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ss3777
Sep. 22, 2008, 07:27 PM
So, those adult ammies out there that have more than one event horse, here is my question:

Does competing two horses make things less precious and thus ease the mental pressure? Or, does competing two horses make the time crunch impossible?

I am fortunate to have my own BN horse that is starting to tell me he can do this game and my father in-laws hunt horse is turning into a much nicer horse than we could have hoped. It looks like I could have both to compete next spring if the stars align. Good thing or bad???

To make things a little more complicated, I am a working mom with an 8 year old son. DH is very supportive but there are only so many $$ to go around and so many hours in a day.

I realize this is a great problem to have but I am trying to sort out my 2009 plan, yeah I know it is only September :)

Thanks guys!!

Firefox
Sep. 22, 2008, 08:00 PM
I find it very hard to compete two at the same show unless you have help and the show is over more than one day, that being said I like haveing two horses to work with, each has its own problems and pluses so it is never boring. Good luck

bornfreenowexpensive
Sep. 22, 2008, 08:08 PM
I have three......two will be at Prelim next spring (that will be interesting). I don't have a family but have a nasty job. I can manage two in a day but no way three....I'm just not fit enough. Even two is a stretch. Harder for me than even the competing is just getting ready to compete.....cleaning tack, trimming, pulling manes, braiding...... so I find I need help.

It also get's expensive REALLY quick. First time I sent in an entry for two horses made me a bit ill.

But I really enjoy riding different horses. Not sure if it will help with your nerves though. Although I find when I'm tired....I don't get as nervous. ;) (when I was younger, it was being hung over....now it is just sleep deprived).

ss3777
Sep. 22, 2008, 08:20 PM
FF- you are so right, I better get that horse crazy neighbor girl trained and motivated so I dont have to go it alone. Also, the 2 horses I might be able to compete are total opposites, some how it generates more light bulb moments for me :)

bornfree-yeah the $$ means I need to work at my real job more but = less time for the horses, hard to get ahead, no? two at prelim............YIKES!!! I need to wait until I win lotto and somehow acquire some major skills.

Thanks!

Dr. Doolittle
Sep. 22, 2008, 08:20 PM
Yes, possible, but potentially *exhausting* (as bornfree said, the "prep" is as--or more--exhausting than the actual competing part...)

VERY important to line up reliable, competent help! :yes: (Essential, actually!)

How much assistance will your DH provide, if any? Will you have someone to look after your son?

Get yourself FIT (to the best of your ability ;)), get some GOOD HELP, and be sure to organize everything beforehand as well as you are able--and then yes, it's possible.

(But still labor-intensive, of course...:p)

ss3777
Sep. 22, 2008, 08:36 PM
Dr. D

Fit-check (In addition to my real job, I have a part time working student type job with my coach, 4-5 days a week, manual labor, plus my small barn)

Help with son- check- DH will cover (I am covering his buttocks right now while he gets yet another degree!!) if not an every weekend activity.

I am only hoping to compete once a month(even that is ambitious).

I am definitely going to start to line up(thanks to everyones great suggestion) a potential groom person for next year, starting now!! I shared a groom at KOF and what a difference it made with just one horse.

Now if the stars really align my son will join me someday!

Thanks!!!

Dr. Doolittle
Sep. 22, 2008, 08:56 PM
Dr. D

Fit-check (In addition to my real job, I have a part time working student type job with my coach, 4-5 days a week, manual labor, plus my small barn)

Help with son- check- DH will cover (I am covering his buttocks right now while he gets yet another degree!!) if not an every weekend activity.

I am only hoping to compete once a month(even that is ambitious).

I am definitely going to start to line up(thanks to everyones great suggestion) a potential groom person for next year, starting now!! I shared a groom at KOF and what a difference it made with just one horse.

Now if the stars really align my son will join me someday!

Thanks!!!

It sound like you are well covered (and prepared) :yes:

Just remember, you can NEVER have too much help!

