records. So you need to do some catch up. There will be others out on the market without experience....but the ones with experience are more appealing for obvious reasons...they are event horses being marketed as event horses.

You have been given a lot of good advice. X-c experience is important, then dressage and ridability in stadium (and how careful he is). Get him some miles....and have some fun while you do it.

magnolia73
Oct. 1, 2007, 03:35 PM
mmmm.... If he can do pretty well as a pony hunter at local A's, and got 4th at your year end association, I think you will have to do a lot with his eventing to get the same price in terms of schooling and just getting him out there.

At any rate, if he's Teddy's nephew (marketable in itself I imagine) and has proficiency at the basics, maybe it would be faster and more profitable to have a pro do a couple of XC schoolings and show the horse at a horse trial. That way the horse gets the best possible ride XC and gets more exposure to the event world, you save $100 on a XC vest. Plus, if the horse just sucks on XC, you know it is the horse, not you..... and can focus on jumpers. Plus, it seems like a seasoned eventer can take a horse out at a higher level- if you need to debut at BN because of you, and a pro can debut at Novice..... the horse would be worth more.

In my opinion, it just makes sense, in the sale of a horse, to put someone specialized on it. A good hunter rider will make most horses look more appealing to hunters than an eventer. And a good eventer will make your horse look more appealing to eventers- from the wording of the sales ad to what the training focus should be.

Janet
Oct. 1, 2007, 03:38 PM
I was referring to the repeated questioning of her motives in regard to selling him as an eventer... plus the prevalent attitude that seems to come out nearly every time a hunter rider wants to do something eventer-esque on these boards. I'm assuming the OP knows her horse. Read BarbB's post.

I know an awful lot of TB's that were bred to be racehorses...
OK I will try to be even clearer.

I was not saying she shouldn't market him as an eventer because he isn't excelling at hunters. (motives)

I am saying that, from a MARKETING perspective, if an EVENTER asks that question, then THAT answer: "becuase he doesn't have perfet hunter form" constitutes "shooting herself in the foot". (marketing, not motives).

If I had a $ for every time somebody said his/her horse "would make a good eventer because it doesn't do/have X" I would be a very rich woman. (Where X might be "reliable changes", "perfect form", "good enough mover", " the right step for the hunters", "the right temperament for the hunters", etc.) SOME of those horses MIGHT have made good eventers, but it was because of what they COULD do, not because of what they COULDN'T do.

Eventers, as a group, are a bit jaded about horses that are "rejects from other disciplines". The best way around that "filter" is "good at water, ditches and banks".

thumbsontop
Oct. 1, 2007, 03:39 PM
If the pony is sane and quiet, it would probably make a perfect child or amateur eventer. My daughter's pony isn't cut out for hunters, which is where she spent the first chapter of her life, and isn't perfect at eventing either. She is safe though, and while she probably isn't championship quality, she only started recognized eventing BN junior with my daughter this past summer and hasn't placed below 4th in 4 events!

I would add more cross country schooling to your routine - away from home and sometimes where he doesn't get to "see" the jump ahead of time. The more exposure he gets to that the better off he'll be. I can't emphasize SAFE cross country enough. Most low levelers would much rather have controlled and clear than fast.

Advertise him through the local Pony Club.

Janet
Oct. 1, 2007, 03:40 PM
If it's not really recommended (ie, you don't advocate it) and the OP was initially focusing on another discipline - one could see precisely how the pony wouldn't have been schooled XC much earlier. It certainly doesn't mean she can't start now.

I think it's a GOOD thing that the OP is trying to do what she feels is right for her horse.
I quite agree.

snoopy
Oct. 1, 2007, 03:43 PM
Right on Trixie!!!:D The OP came here for a bit of advice and yet some have slammed her/his "motive" for trying to market the horse as a possible eventer, because he was not suitable for hunters.

Horses, like humans, are allowed to change career.

