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Beau Cheval
Dec. 27, 2009, 02:44 PM
Hi everyone,

I usually stay on the H/J board, but I wanted to ask your opinions on something (I already asked there, so I wanted both sides). I might, hopefully, have the opportunity to work for a well-regarded eventer trainer as a WS. I'm a H/J rider and I have never evented...I can't even say that I've ever jumped a natural obstacle (ok, this is why you guys make fun of us...I'm from a very suburban area: there's no space there for xc courses!!!). I really want to learn and I think that doing XC and dressage for a summer would be a fantastic way to strengthen my riding for when I return to mall-land and the h/j ring.

About me:
Junior
H/J working student last summer
Not at the top of the H/J show world by any means, but not incompetent either. I just haven't had the opportunity to ride very many good horses for long periods of time.
*WILLING TO WORK VERY HARD AND EAGER TO LEARN*

Concerns:
I don't want to get to this job and be a total drag because I need to learn how to do basic things (put on xc gear?!) that don't transcend the h/j vs. eventing line. Obviously I am happy to learn, but I just feel like such things are expected of a WS already.
I'm good at laughing at myself, but with dressage I feel like I will be starting from square one entirely. Would a big eventing trainer be really annoyed to have a WS whose lessons were entirely basic? I really want to learn because I know it would help me in the end, but I don't want the trainer to be frustrated that she was teaching someone from square one? (Ok, probably more like square 2 or 3 (lol) but still...)
How entirely terrifying is XC? I'm not a timid rider, but I had fear issues when I was younger that I conquered, but I don't want to be over faced. I want to learn, but I don't want it to be a sink or swim situation right of the bat.

I really really REALLY want to learn and I will be sure to highlight these concerns in my interview, but am I getting myself into something that I don't want to? Will I be a huge drag and frustration?

Thanks for your input!

LauraKY
Dec. 27, 2009, 02:55 PM
Hmm, I would really advise some dressage lessons and at least a run or two at a XC course. I'm sure you would be really disappointed to land a job at an eventing barn and find out you hate it! (Trainer would be disappointed also.)

flea
Dec. 27, 2009, 03:09 PM
Where is your semester abroad? Maybe you could do some eventing lessons there? Depending on the country...that would be a great opportunity!

Rescue_Rider9
Dec. 27, 2009, 03:23 PM
I wouldnt recommend it because the training is different for each horse. When you get back into HJ land, you may very well be riding differently and not hunter like and it will be a PITA to fix!

secretariat
Dec. 27, 2009, 03:26 PM
IMO, depends on your objectives. If you want to improve your horsemanship and barn management skills, and are willing to work/learn, you'll benefit tremendously. If you expect the position to leapfrog you to the top of the H/J world, forget it.

Beau Cheval
Dec. 27, 2009, 03:55 PM
My objectives would be to gain experience in the barn, barn management, horse care, etc. and also get an opportunity to practice my SJ skills and expand my horizons with opportunities to learn dressage and ride xc. I'm not thinking that I will become a top level eventer in a summer and I'm not thinking that I will all of a sudden be a top rank h/j rider because I've ridden out over natural obstacles and done dressage. Wouldn't it be reasonable that my lessons focused on SJ and learning dressage and we mixed it up by doing some low level XC?

Ray
Dec. 27, 2009, 04:07 PM
....
I'm sorry, but I get the feeling (not from this thread in particular, but from a few other things) that eventers are convinced that HJ riders are somehow less competent and weak riders. I am good at laughing at myself, but would this strongly negatively affect me if I do take this position?

having a foot in both worlds, I can say that there are negative things that SOME eventers will always say about h/j riders and vs a versa. You just have to tune it out, to some degree. And to recognize where it comes from, like h/j riders are wimps that cant ride outside the ring. Lots dont have the opportunity or their trainers are totally focused on showing. GOOD ON YOU for wanting to be a more well rounded rider.
Hopefully the environment at the barn you will be a WS at will be supportive, they should welcome you, since you seem very willing to learn and try to approach things from a new perspective.

Ibex
Dec. 27, 2009, 04:08 PM
I think it would depend on the specifics of the situation. You'd need to be super willing to learn a new way to do things, but in the end that will just make you a well rounded horse woman. Being able to be flexible and adapt to different styles of riding is a good thing.