Good luck, and let us know how it goes ;)

kcooper
Sep. 22, 2008, 09:26 PM
Part of the reason I never post here anymore is because I am riding two, have four to care for and work full time. At least I am blessed with no children :)

I have my 11 yo coming back from a fracture and a 5 yo (the replacement who came after the fracture). Both are now at Training. In some ways, it's nice b/c I only have one course to walk, but it's tough with the times. You have to REALLY plan in advance - like have your stuff totally lined up so you can pull the saddle off one, throw that horse in the trailer, throw the saddle on the other and GO. I have done a couple of competitions alone, and frankly, it did not work. I ended up begging help from some other riders who had down time. I also dragged my non-horsey husband along to one event and, although he was fantastic, that is not a permanent solution.

I have to decide if I am going to keep the youngster. Next year, the older horse should be back at P, and this horse will need considerable time at T. I do have a hunter friend who is horseless but an excellent rider and she helps with conditioning rides and is fantastic at long and low flat work for days after I do more intense stuff. But, will I have the time next year to do one at P and a younster at T? I have been looking at the calendar to see if I can afford to compete both at seperate events, but gee, if you are driving a trailer for a couple of hours, it makes financial sense to take two horses not one.

I have my horses at home and no help, so it is a tough call. I was always happy with one to ride and compete, but now that I have the two, I don't want to give up either. They are so different that my riding is really improving and yes, psychologically, it is good because you don't have TIME to fret. At the same time, you need to be able to just FOCUS and ignore the other horse, which can be hard - especially when they are screaming for their friend from the trailer.

You do need better fitness tho. I upped my running routine after the first time I did a one-day with both. My second xc run (after two dressage, two stadium and one xc), I did not have much leg left for the last 3-4 fences. But now that I have pushed my daily cardio, the last event was fine. Still, that is more time I've had to commit.

Anyways, I sympathize with your dilemma and look forward to hearing from more people in the same boat!

tbeventer
Sep. 22, 2008, 10:04 PM
For the first time in my life, I have two horses going consistently, with a third coming up next spring. One is going Intermediate, another is Novice, preparing to move up to training. The baby will be coming out BN and hopefully Novice in the spring, but it will depend on the financial aspect. The intermediate horse is first priority and his events are becomming more and more expensive.

What I find harder than dealing with the horses at the shows is making sure I have them taken care of at home, if one is left behind. I have a very supportive husband who likes to come along, but he's not a horse person and although he tries to help, I do most myself. I've also gotten a few great grooms that I've trained up, but again, I do most myself. They're helpful for walking horses or holding, but I do all my own tacking, bandaging, etc. I'm so used to not having help that it's tough to have someone come along and try to fit in. I'd rather just leave everyone home and do things on my own... but then it gets kinda lonely.

I have a daughter who is coming 3 and when I compete I have the three dogs, two horses, and a child with me... plus anyone who happens to come along that I get to babysit. Now my father is visiting for the winter and his health isn't great, so he comes in his motor home, which is nice, but it's another body to worry about getting into trouble.

When I feel stressed or pressured, I look at the trainers who have 4 horses they are riding (like Hawley Bennett), plus all the students to worry about. They may have 2-3 horses going at the 3* level, then God knows how many at lower levels. They are truely amazing and remind me that my measley 2 horses are absolutely nothing.:yes:

NeverTime
Sep. 22, 2008, 10:42 PM
I am in awe of you folks (especially you, BFNE!) I was just at an event this weekend running around like crazy with ONE horse and thinking "i've got no idea how people do this with two!"

I admit, though, that one of the things i like about going to events is hanging out with my horse, hand-grazing, hacking, coddling him, dressing him up in his fancy clothes (he just got a THERMATEX this weekend! Soooo exciting and he looked soooo handsome in it:D) ... Everything takes way longer than it needs to, but I really enjoy all the fussing over him.

How do you have time to do that with two, much less do all the riding (twice over) that it takes to get ready for an event???? It would be completely beyond me unless I magically became far more efficient than I actually want to be!:lol:

FlightCheck
Sep. 23, 2008, 08:11 AM
You can do it if you are super organized, even without a groom. That is, if everything goes right...and the BN ring isn't running early when the N ring is running slow...neither of them tosses a shoe...and you don't try to use the same 2 bridles for the horses ...

And, if you have a crappy weekend on one, oftentimes you'll have a great weekend on the other, which balances it out!