LisaB
Oct. 2, 2007, 09:48 AM
In a prospective buyers view from what you've said, I would think:
1. Pony has crappy jumping form. We eventers can't have crappy jumping form either. We don't just lose the class, we lose our lives with crappy jumping style.
2. Pony's attitude is not good for hunters. Okay, cheeky pony attitude. Couple that with some fitness and we have a cheeky, nasty pony!
These are the things that would go through a prospective buyers mind. We know that your pony isn't like this but Janet is spot on in her comments.
Also, don't do the jumpers. We do the schooling jumper shows in the winter to work on whatever but you rarely see us going for a win because it's not conducive to our sj rounds at the lower levels. So, think about this. When I get on your pony and start jumping, he's going the whiz around and I think I'm going to have a heck of a time jumping him in a bn-nov round in a sane manner.
I would prefer to try out a horse where I do some flatwork and the horse accepts the bit and goes in a nice relaxed frame. Then I pop over some jumps and over a couple of gymnastics and he does it willingly without fuss. Then I take him out x-c schooling. He goes through water, ditches, and banks without fuss either. (And not like a bat out of hell)
I had to suck it up and do foxhunting for a season with a horse for sale. Boy, that was a cold winter!
This weekend is a x-c clinic down at wingreen. It's fairly inexpensive. www.wingreenxc.com
And the best advertisement for an eventer is going out and eventing.
good luck!

pwynnnorman
Oct. 2, 2007, 09:58 PM
A lot of good advice. I'd second the advice that you consider putting a pro on him for his ditches, banks and water work initially. (Hey, and it'd free you up to be behind the camera, too) Your own approach to that stuff could have an impact on his, if you know what I mean. Put someone gung-ho on him. Don't you think you might find yourself being a bit "conservative" (not meant as a slight!) due to your hunter background? You've mentioned in the past the challenge of seeing your distances. Quite naturally, that might also be on your mind when you school him x-c...when it shouldn't be.

Someone also mentioned gymnastics. I think it's a pretty standard expectation that an eventer be able to navigate a "sea of rails" comfortably and independently--and that's something you can work on at home. And you could gradually built it...and get it on tape, too! Matt Ryan put the potential of grids for babies well when he wrote: "... I do build gymnastic exercises for babies to find out how much scope the horse has. You can build your last element in your gymnastic exercise up to a decent height without having to worry about seeing a stride. You can guarantee as long as you keep forward and straight you will meet that fence at a perfect stride. Doing this builds up the young horse's confidence in coping with a bigger jump."

Here's a link to the distances one can start with to figure out what distances to set: http://www.saddleupcheshire.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=40&Itemid=51

Good luck and keep us posted. You know how much I'd love to see him out there!

Whisper
Oct. 2, 2007, 10:22 PM
It's not like she's going to take out a sales ad that says "I wanted him to be a hunter, but he's too hot and doesn't jump well enough. So, I'm looking for an eventer to buy him, since they all love crazy horses with crappy jumps." ;) She's trying to figure out how best to introduce him quickly to eventing successfully, so her approach might be a bit different than if she was planning to keep him. I agree with Pwynn that either way, having a more experienced rider take him for his first outing or two is a good idea, to build up his confidence and give him the best possible start. At this stage, she isn't marketing him, and we're forbidden to do that here anyway.

If she's going to do H/J shows with him, would Eq over fences courses be a good idea? I'm thinking they're judged less on form, and require handiness with turns and stuff, but don't encourage the "hell bent for election" race.

apachepony
Oct. 2, 2007, 11:13 PM
It's not like she's going to take out a sales ad that says "I wanted him to be a hunter, but he's too hot and doesn't jump well enough. So, I'm looking for an eventer to buy him, since they all love crazy horses with crappy jumps."

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I do think I might throw that in the ad just for kicks! :winkgrin:

Wynn, you're right, my eye is crappy! Cross country doesn't worry me at lower levels since I did so much as a kid, but it would be nice to get a pro on him.

I found out there's a local horse trial in 5 weeks that i'm tentatively aiming for. I believe they even have a maiden division if need be. Thanks to nickaloosa graciously lending me a vest until I get my own, i'm free to school or show now.

Whisper, while I don't think Eq classes would hurt, I don't think they would add much saleability either. Since he's naturally forward, riding hell bent for leather in jumper classes wouldn't do squat for his training (which is MUCH more important to me than a ribbon). Of course, since the winter A shows apparently don't offer anything but level 2 jumpers, it looks like I won't be doing any jumpers over the winter anyway. As much as I would enjoy doing some of the eq medal classes, it would be insanely expensive to do 1 (or even 2) classes at an A show. I think my money would be better spent on cross country schools, pro rides, or actual events.