There are a lot of hunter riders out there who live up to the negative stereotypes and wouldn't be able to adapt. Has the trainer seen you ride? If they have, and are interested in having you on board, I'd say you're probably NOT one of those riders :winkgrin:

ThirdCharm
Dec. 27, 2009, 04:20 PM
I think some people have difficulty separating "this type of rider would be attracted to this discipline" from "this is the ONLY type of rider in this discipline". Just because a deep-pocketed passenger who is terrified to ride outside of the ring would be attracted to Hunters, doesn't mean that ALL hunters are that type of rider.... or that all eventers are yahoos just because it is a discipline that that type of person might be attracted to....

If your goal is to improve your overall riding and horse management skills, sounds like a good idea.

Jennifer

Ray
Dec. 27, 2009, 04:22 PM
......
Concerns:
I don't want to get to this job and be a total drag because I need to learn how to do basic things (put on xc gear?!) that don't transcend the h/j vs. eventing line. ..
I'm good at laughing at myself, but with dressage I feel like I will be starting from square one entirely. Would a big eventing trainer be really annoyed to have a WS whose lessons were entirely basic? I really want to learn because I know it would help me in the end, but I don't want the trainer to be frustrated that she was teaching someone from square one? (Ok, probably more like square 2 or 3 (lol) but still...)
How entirely terrifying is XC? I'm not a timid rider, but I had fear issues when I was younger that I conquered, but I don't want to be over faced. I want to learn, but I don't want it to be a sink or swim situation right of the bat.

In the interview, you can discuss all of these concerns and also to clarify how much opportunity you will have to ride, and whether you will have the chance to school XC.

There is not that much "gear" for XC, relax!. What you will have to learn, if you tack up for your trainer, is which saddle/bridle for which type of training session. I cant imagine someone knowing your back-ground and then being annoyed at starting from dressage square one. You will learn alot! to prepare yourself, by all means, take some dressage lessons, and READ. I like Jane Savoie, but there are lots of books and articles, and its even helpful to download the tests from the USEA website and see what is expected for BN and N. You will see that its stuff you know how to do! like change diagonals, canter a circle, etc. At BN, its mostly learning how to package your horse up (more) and get very precise transitions and working as a team. For XC, like anything, you have to start with something reasonable for your skill level. BN courses tend to be very inviting, nothing too complex, just solid jumps and tiny drop jumps. One of the most fun things is that you may be able to help condition the horses, ie trial rides, long rides up hills, trots sets on dirt roads, that sort of thing.

I think you sound like you know what you are getting into and that you will have a BLAST:D

Donkey
Dec. 27, 2009, 04:27 PM
I've been in both worlds and I started in the hunter/jumper side. I think it would be an excellent experience for you. It certainly sounds like you have the right attitude.

Sure you've got a lot to learn crossing over but keep in mind it is much much much! quicker process to make an eventer out of an already competent rider than one from scratch (as I am sure your prospective employer is well aware).

If you've ridden grass courses you probably won't have a big problem riding in the open where the footing isn't consistent. You'll have to learn how to jump specific x-country fences and learn to ride up and down hills at speed and while jumping. But if you are used to being coached and are aware of your position this shouldn't be difficult.

I hate to say it but you probably have a better jumping position and better jumping knowledge than your average eventer as that is your specialty. Stadium is the bane of many eventers.

You will probably find the biggest challenge is to switch between riding dressage one day and jumping the next - two totally different seats.

You will probably have an absolute blast cross country and plan to never return to the hunter/jumper ring. :D

Events and eventers are totally different from the hunter/jumper world -they are like a breath of fresh air in comparison and something every hunter/jumper rider would benefit from experiencing.

Equipment and horse care wise you won't be any worse off than with any other trainer as each has his/her own way of doing things that you must learn.

Keep yourself fit while away from home and have fun with whatever you decide to do.

sophie
Dec. 27, 2009, 04:36 PM
You will probably have an absolute blast cross country and plan to never return to the hunter/jumper ring. :D




That was my first thought after reading your opening post.