But seriously - I enjoyed bringing both of them to events and competing...but I was really, really tired on Mondays when I had to go to my "real job". Also, as someone else said, not a lot of time for socializing/etc. But at THAT time, I really didn't know too many people, so it was not a problem.

cindylouwho
Sep. 23, 2008, 08:34 AM
I did my mares training and prelim last year with no help. I am an ammy with a full time job, own my farm, no children and fall into the "master" age group. I am very organized and have lots of energy. I feel like the course walks are the toughest to do. I have to walk a training course at least twice and the prelim 3 times. I do actually "walk" my courses. Riding is not that major, as I ride at least 3 horses a day anyways. I am tired after the weekend, but not dead. I did one horse at a couple events this year and thought I was on vacation!

deltawave
Sep. 23, 2008, 08:46 AM
The only mental pressure I feel is plain old XC nerves. I'm not really the type that gets worked up about getting a good score (which is very fortunate, considering the scores I get, LOL!) or being "competitive". When I used to compete both of mine the pressure was more along the lines of having enough time to prepare and being insanely busy at the show, plus dealing with the pathological "away from home" attachment my two mares have for one another. :rolleyes:

Having a plan is GOOD. Sometimes life is going to get in the way, and keeping two horses going with a job and a family is bloody difficult. I always prioritized one horse and would focus more on that one, allowing myself to scratch or just not go forward with the other if things weren't happening time-wise. Now that I'm back to competing one (the other is retired) it's much more do-able, although I do miss the feeling of being more "tuned" when I was riding more than one horse.

All of life's a juggle. :)

Catalina
Sep. 23, 2008, 11:53 AM
I am getting ready to take two this weekend; one Training and one BN. It is a move up for both, so I should be super stressed out. I have roped the horse crazy neighbor girl into going and helping out, but I am still stressed as heck about showing two :eek:.

tx3dayeventer
Sep. 23, 2008, 12:31 PM
I had my mare at Int and my gelding at Prelim and it is tough but it can be done. I was a working student for a BNT/ULR during this time so I had not only my horses to worry about but his as well. Thankfully, there was his groom, and 2 or 3 other working students so we could all share duties. I didn't really have help unless my mom flew in from TX to help me (it was rare).

I pretty much had a time table laid by the minute/5 minutes for my entire day down to tack up @ this time, warm up @ this time, eat now, change @ this time, etc.

It helps to have 2 sets of everything (except saddles) that way you don't have to spend precious time adjusting stuff. Mare had her own boots, bells, breastplate, saddlepads, girth, overgirth, bridles, etc. and gelding had all his own stuff. It didn't hurt that mare was 17.2H and gelding was 16H wearing shoes on a tall day. I would have both my horses groomed, braided, booted up (if appropriate), studded up (if appropriate), etc. I was careful with the studs to not let them stand in their stalls with them in for too long. It did get hectic but manageable if you are great with time management. All the course walks help with your fitness :D :yes:

I NEVER did a recognized 1-day with both of them, so I do not know how that would work.

I felt that I learned such different things from each of them that it was a great learning tool for me as a rider. Mare was a high-strung and very touchy/moody/sensitive TB/Hanv X and gelding was a low-key, don't get excited about much QH/Trak X. 2 totally different rides!

I could always count on gelding to ROCK the dressage so I could really push for an awesome/accurate test while with the mare we aimed to keep all four legs on the ground at the appropriate times and do the best we could. XC, while I had 2 different types of horses they both were XC machines, I was lucky, never a worry there. In show jumping the different horses showed up again. I could ride the gelding very forward and could almost always count on a clear round but the mare was touchy and we had a rail or two (usually MY fault for picking at her).

I think I benefited greatly from the experience!!!

Have fun with your guys!

bludini
Sep. 23, 2008, 12:52 PM
I own my own farm, have a wonderful helpmate (who stays home with offspring and farm chores) am middle aged and work full time.

I have a travel partner, but she's competing her own horse, BUT we pitch in and help each other as much as we can.

I love competing two horses. I find that one horse is boring. But like someone said, I also greatly enjoy the social aspect of an event.

