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CatchMeIfUCan
Jan. 4, 2010, 05:01 PM
My 9 year old training level eventer is for sale. He is the first horse I have sold (and owned!) so am a little clueless on how it works. He also was the first horse I looked at when I bought him and an OTTB so I've never had the experience myself either. I have my first showing on him tomorrow and was wondering what people like to see when they are looking at horses. He jumps up to 3'9" courses and up to 4'3" in grids. I figured that I would leave him in the field and have the potential buyer come with me to get him, then do his normal grooming routine. I would warm him up, showing the dressage movements he knows, and do some jumping then let them ride. Does this sound like a normal plan? Should I do my usual warm up which entails about 10 min of walking/lateral work, then bending exercises at the trot, and a light seated canter or something shorter? What jumping exercises should I set up?

Thanks so much!

Carol Ames
Jan. 4, 2010, 05:53 PM
Set a line, vetical to ramped oxer, have horae trot in canter out; halt on a line:); be sure he will do this on loopy reins:yes:; make the horse seem "easy;) They may be bringing a trainer/ friend who, will ride the horse aas well as, ask to see certain movements/ tricks:eek:

Carried Away
Jan. 4, 2010, 05:57 PM
When I am looking at horses, I prefer to have them somewhat tacked up and ready when I get there, just to save time. I like to see what a normal warmup is for the horse, and the same thing over fences- a few warmup fences and then a small course (including a combination, skinny, etc), then raise the fences and do a bigger course. I probably wouldn't care too much about a grid if it's the first time I'm seeing the horse. Then I usually would want to get on after I've seen the horse do a somewhat normal routine. Depending on the horse, sometimes an explanation of why you do your warmup a certain way is helpful as well. Hope this helps and good luck!

Carol Ames
Jan. 4, 2010, 06:00 PM
Your plan is fine:lol:; he does NOT need to jump a 4 foot course:no:; ask them what they want to see/ do; but remember, if you would make God laugh, tell him your plans

enjoytheride
Jan. 4, 2010, 06:42 PM
I would prefer to see the horse in the field. Ground manners are make or break for me and if I can't catch the SOB and he spends the grooming session bitting me then I'll pass.

I'd want him to see about 10 - 15 minutes of flat work involving his whole bag of tricks, some trot fences proving he has the ability to wait, and then a course proving he can do changes and string things together.

If I'm looking for something that might jump bigger eventually then a max height grid but when it boils down to it a horse can often jump higher in a grid and then not put it together for a course.

yellowbritches
Jan. 4, 2010, 07:03 PM
Ha! I SO could give a rat's butt about how they are to catch in the field! :lol: I have ways of catching hard ones, so the catching thing doesn't bother me in the least, and 90% of the horses that come into this barn that supposedly have "great" ground manners have bad ones in my book, anyway, so I always end up fixing that, too. As long as they aren't killers, I am happy if I can see them get tacked up (and if I'm shopping for an ammie or a kid, I do like to see them in the barn, because I want to know whatever we get for them isn't going to kill them the day they are unsupervised in the barn).

I would suggest just setting some fun stuff up in the ring and play a bit over what's there. Some related distances are good, a skinny is good. Something you can kinda gallop to, like a rampy oxer. I wouldn't sweat it too much. I know when we look, we usually get on after a couple of jumps, and it seems like when people come to look at OUR horses they get on after a couple of jumps (or go home).

As for the flatwork, just do a normal day's type ride. Do be sure to show that he can do 15m circles and trot and canter legthenings if he's a training horse. If he's got good other things, show them, too. Try not to school him, just ride him (this is hard for me).

Groro
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:03 PM
When I show people a horse, I have it super clean/groomed and standing in a stall in the barn. I have all the tack and boots it wears next to the crossties so I am not wasting anyone's time. I used to let people use their own saddles, but I've had so many that didn't fit the horse, that I try to always use the one we have fitted to the horse. I also have any pertinent information in a folder they can keep. It will include copies of the horse's USEA record, some good dressage tests, any good photos, registration papers and perhaps a DVD of a good footage from a competition.