Depending on where you spend your semester abroad, you may be able to take some dressage lessons and that would prepare you better to that WS position, but I would say, go for it!

yellowbritches
Dec. 27, 2009, 04:55 PM
I've read both threads and think it is pretty funny and a little odd that the EVENTERS are more negative than the h/j people are! :eek:

I gave you my basic opinions on it on the h/j thread. I REALLY think that if you are willing to learn it can be a very worthwhile experience. And in the right program, you can totally learn quite a bit over a summer (you aren't a rank beginner and you don't have to ride like Anky to survive a BN dressage test!). We have a teenager who boards and rides with us and in a year has gone from terrified to canter to competent on just about anything we stick her on (I would not hesitate to let her ride just about any of the ones she rides at BN). The majority of her REAL improvement, with finesse at least came from this summer when she was here every day and all day...and she really only got to ride 2 of the 3 summer months since she was in Europe for a month.

I think if you are willing to learn and try hard and pitch in and admit when you're unsure of what to do and the trainer knows what they're getting when you show up, I think it can be really fun and worthwhile.

Gry2Yng
Dec. 27, 2009, 05:13 PM
Hi everyone,

I usually stay on the H/J board, but I wanted to ask your opinions on something (I already asked there, so I wanted both sides). I might, hopefully, have the opportunity to work for a well-regarded eventer trainer as a WS. I'm a H/J rider and I have never evented...I can't even say that I've ever jumped a natural obstacle (ok, this is why you guys make fun of us...I'm from LI, there's no space there for xc courses!!!). I really want to learn and I think that doing XC and dressage for a summer would be a fantastic way to strengthen my riding for when I return to mall-land and the h/j ring.

About me:
Junior
H/J working student last summer
Not at the top of the H/J show world by any means, but not incompetent either. I just haven't had the opportunity to ride very many good horses for long periods of time.
*WILLING TO WORK VERY HARD AND EAGER TO LEARN*

Concerns:
I don't want to get to this job and be a total drag because I need to learn how to do basic things (put on xc gear?!) that don't transcend the h/j vs. eventing line. Obviously I am happy to learn, but I just feel like such things are expected of a WS already.
I'm good at laughing at myself, but with dressage I feel like I will be starting from square one entirely. Would a big eventing trainer be really annoyed to have a WS whose lessons were entirely basic? I really want to learn because I know it would help me in the end, but I don't want the trainer to be frustrated that she was teaching someone from square one? (Ok, probably more like square 2 or 3 (lol) but still...)
How entirely terrifying is XC? I'm not a timid rider, but I had fear issues when I was younger that I conquered, but I don't want to be over faced. I want to learn, but I don't want it to be a sink or swim situation right of the bat.

I really really REALLY want to learn and I will be sure to highlight these concerns in my interview, but am I getting myself into something that I don't want to? Will I be a huge drag and frustration?

Between now and when I go for this job I will not have any time to take xc lessons (dressage might be a possibility) because I am going on a semester abroad this semester.


I'm really sorry, I feel like I sound like a huge moron..

Thanks for your input!


Haven't read all the other responses. You sound like an awesome kid. You WANT to learn. You REALIZE you don't know everything. You think you could have FUN!

As long as you spell it all out, I think any BNT would be pleased to have you.

ETA: I have now read the other posts. I have one foot in each world. (Actually, I must have three feet, as one is also in dressage land.) You will be fine. I had a horse in the First Year Ring at Devon this year and I have ridden a CCI** long format. If you are open to learning both you and your employer will have a wonderful experience. You have a lot to offer and so do we. If you take a job with someone who has upper level horses you will learn a lot about conditioning, which is something that is seriously lacking in h/j land. Not that they want their horses fit, they don't. But cardio work and weight lifting/power work are important concepts that can help them keep their horses sound. YOu can learn that from a good event rider.

Best of luck.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 27, 2009, 05:27 PM
If your goal is to be a better horseman...this sounds like a great idea.

Everything is going to depend on where you work. Honestly, a good horseman isn't a H/J rider or Eventer or Dressage rider...they can do it all...and learn from it all.

Good riding is learning it all not just your "area" of focus...learning what it takes to be stronger at dressage or xc will only help you ride a nice hunter round or smoother jumper jump off.

Most good event riders know this as MOST of us have done and will do other things besides just eventing....actually most good riders and trainers know this...as they know that to be too specialized all the time limits growth and knowledge.

I think it sounds like a great idea...and even if you don't sit on a horse...you can still learn a lot just watching, listening and asking questions.

But like all things....it will matter most WHO you go to work for. There are eventers I would run run run away from...same with some show trainers and dressage trainers. If you work for the right person...you will learn a lot and be a better horseperson from it.