Whisper
Oct. 2, 2007, 11:53 PM
That makes a lot of sense - A shows take a *huge* amount of money! Is the weather decent enough in your area that you'll be able to get him out some over the winter, or at least this fall and in the spring? Good luck finding the perfect home for him. I'm glad you were able to borrow a vest - that saves a bit on the money front. Have fun getting out there with him in the meantime while he gets some more experience with the XC and dressage side of things!

If there's a good XC instructor in your area, perhaps you can get a XC outing on one of their school horses while they take him for the banks/water/ditches intro? Having a horse who knows their job really is a huge confidence builder. When I had my first couple of XC schools ever last year, I was on a BTDT guy who really took care of me while I tried to figure out (http://groups.msn.com/BAENAddicts/whisper.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=12875) what the heck (http://groups.msn.com/BAENAddicts/whisper.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=12335) my body was supposed to do with banks. The greenies (who had experienced riders) made humongous leaps into the center of the water their first couple of times through, and I wound up giving them a lead a couple of times over stuff they weren't sure about. You're obviously a better rider than I am, and you do have some XC experience, but banks really feel weird at first.

apachepony
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:13 AM
Is the weather decent enough in your area that you'll be able to get him out some over the winter, or at least this fall and in the spring?

While winter definitely isn't my favorite season, NC winters are mild enough to keep riding all the way through. I have heard it predicted that from our ultra hot summer, we'll have an ultra cold winter. Yuck!

I am extremely lucky to have such a great barn for work outside the ring. With what seems like about 100 lakes/ponds on 600 acres, Caleb got over his prissiness about water really quick! One of the best places to condition is the ~100 acre cow pasture. You can imagine the look on the horse's face the first time they come cantering over a hill and run into a cow. :lol:

Whisper
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:17 AM
Well, it sure sounds like you have the water part of the equation handled! :lol:

My guy's paddock is right next to a field full of cows, calves, and a bull, and they don't seem to rattle him at all, even when the calves gallop or buck. Encountering one on a trail ride might be scarier, though!

thumbsontop
Oct. 3, 2007, 09:54 AM
Put someone gung-ho on him. Don't you think you might find yourself being a bit "conservative" (not meant as a slight!) due to your hunter background?


Sorry - I don't agree here. You're dealing with a pony. The largest market is going to be with children. The OP mentions that the pony is forward, I agree that Eq would probably be a good way to go. If the pony is forward on cross country my opinion is that being able to maintain a controlled canter, not gallop, in the field is even more important than ditches, banks, and water. Not to say that those wouldn't be great selling points, but safe has to come first to appeal to the broadest market in pony eventing.

My daughter has been in a very large Pony Club for several years and eventing kids looking for a large pony are going to be on average 9 to 12 years old. Those parents are looking for safety first. The events they enter aren't likely going to require ditches and banks initially. Likely they will outgrow the pony before they can get above BN. I can't tell you how many times ponies are marketed as "good Pony Club prospects" because they are forward and fast. NOT appropriate for children. I mention Pony Club because that's the largest "eventing kids" group there is.

My daughter's pony that I mentioned previously was VERY forward in hunters...but was even less appropriate for eventing initially because of her speed and hard pony nature. It took lots of hard work to make her safe.

It's not to say that an someone couldn't be interested in this pony and want a speedy eventing superstar. I'm just looking at what the largest market is and what to do to increase your chances of selling there.

pwynnnorman
Oct. 3, 2007, 10:36 AM
I think you misunderstand me, thumbsontop. I meant for his first schooling, not forever. For example, do you know how common it is for relatively inexperienced riders to look down when approaching a ditch? That's a big no-no that will shut down a greenie almost every time. Putting a pro on him will insure that such no-no's are less likely to happen. "Gung-ho" doesn't mean fast or foolhardy. It means confident.

Also, Caleb isn't a fast, difficult pony--you're also misinterpreting Apachepony, I think. What he is is just not a dead-head hunter. If you watch his videos, you'll see that the higher the fences get, the better he does. The more pace (no racing, but hardly the winning "lope" of hunters!), the better his eye AND his ears. What Apachepony has sadly discovered is what we pony breeders--including those of us also producing hunter ponies--know all too well: size and packability is what sells in hunters. Caleb is an unfortunate size, at 14.0--the trainers all want "top of the line" larges (within 1/2" of the max allowed). He is a Thoroughbred ride: highly trainable but also far more reactive than the kind of pony trainers-who-don't-really-train-anything know how to deal with. And, sadly, that kind of trainer is in the majority at the level of showing most folks with talented greenies have access to. (Wealthy folks with talented greenies do NOT have this problem, BTW, because they can access the genuine trainers, which is why you actually do see sharp TB-crosses doing well in hunters, too. Remember, sadly, there is a lot more to making a hunter pony than just the pony itself.