Some of my organization tactics are:
DEFINITELY TWO BRIDLES
TWO JUMPING SADDLES
I write out a schedule of what needs to happen when, ie

Sister Dressage 8:02
Tack Chester
Chester Dressage 10:15
XC Tack Sister
XC Tack Chester
Sister XC 11:35
Chester XC 12:42

like that.

As the younger horse improves in skill and they approach being in the same division, I will only run the two at the same event if I can fenagle help (from a friend or friend's helper). Otherwise, I run them individually every other event. (I try to compete every other weekend)

Blugal
Sep. 23, 2008, 12:56 PM
At my busiest, I rode between two and three and groomed another three. There was some help involved, but not much. After that season, I realized that I liked eventing back when I was riding one horse, with plenty of time for everything, lots of socializing, and a decent bed time. Like NeverTime, I liked the partnership with my horse and the ability to fuss over him. When there were 4-6, this just didn't happen. Sleep didn't happen.

I plan to stick to one for the time being. That said, if I suddenly had the chance (and time and money) for a second superstar... it might be hard to turn down.

annikak
Sep. 23, 2008, 01:22 PM
I've done three- and it's possible, and actually a great weight control plan!:winkgrin: I had no idea how lucky I was- 3 horses, nice ones, that I knew really well and had fun with. I had one show where I had 1 at each Nov, Tr and Prelim, and I did not even walk the novice course, could see enough of it to know. It's exhausting, but great!! If we ever did that again, I would for SURE want someone to help- a kid that adored horses would be great!

I had DH who did stalls and water and walking the beasts sometimes, and that was a great help, but mostly it was me doing things- I knew what I needed and liked, and since I love my DH, it was better not to ask him- at the end of the day, it's he that I sleep with, and not the horses, although he may think otherwise sometimes!

And, I have to say- it's DAMN expensive! Esp if you have to cancel a show for some reason- you lose all those entry fees! That is a physical pain!

As I am here, giving myself 15min of COTH time before hitting Physiology class, I remember those days fondly!!

purplnurpl
Sep. 23, 2008, 01:31 PM
it gets tough, especially if you like to enjoy the HT. Have lots of time to ice and then have a beer after XC and so forth. I like to wonder around and help friends. I would NOT enjoy the experience if I had three and groomed three and blah blah blah.

Being lower level horses you don't have to worry as much about fitness which will help A TON!!!
I think the toughest part of your situation is managing your time during the week. Getting both ridden, paying attention to family and your WS program. That's the crunch right there.

bornfreenowexpensive
Sep. 23, 2008, 03:13 PM
I am in awe of you folks (especially you, BFNE!) I was just at an event this weekend running around like crazy with ONE horse and thinking "i've got no idea how people do this with two!"

I admit, though, that one of the things i like about going to events is hanging out with my horse, hand-grazing, hacking, coddling him, dressing him up in his fancy clothes (he just got a THERMATEX this weekend! Soooo exciting and he looked soooo handsome in it:D) ... Everything takes way longer than it needs to, but I really enjoy all the fussing over him.

How do you have time to do that with two, much less do all the riding (twice over) that it takes to get ready for an event???? It would be completely beyond me unless I magically became far more efficient than I actually want to be!:lol:


LOL....I'm more impressed with the people who do this with a family or with no help. With my job...no way can I do this alone....I bow down to those that can. While I can ride two-three horses most days.....right now when all hell is breaking loose with my clients...not so much. Then I'm lucky to get to one horse....and that is when I really rely on having a good support system. Being able to keep the horses on a consistent program is really important. Also, I just do not ride as well unless I'm riding consistently....and my horses are not packers so they demand that I ride them well;) It helps keep me on my toes.

The sleep deprivation is what kills me though. I'm lucky on a good night to get 5/6 hours...and when all hell is breaking loose (like now)...4 is a lot. I want 8. It starts to catch up with you.

My long time coach says he can tell when all hell is breaking loose with me at work by how I ride (not something I'm happy to hear). I'm pretty good when he tells me to leave it out of the ring to do exactly that...but sometimes I need someone to tell me to snap me into focus. But it has taken years to be able to shut outside stresses out and just ride. I try very hard before big events to take a day off (or at least half day) to help me pull away from the stresses and get enough sleep. It isn't easy in the world of blackberry's to fully escape, but I work pretty hard at focus and changing my focus from work to riding and back again. If it isn't work, you may have to do the same thing with family or farm etc. It is a bit of a skill....one that I need for work as well as for the horses so it has been an important skill for me to acquire.