CookiePony
Dec. 27, 2009, 05:29 PM
Haven't read all the other responses. You sound like an awesome kid. You WANT to learn. You REALIZE you don't know everything. You think you could have FUN!

As long as you spell it all out, I think any BNT would be pleased to have you.



I agree. And, if the BNT is a good teacher and appreciates your willingness to learn, s/he will not mind helping you with the eventing-specific skills. As for eventing gear at the lower levels, there is not too much that is different-- your xc vest, maybe. Have a good conversation with the trainer and then have fun!

flea
Dec. 27, 2009, 07:08 PM
Where will you be spending next semester?

ncsuequine
Dec. 27, 2009, 07:47 PM
The facility I work for would take you anytime. You have an AWESOME attitude and want to learn. What more can someone ask for. If the trainer is truly wanting to teach the art of eventing, he/she will appreciate having a WS that has initiative, a desire to learn and a great attitude.

Good luck! Let us know what you decide and how it goes!

HelloAgain
Dec. 27, 2009, 07:48 PM
I think you will have a great experience. Especially as you are already comfortable out of the ring, I do not think you will get overfaced or scared by BN or below XC (and yes, there is a below at unrecognized shows -- my first event was "there's a log in the path!" x12). At that level the jumps are usually intentionally inviting coops, logs and brush, water is a simple pass through and the time allowed is generous allowing some trotting fences if you need that for confidence

I think the biggest difference you'll adjust to is how the flow of work at a show goes. If your XC start time is 1:14, you best be in the start box with your game face on at 1:14! It can be *very challenging* assisting a pro who has multiple horses, in multiple divisions, all of whom must have their right tack at the right time! Somehow the times always work out in the worst possible way.

teddygirl
Dec. 27, 2009, 08:01 PM
I think that it would be great to learn some other skills that you wouldn't necessarily in a h/j barn. Not better or worse, just different. I think you should be very upfront with the trainer about what you know and what you don't. They'll let you know if you fit what they're looking for. You may find that you love eventing! Even if you don't, riding xc and dressage will strengthen your seat. Your h/j skills will be so important, especially for stadium. I think everyone should cross train instead of being snarky about other disciplines. It sounds like it could be a great experience and that you could have a blast!

clm08
Dec. 27, 2009, 09:52 PM
Good for you for wanting to become a well-rounded horsewoman! Every discipline has something to teach us, having the right attitude, desire to work hard and learn more will serve you well. Good luck in your interview and hope you get to ride cross country and have a blast!

Trixie
Dec. 27, 2009, 11:16 PM
The trainer at my barn would probably be very frustrated to have a WS for only 2-3 months that knew nothing about riding with contact or riding outside of a ring.

Basically, I wouldn't think you would get to do much riding. We don't even HAVE a fenced-in ring, so most h/j people are terrified when they ride here! And if you always ride on a loose rein (or with minimal contact), some of the horses might be quite difficult.

Stereotype, much? :rolleyes:

Many of us H/J riders are capable of riding on contact, riding out, jumping XC, etc. Terrified to ride outside a ring? Always on a loose rein? While there are some folks in every sport that are not shining examples of horsemanship, I’d suggest you perhaps meet some more H/J riders. Certainly not all of us are like your stereotype, in fact, many of our brethren can, in fact, actually ride. Yes, even without a fence holding us in, and yes, even on contact.

So, I'll just go with what I always do when I see such a response and invite you, Mary, if you're ever in VA, to come meet up with our group of H/J riders, and perhaps we can make you feel differently.

I actually find the dichotomy of that response very interesting, though - how many threads have there been on here about overcoming fears of riding out XC or jumping solid obstacles at speed, etc? In those threads, almost everyone responds very positively. I really haven’t seen many people say something along the lines of “don’t bother trying.”

I think it could be a very worthwhile endeavor for the OP. She's going to be a working student for a few months - not employed as a trainer who is expected to know everything and be able to train horses and riders in the sport of eventing offhand. Riders in both sports can learn from each other if they enter with an open mind, the ability to listen, and the ability to laugh at themselves. I think if you were to discuss your concerns with the trainer, you’ll be likely to find a balance in working together.

meupatdoes
Dec. 27, 2009, 11:36 PM
Why do you really want to learn eventing, and then go back to being a H/J? A summer would not be enough to learn anything but how much you DON'T know. The trainer at my barn would probably be very frustrated to have a WS for only 2-3 months that knew nothing about riding with contact or riding outside of a ring.