In a way, Caleb is being somewhat downgraded in this discussion for 1.) having enough talent and sense not to work too hard over low jumps (if you've looked at his video, you know what I mean) 2.) being a TBx in a region where that's the last thing the trainer's want, and 3.) being owned by someone who can't afford to send him off to a hunter pro who could easily tighten him up and put a super pony jock on him to give him the miles (upon miles upon miles) to dull his sharp edges. I know this because I was in the same area and worked with those very trainers. I had a cousin of Caleb's who stood 13.3h, was dead quiet, had the same flash as Caleb, etc., etc. He was a wonderful package--and one trainer after another wouldn't even represent him for me. If I got past the "he's 3/4 TB" part at all, I would take Robbie to the trainer (again, this happened time after time after time), they'd take one look at his size (which, even though he was four at the time, really did confirm that he'd not be a top of the line), and pass on him. Luckily, I sent a tape to someone in Michigan showing him tolerating all kinds of awful riding and they bought him site unseen. He's six now and for sale again--for $20,000.

Y'know, I can't say enough how the industry is not anywhere near as simple as some present it. Making and marketing ponies is influenced by many, many factors, which sometimes only folks deep into producing the little snots can possibly be aware of.

thumbsontop
Oct. 3, 2007, 11:34 AM
Hmm. I agree. I do see that the pony looks pretty easy-going in the ring. Using the word "forward" implies "speedy" and "needs experienced rider".

I did misinterpret gung-ho. Yes, getting an experienced eventing rider would be great help, more like necessary if the intent is to truly get the pony ready to compete cross country. My impression was from the OP is that the intent is to sell fairly quickly...prepare the pony but not completely change riding styles just to accomodate a year of training. Based on the video, and what the OP has said, it seems like the best course of action is what she originally planned, with some exposure to riding in the open.

14 hands is pretty small - would be too small for my 13 year old (who is outgrowing her 14.2 pony quickly).

Willing to go through water would be almost a necessity, but banks and ditches to me are more "stage 2" training (okay, small banks should be easy). No reason to open a can of worms (ditches) that the prospective rider will likely not encounter for a long time to come. Great if you have time to get it right though and if you really thought it would make the difference between selling and not.

If you have the time and money to dedicate to selling the pony, great, make him all he can be. If you just want to see him get a great home fairly quickly, you're best bet is going to be 'safe'. If you're trying to get over $10k, you should be ready to put lots of training and miles on him.

To give you an idea, on the dressage, in BN juniors at recognized shows, my daughter has consistently scored fairly high - 35.1 to 42.1. A 2nd place with the 35.1 and a 4th with a 42.1 (tough dressage judge that day!) - always clear showjumping and XC. At schooling CTs with those scores she was hardly in the ribbons. The pony does not like to soften - probably never will.

Whisper
Oct. 3, 2007, 03:14 PM
I guess I think of forward as a good thing - energy and activity, rather than necessarily being quick/fast. I agree that most of the market for a pony is going to be kids or smaller beginning adults. He's only 5, so I'd think that he'd be a tough sell to a beginner at this stage in his career, no matter how sweet he is, but the more bomproofing you can do, the better. I don't want to seem discouraging, but the combo of size, age, and experience might make him a little tough to place an any discipline, even though he seems like a really neat little pony. He might get interest from people who want to go higher since he's related to Teddy. I'm 5'5" and am fine with anything from 14 to 17.2 hands, as long as the horse or pony has enough substance to handle my weight, is round/deep bodied enough to take up my leg, and has a long enough neck to balance out my torso.