Stay organized, stay focused....and remember to have fun.


Nevertime....email when you are free. I will need more than one beer after this week! I think a gathering at The Whip is called for:yes:

NMK
Sep. 23, 2008, 04:00 PM
One thing I do consider is what will happen if I have an "unplanned" early departure. So even if I don't have help, I make sure I have people that will take care of my horses, just in case.

That said, I do two horses myself and I am not young anymore. There are some compromises to be made--my braids are in rubber bands, my tack not spotless after every ride, sometimes one is in his stall wet from the recent bath. But it seems to work out fine. However, if one is moving up a level, the other stays home. I also keep a list like the above poster of who needs to be where when, and in what clothes. I have a Pikeur coat that I can use either in dressage or stadium.

I also like to stay on the grounds with two horses. It saves a lot of time in the AM, when I can walk courses while they are eating, and gives me that extra hour in the day that I desperately need.

To do two well by yourself, you have to be really prepared. And I mean down to knowing that your studs are pre-tapped. Two bridles are a must, and if you use two different ones for different phases, invest in an extra. Changing bits/reins, etc. is not an option and just makes the day more complicated.

I have two of everything, and it all lives in the trailer, except saddles. That way I know where everything is all the time. I have drawers in my trailer that have equipment marked, so if I have to have someone run back and get something for me, I can tell them exactly where it is. When you get to be my age and have those menomoments, you gotta know where things are!!

I am very lucky. I have lots of friends in this wonderful sport, and I know I have relied on them for help. I just try to play that forward so it always is part of eventing. It is what makes our sport so special.

Nancy

ss3777
Sep. 23, 2008, 06:47 PM
Many thanks for all of the great replies. Lots of stuff I need to get aligned this winter, thanks to your suggestions. I am really lucky in that they are both BN at this point and that will cut down on the course walking. They definitely do not share tack (wee ottb vs big canadian cross). DH will actually hop on the Canadian guy, as will my girlfriend so keeping them both fit is an easier part of the puzzle. I will plan on one day events (easy in area 1) to cut down on time away from home. Definitely will line up a groom type person. I am really excited at the opportunity and hoping that the experience will help push my skill set to the next level. The two horses could not be more opposite. The tb is light, careful, smart, athletic and can be a bit nappy. The Canadian can be a bit heavy in the bridle, not so careful, forward and a total giver.

thanks again!!!!

sharri13
Sep. 24, 2008, 10:37 AM
I have two horses I compete - one Preliminary, the other is Training. I also have a full time job, an LLC and am on the Board of Directors for a therapeutic riding center. I am single without children. I drive to and from the barn to care for the horses before and after work - I can't wait to one day have them at home with me!

You will get fit fast - I am amazed at how quickly I see muscle definition and abs! They are both ridden each day - for a "day off" they are tacked up for a long walk, unless they have recently competed. Every winter, I put on pudge and slow down - I ride as much as I can in the snow to keep everyone moving. It makes for a long day - I get home after 9 most nights.

Expenses add up quickly! Each horse has their own equipment - from tack to boots. This saves a lot of time between rides. If I am only taking one to an event, I try to trailer-pool with friends to save on gas. For the 2009 events far away, I plan on taking them both despite the expensive stabling fees. For lessons, they go together.

If I am bringing both of them to a competition, I am often lucky to have someone with me. Walking (running in some cases) two courses can take it out of you quickly. I rode them both in a one day and I was exhausted - thank heavens I had friends there to help!

You learn a ton! My TB and Dutch/CSH are totally different on so many levels. I have learned a lot from both of them. They have each helped me ride the other better because they are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

I have found it keeps me very busy and I sleep really well at night. I would love to have a third, but there literally are not enough hours in the day. My social life is quiet, though part of that is living in the New Hampshire sticks. I have many friends in the sport and we always support one another and lend a hand when help is needed. Although the horses take up my time, money and energy, I am incredibly fortunate - I get to do what I love every day. Few people have that opportunity. :)