Basically, I wouldn't think you would get to do much riding. We don't even HAVE a fenced-in ring, so most h/j people are terrified when they ride here! And if you always ride on a loose rein (or with minimal contact), some of the horses might be quite difficult.

I don't recommend it.

Are you kidding me?

I grew up riding with trainers who had juniors in the very tops of the equitation.
The facility involved grass field after grass field after grass field. ALL WE EVER DID was jump around in huge open fields, and some of them were quite hilly.
We competed in hunter shows where you basically hunter paced; jumping from one field to another over stone walls and cross country jumps with a judge at each field watching to determine which horse had the best form.

And of course the hunter/jumper discipline includes
1. the hunters
2. the equitation
3. the jumpers.

Please do show me an equitation rider floating the reins and unable to ride with contact.
And I am sure h/J people doing the jumpers float the reins while eventers doing their stadium round ride completely differently.


It is called getting a BASIC RIDING EDUCATION and eventers are not the only people who have it.


Usually the eventers with this attitude are the ones who think their jack-kneed skinny TB that they yahoo around with marginal control doing imitation dressage and cut-n-run stadium could like totes do the hunters and sell for the big bucks.

Easier said than done.

FuzzyTB
Dec. 27, 2009, 11:37 PM
I think this is a great idea - there is much to be learned from others and bravo to you for thinking outside the box! How I wish I had done something like this! As long as you are totally upfront with the trainer I can't see any reason why he or she wouldn't be happy to have you (and if they aren't, their loss). Best of luck and enjoy!

nextyear
Dec. 28, 2009, 06:43 AM
I did not read all posted responses but: I have seen many WS that have been with a very big name in the event world start off not knowing anything about a dressage test and hanging on by a thread going X/C and end up being a very good rider and competitor, of course they had more than a couple months but I would not let that stop you! Good luck and don't get discouraged by all the negative responses.

meupatdoes
Dec. 28, 2009, 07:24 AM
The OP was the one who said she did not have access to any land to ride out in and had fear issues. I was simply asking IF she was the type of person who was afraid of riding outside of a ring or rode with very little contact that it would be a MUCH bigger adjustment for her.

I run a 26 horse training barn. We have had MANY H/J riders here over the years, and some are excellent riders. We also have had some who do NOT fit in here at all, as they want to be in an enclosed ring for safety and/or because they have been taught to ride with minimal contact (or their horses are trained that way and they don't wish to change.) That is fine, and there are other barns where they are more comfortable.

I was just asking the OP if she would have problems with those differences, because SOME H/J's DO. Sorry, it's just a fact.

I also still think that a high school summer vacation is pretty short, and she might not get a chance to learn a new discipline to the point where she would be actually going to EVENTS. I just didn't think we should set her up to be disappointed if she didn't get to show.

You did not say "SOME" or "MANY" h/j's.

You said "MOST".


We can read, too.

morning glory
Dec. 28, 2009, 11:19 AM
This doesn't directly address your question, but have you considered joining a Pony Club in your area? They tend to be more eventing-focused and could give you an introduction to XC and dressage. They also teach some terrific horse management skills. I'm always incredibly thankful for the years I spent in Pony Club, as it made me more well rounded than I would have been had I just taken lessons, etc.

Hannahsmom
Dec. 28, 2009, 11:50 AM
I'd say go for it. At the worst, you will find out you aren't a good match and it isn't helping you towards your goals. At the best, you will have access to a different point of view. Don't worry too much about the equipment, a good attitude with willingness to work hard and do whatever it takes can get you past many hurdles.

I came from the hunter world (not A shows, more local shows) 30 years ago and that was when Training was the lowest level. I was showing second year green so the fence height didn't worry me. And no, I had never jumped a solid obstacle or done lots of galloping cross-country. But I did know pace and distances and had a good lower leg and had done some trail riding. Period. I was fine and I stayed in eventing because I liked the set time to compete and the need to learn to think on my 'feet' as it were. In actuality, I found learning how to do a decent dressage test the hardest.

If you are honest with the trainer in your experience, you are both going in with your eyes wide open.

Viva
Dec. 28, 2009, 12:14 PM
First of all, welcome to the dark side :D
As far as coming from H/J land, I think it's great that you want to learn another discipline, and you have the right attitude. Just make sure it's a good fit between you and the trainer: some are fine with people who need to learn the basics of eventing, others want someone more experienced. And talk to their other WS to find out what it's like to work with them.
And BTW, most of us are a lot more welcoming than the beginning of this thread made us seem!
Good luck!