We take the horse out to the ring and do very simple flat work for about 5 minutes, then ask the prospective buyer and or trainer what they would like to see. Usually it is a few crossrails and then the trainer or buyer hop on. At that point I usually let them play with the horse as they wish on their own. Most times if they spend more than 15 minutes riding the horse they like it. If they want, we take the horse crosscountry or on a trail ride, crossing water and other important obstacles.

When I try a horse, I know in 5 minutes if I like the horse. Some people are offended if you dismiss it without spending a much time watching or riding it. If I don't like a horse right away, then more time spent isn't going to improve my decision.

First impressions are everything. I would never collect a horse out of the field. It might have just rolled in the mud and then time is wasted by cleaning it up.

g29000
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:07 PM
I work for my trainers and we have a lot of people come look at everything from upper level jumpers to novice event horses.

I would say that a lot depends on what they are looking for. If he goes training and is advertised as such he does not need to jump over 3'3. I find everyone is different some want more flat work some want more jumping some want water ditch bank. It all depends.

Has your guy shown?? If so he has less to prove at a trial then a non showing horse. If you have shown then your scores speak for them-self and all that is left is for them to like and get along with the horse.

Horse trials are a fun and new thing every time. Basic rules, show off what he does well. Be honest about what needs work. If it is not going well don't be afraid to speak up and say you don't think it is the right horse for them.

Just what I notice working in a sale barn. I think you'll do fine regardless seems like they either love them or hate them!! I was even around when one lady told my trainer it was fate and she had to have the horse! It's a crazy world out there but we are horse people so figures I guess!! Good luck have fun.

Lone
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:13 PM
I like to see a horse caught out in the field and groomed also. Personally, if a horse has really bad manners and is tough to catch, I'd walk away. I want a horse who enjoys his job as much as I do.

In the winter it's hard, but I'd bring the horse in about an hour or so before the appointment and groom him up so he looks nice, throw a blanket on him and toss him back out in the field and hope he doesn't roll.

As far as riding, I'd like to see the horse's normal routine- whatever kind of warmup you normally do is great and I'd explain to the potential buyers why you're doing it.

For jumping, I think a line like someone else suggested is good, and then a few single fences so the buyer can ride him over a small course.

clm08
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:27 PM
Since it seems that catching the horse and seeing ground manners may be a deal breaker for some prospective buyers but a waste of time for others, it may be easier to ask ahead of time if they want you to wait for them before catching the horse, or if you should have it ready to tack up (or already tacked up). That way you will meet their expectations at least for that part. Good luck!

CatchMeIfUCan
Jan. 5, 2010, 10:58 AM
Thanks guys! I'm getting nervous! It feels like a horse show! This woman is looking for her daughters and casually mentioned that she rode around Burghley and Badminton when she was younger so I'm feeling a little unworthy :lol: !

TB or not TB?
Jan. 5, 2010, 11:39 AM
Don't get too nervous about WHO the person is - especially if they are shopping for daughters and/or students. Ride the horse to the best of your ability but don't worry about how you look or how well you do. They want to see an imperfect ride, particularly for an ammy horse - which most of us can deliver! :D

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 5, 2010, 12:57 PM
Thanks guys! I'm getting nervous! It feels like a horse show! This woman is looking for her daughters and casually mentioned that she rode around Burghley and Badminton when she was younger so I'm feeling a little unworthy :lol: !


If true...that is even better. She will know what she is looking at and have the right sort of expectations. I hated showing horses to newbies......

Bottom line...you can't make them like your horse. They either will or they wont. Show them what he is and tell them what you like/love about him...and a bit about what you consider his weakness. You want him to be sold into a home that likes him for what he is.

lstevenson
Jan. 5, 2010, 01:32 PM
Since it seems that catching the horse and seeing ground manners may be a deal breaker for some prospective buyers but a waste of time for others, it may be easier to ask ahead of time if they want you to wait for them before catching the horse, or if you should have it ready to tack up (or already tacked up). That way you will meet their expectations at least for that part. Good luck!


This is a very smart idea.