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View Full Version : Have I lost my mind?! Tell me about CT . . .



Tiger Horse
Apr. 16, 2010, 12:05 PM
Long story short - I got my first horse and rode the trail for
30+ years. Last November I decided I wanted to do something over the winter and started to take dressage lessons. Within two weeks, sold my trail mare and bought a "dressage" horse. Last weekend we successfully competed at our first schooling show (and need one more ride of 60% or better to qualify for championship class in Sept).

My "dressage" horse is a thoroughbred, originally purchased by my trainer for hunt/jump lessons, etc. He enjoys dressage, but likes to jump as well. So, I'm thinking it might be fun to venture into combined training next year - we were already planning on doing some jumping this fall/winter - so, it seems like a logical next step.

So, what can you tell me about it? BTW, I'm 52 and not exactly a dare devil (anymore!). TB is 11 and for the most part pretty level headed. :D

cnvh
Apr. 16, 2010, 12:32 PM
I am NOT an experienced eventer-- so far Horsie and I have only braved one little starter trial-- but if this newbie has any advice to offer, it would be this--look around your area for some starter trials, see what's expected for the lowest level, and set your goals.

Horsie and I did Elementary at Fair Hill last year, which is about as easy as it gets-- the dressage test is Intro A (walk-trot, basically two circles and a diagonal and that's it), and the SJ and XC were 18". I've been riding for almost 30 years, was jumping 3'6" courses when I was a brave teenager, but after a long hiatus I'm much less brave; 2'6" is the upper end of my comfort zone right now. 18" XC seemed like a very good place to start!

Anyway, wanting to get to Fair Hill and knowing exactly what was expected of me at Elementary gave me clear goals to work towards. I was absolutely PETRIFIED up to and including the day of the event, especially since my horse is a green OTTB that I've been retraining myself, but as it turned out, we had an awesome day--Horsie was a rockstar and I managed to not embarrass us too badly. :)

riderboy
Apr. 16, 2010, 12:46 PM
Yeah man, go for it. I'm 52 also and it's something that I just love. I didn't grow up with horses and really didn't start riding till late in life but your age doesn't matter (Bruce Davidson) and in spite of all the associated money, work and occasional broken heart (and bones) it is one hell of a sport. Keeps you in shape too.

Tiger Horse
Apr. 16, 2010, 12:47 PM
Congrats cnvh! Sounds like you did a great job and had fun doing it. Wonderful advice too - thanks a bunch :)

Tiger Horse
Apr. 16, 2010, 12:53 PM
Yeah man, go for it. I'm 52 also and it's something that I just love. I didn't grow up with horses and really didn't start riding till late in life but your age doesn't matter (Bruce Davidson) and in spite of all the associated money, work and occasional broken heart (and bones) it is one hell of a sport. Keeps you in shape too.

My trainer, also in her 50s, is saying the same thing "go for it"!
What the heck - you only live once - might as well have some fun!

asterix
Apr. 16, 2010, 06:56 PM
Setting a goal like that is a great first step. I'd also set as a goal sometime in the next few months:
a. volunteering at a local event -- great way to get to know the sport and start to get involved in the eventing community and
b. grooming for a friend at an event of any level. This is a terrific lesson in how the day goes for a rider at an event -- the timing, the "gear", the coordination.

You will discover whether you like cross country by schooling it, but grooming and volunteering will give you a taste for the actual competitions.

Sulta
Apr. 16, 2010, 08:24 PM
I did my first event, on my first horse, a 3.5yo clyde/tb mare, last year at the age of 46. I had been in one horse show (a dressage schooling) prior to this event. I was petrified, but had a blast.

I went for the jump heights that I knew I could step over if need be, and my goal was to make it around the course and not fall off. By that definition, we succeeded. Worst dressage test I ever rode (well, it was only my 3rd test ever). Figured I could only go up from there!

It does help to know your venues. Fair Hill XC was beefier than expected...i swear some of the jumps were more than 18", but jumps were "real XC jumps". But, the stadium jumps looked less than 18". (Have you ever seen an 18" oxer?)

Plantation Stadium jumping was beefier, but the XC at Plantation was not as interesting - all just logs, with one black pipe jump. Bucks County was in-between the two.

With a green horse and me not being into riding shape/comfortable yet, I set small goals, and made sure the jumps weren't scary to me - there was enough other stuff for me to worry about.

People and venues are super friendly and helpful. And we'll be back this year!

cnvh
Apr. 16, 2010, 09:21 PM
It does help to know your venues. Fair Hill XC was beefier than expected...i swear some of the jumps were more than 18", but jumps were "real XC jumps". But, the stadium jumps looked less than 18". (Have you ever seen an 18" oxer?)



I haven't been to any events other than the one starter at FH (even as a spectator), but I agree, their XC jumps even at the itty-bitty level were "real"-- and adorable! Some kind persoin on here sent me a link to photos of a bunch of them... I have no idea where those photos got to though.

riderboy
Apr. 17, 2010, 08:41 AM
Actually, when I think about it, losing your mind seems to be a prerequisite for becoming an eventer!

Auburn
Apr. 17, 2010, 08:59 AM
What riderboy said! :lol::lol::lol::lol:

Or, as Paul Simon would say, "Still crazy, after all these years.". ;)

badawg
Apr. 17, 2010, 11:19 AM
Riderboy, I think I'm going to steal that line!