Equine Adhesive
Dec. 28, 2009, 12:17 PM
I would definitely go for it! Expanding your horizons is always a good thing. Don't listen to people that say a summer is not enough time-- that's rubbish. You will learn things that may not enter your current thinking immediately-- but that you can go back and ponder in the future, as I assume you will ride for many years to come and will therefore find this to be a wonderful opportunity that you may not have when you are older, working full-time, having a family, etc. DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PS - whether or not the trainer wants to hire you is THEIR decision, not yours. Just be honest about yourself, but do not sell yourself short by giving off insecurity. Good luck!!! And let us know how it goes. :)

Heinz 57
Dec. 28, 2009, 12:24 PM
I think it depends a LOT on the type of trainer you're going to work for. Is it a training-only barn? Does the trainer have regular lower level students, or lesson horses? What level/quality of horses are in the program?

I ask because if it is a training only barn, with only upper level horses and the trainer's upper level prospects, you MAY not get to ride as much and it would be unlikely for you to compete in just one summer. Now, if the trainer has lesson horses and teaches 'regular' riders, there is probably a good chance that you'll be able to get a few XC schooling trips in and possibly compete at the end of the summer.

If its a barn with school horses or a steady eddy retired schoolmaster to ride and get your feet wet on, I think you'd have a blast. Just ask as many questions as you can in the interview, and be VERY, VERY clear about your comfort zone and your experience. If anything, I might be a little modest about my experience - if you've jumped up to 3', but aren't comfortable doing a full course, I'd be inclined to tell them you're comfortable over 2'6" courses, even though you MAY be fine at 2'9". To some people, solid obstacles look bigger and you'd rather be out schooling XC thinking this is a piece of cake than galloping up to a solid 3' table wondering if you're going to make it.

CANTEREOIN
Dec. 28, 2009, 12:59 PM
I was surprised at the early negativity and pleased that it turned so positive. Go into the light... learn whatever you can absorb and you will be the better rider/horseman for it.

I am an Eventer who takes lessons at a big Hunter/Jumper barn (A circuit). I LOVE watching them ride... beautiful and effective. And, the folks there have been more than welcoming to have us Eventers who lesson there.

I would never throw a sweeping judgement out there ... there are all sorts of types in every discipline. I consider myself fortunate for being able to learn jumping from the masters.

Eventer5
Dec. 28, 2009, 07:12 PM
I think it would be perfect and more people need to follow in your footsteps. (not just h/j to eventing but the other way too) I event but do eq, H/J at school and sometimes its frustrating because im more ahead in the eventing and find eq difficult but i definitely learn things in one that help the other discipline.
If all the H/J riders you guys know are terrified to camly canter in a field and pop over a few logs we have a serious problem.
Your attiude is great and having done the WS thing i think that weighs a ton more than you knowing the proper aids for dressage work. And if its a good WS situation they will be happy to teach you things so you can work more effectively. I'd say go for it trying new things is only going to make you appreciate things more.

Beau Cheval
Dec. 28, 2009, 07:19 PM
Thank you all so much for the positive responses and encouragement. I really appreciate it! I will certainly let you know how it goes =)

PhoenixFarm
Dec. 28, 2009, 09:24 PM
I would hire you, BUT I would make sure you understood what the job entailed, and perhaps ask you to take a riding test as part of your interview.

I have met and worked with many people from the H/J/Eq world who were gifted, talented, brave, and well-educated, and found the shift to eventing relatively simple.

I've also met and worked with folks from that world who turned absolutely sheet-white the first time they had to go hacking in the hills over uneven terrain, cross a boggy creek, or gallop through rolling country or over solid obstacles.

It would be my job as your prospective employer to make sure you understood what was expected of you and whether or not you could fulfill that roll. If you could, I would consider myself lucky to have at least one student I didn't have to keep reminding to keep their heels down. :winkgrin::lol: (You Eq riders are great at that.) It would be your job to be honest with yourself and me about what your comfort level was.

As long as everybody was on the same page, you should do great and have a great time and a lot of knowledge to take back with you to the h/j world.

Have fun and good luck!