On the "safety" side of things, just thinking creatively, maybe do some despooking stuff and take him to parades, fun shows with classes like ride a buck, musical hay bales, clothes relays, and stuff like that? Really get him used to the kind of stuff kids might do with him aside from eventing? Once he's comfortable with the big three in schooling, I'd give him more credit for a lower finish with an ammy adult rider who hasn't evented in years than a better placing/score with a pro, but maybe I'm weird that way. I figure I need the kind of horse who's willing and able to take care of me a bit. (No, not trying to buy the pony - he's on the other side of the country, and I'm not in the market right now. ;))

Pwynn, I think the way she phrased it is just kind of a hot button. I'd watched the video, and saw the pic of him happily popping over the log, and was wondering why everyone was getting down on him.

pwynnnorman
Oct. 3, 2007, 04:00 PM
Pwynn, I think the way she phrased it is just kind of a hot button. I'd watched the video, and saw the pic of him happily popping over the log, and was wondering why everyone was getting down on him.

Yes, well, and his ex-Mom is also very sensitive skinned. I really liked that pony.

Whisper
Oct. 3, 2007, 09:03 PM
I actually seem to get along best with the somewhat more sensitive/reactive horses (like TBs), even though I'm not that good of a rider. The ones I've been on have been very kind and forgiving with me, but most of them are pretty been-there-done-that, not youngsters who are a bit green themselves. I'm curious how your hotter youngsters tend to change over the years - do they usually mellow out like that, too, or do they always need a good rider? (Sorry if I'm hijacking the thread a bit.)

apachepony
Oct. 4, 2007, 01:12 AM
Whisper and Wynn interpreted 'forward' how I meant it. It wasn't an insult to the pony, or insinuating he was crazy and out of control. He goes more boldly than a hunter, but goes in a french link snaffle and isn't a tug and yank kind of ride. I'd consider myself a pretty average adult amateur, and he's very ridable for me!

Thumbs, i've noticed the same type of scores in eventing and combined training around here. I saw a 24 win in CT in the results for a local association.

Janet
Oct. 5, 2007, 11:27 AM
Thumbs, i've noticed the same type of scores in eventing and combined training around here. I saw a 24 win in CT in the results for a local association.
Ah- but look at the FULL results. Down at the bottom you will usually find quite a few with dressage scores in the 20s, but E,W,R or scores over 50 in the other phases.

For instance if you look at the Marlborough results
http://www.marlboroughhorse.org/results.htm
under BN Rider, the eventual winner of the Sr Beginner Rider was tied for LAST after dressage. And the leader after dressage finished 6th (out of 9)

In Beginner Rider Jr the leader after dressage finished 10th.

pwynnnorman
Oct. 7, 2007, 08:32 PM
I'm curious how your hotter youngsters tend to change over the years - do they usually mellow out like that, too, or do they always need a good rider? (Sorry if I'm hijacking the thread a bit.)



Whisper and Wynn interpreted 'forward' how I meant it. It wasn't an insult to the pony, or insinuating he was crazy and out of control. He goes more boldly than a hunter, but goes in a french link snaffle and isn't a tug and yank kind of ride.


I'd use the term "matured" more than mellowed. I can lead lead Teddy's dam with just a lead rope around her neck, but even as a sagging old witch, she'll still try to rush pell mell through any gate or opening--and just a "whoa" will bring her to a screeching halt, reining-horse style. Why doesn't she realize the "whoa" is coming and just NOT DO IT? I dunno--that's just Mel. But as a baby, she'd clonk you up against the gate, post or doorway every time, no matter what you said.

And Teddy competed in the same hollow-mouth German snaffle that I broke him in, right up through CIC ** and Advanced.

Whisper
Oct. 8, 2007, 09:31 PM
The 30-something y/o QH gelding I used to have would pull away and run back to his paddock gate if you took your focus off him for one second, jigged all the way home on the trails, and crowhopped with me once. He gave tons of beginner lessons before I got him and was a Search and Rescue/Park Patrol Horse (with all of the bomb proofing) before I got him. In the arena, he'd match his steps perfectly to mine for W/T/C, going through little pole, cavaletti and cone obstacle courses, do TOF/TOH offlead. I was glad he was feeling so good and had the energy to "act up" occasionally, if that makes sense! He sure was a character, and it sounds Mel is, too!

Banner
Nov. 5, 2007, 12:09 PM
Congrats on your 3rd place at Fenridge. I saw the video...You guys looked great, and Caleb looked like he was having a lot of fun. Looks like your hunch about Caleb wanting to be an eventing pony was right;)!