Livie
Dec. 29, 2009, 12:11 PM
I actually did the opposite. I'm an eventer and did a year long working student gig at a big h/j barn. It was the best thing I ever did for my riding. I rode the hunters too but what I really loved was the jumpers. If you have experience flatting/tacking up/day-to-day maintenance of upper level jumpers you will not have much difficulty with eventers. In fact, I think GP jumpers have more complicated tack than a lot of eventers! It was a great experience and I would do it again in a heart beat.

Eventer13
Dec. 29, 2009, 01:13 PM
Wow, I'm really surprised by the negative comments of some posters. If you are planning to take this opportunity (which I think would be fantastic), I would make sure the rider you are working for knows your experience and background, what you feel you might need work on, and your goals. If they still choose to accept you, then they must feel that you can be a valuable part of their program. Any trainer worth their salt will not overface a student, but if you ever do feel uncomfortable with what they ask you to do, I would let them know. Also, do your homework choosing the program... some will have very little riding time, especially for riders who haven't had a great deal of experience.

I would not be too worried about the tack. XC usually involves boots all around, breastplate and possibly a running martingale, maybe a figure-8... all of which you have probably seen before. The only thing that might be new is the 5-point breastplate or if they use porters for XC.

I would try to familiarize yourself with how an event works before you go to one, just the process a little easier as a groom.

And I know plenty of h/j riders with very good skills on the flat. The best programs, I've found, will be very dressage-based (if you've ever read Anne Kursinski's book, you'll know what I'm talking about). So don't be too discouraged about the dressage. I might recommend getting a good book and reading it before you go, just so you know some of the concepts and the training scale.

Good luck and have fun!

SevenDogs
Dec. 29, 2009, 05:12 PM
I too was a little surprised by the negative posts - not exactly the welcoming type participants eventer are known to be.

Everyone had great suggestions - one other might be to find some events to volunteer at. Events are ALWAYS looking for volunteers and will gladly train you. It will give you a behind the scenes perspective, you will get an idea of the way the shows run (which the trainer will appreciate if they compete) and you can find events all over the country (or abroad, depending on where you are going). It's a great way to get a whole lot of education in a couple of days and meet people in the sport. If it is in your area, you might even be able to observe prospective employers. Even if you just pick up on some of the terminology or check out the variations in tack, it will be worthwhile.

I would also not stress the jumping too much at the lower levels. It's not all that different. For my first few years, we didn't have access to a XC course so all my prep work was done in the arena. We did have some little walls, coops, barrels, etc. Which helped simulate fences on BN so that helped. Straw bales are also good -- anything that is more solid will help make you feel more comfortable. If you can, find a water crossing somewhere (since it is increasingly required at BN). This is more important if you are bringing your horse and he/she is not used to water. Then again, the Trainer would be great if you need to introduce water.

Best of luck!! :)

GotSpots
Dec. 29, 2009, 05:23 PM
One of the BEST working students we ever had hadn't ever ridden XC, had jumped primarily in H/J lessons at under 2', didn't have her own horse, and wanted to be in the program for the summer. It's not my decision who our working students are, but I confess I was very concerned about bringing her on.

Boy, did she prove me wrong. She was a tremendous asset to the barn, and came back to us the following summer. Why? Not because she could flat or school anything in the barn -- she couldn't -- but because she had a phenomenal attitude, she worked her tail off, and she was conscientious and tried to always grow her attention to detail. She was there to LEARN, and she busted her tail soaking up knowledge. We didn't have a lot that she could ride, but she was able to hack several of our horses and we tried to figure out ways to get her lessons or fun experiences with appropriate horses where we could, as well as bringing her along to shows, clinics, and big name lessons. I hope she got as much out of it as we did.

What your background is doesn't, I think, matter as much as whether you're willing to put in the work and understand what the program is. Ask good questions about the type of place you're interested in going, and set out for yourself what are the goals you'd like to achieve in the summer so you can see how they match up. Lots of good fits out there, regardless of the name of the discipline, and correct basics are correct basics no matter who teaches them.

PhoenixFarm
Dec. 29, 2009, 11:34 PM
As usual I agree with GotSpots :yes:.

I just bid farewell to a WS after a year, and she too didn't have anything in the way of eventing expereince. But she had the best work ethic of about anyone I've ever met, and she was an asset to us the entire time she was here. She was always up for a challenge, willing to try something new, and willing to go the extra mile when needed.

We miss her already.:sadsmile: