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View Full Version : Changing "riding" disciplines....



Best View
Dec. 20, 2010, 03:14 PM
I have made the decision to move from the hunters back to dressage. I had ridden dressage for a number of years because the horse I had at the time was not happy jumping.

I then decided to return to school and sold my horses. During that time lots of things changed in my life and the horses returned. This time I thought that if I was going to buy a horse, I was going to make sure I bought a hunter so I could jump! Now that I have been doing the hunters for the last 6-7 years, I realize that I miss the dressage.

I am getting a little scared at the bigger fences and it is not so much fun anymore.

To anyone who moved from one discipline to another, any regrets, any advice... I have not told my trainer yet... That is the next big task.

Eklecktika
Dec. 20, 2010, 03:30 PM
Just do it.

I went from riding reining horses and rodeoing (roping) to eventing, and although the horse end has been a little up and down-sold a VERY promising horse because of divorce, bad PPEs, etc. I have zero regrets. I have a nice little horse that's coming right along, and while he isn't the be all of what I want, he'll get some miles, and get sold to fund what I DO want.

I enjoy what I do, its a challenge, and while we aren't anywhere near competing yet, so what? I enjoy riding again, and every time I pull my 'notpony' out of the stall and climb on, I look like this::D I've ridden short horses. I'm over'em. (Which brings me to my only regret: Coming off a big horse = more velocity gained between the saddle and the ground. BUT that also = more incentive to stay planted in the saddle and NOT be a lawn dart!)

I live in an area that means hauling several hours to find a HT or clinic, let alone a recognized event-but we still have fun, and I get my 'big crazy horses' to ride (of course, as opposed to the little 'crazy' horses I used to ride. I like sting....don't like a pushalong!)

Your trainer is your employee. They work for you. Don't burn any bridges, but don't get "guilted" into anything you don't want to do.

YMMV, but that's my .02.

Megaladon
Dec. 20, 2010, 03:32 PM
I started out in 4-H and Pony Club. Both of the clubs motto was jump, jump, jump. That's all I thought was fun, and we all thought dressage was boring. But for a rally we had to learn a dressage test and ever since practicing that test I have switched to dressage and haven't looked back.

I don't miss the jumping at all. Last time I jumped was in '06 with a World Cup rider--it just doesn't capture the quest for perfection like dressage does for me. Dressage is more challenging--I like challenge.

Good luck and if you ever need to get your jumping fix there is no reason you can't pop over a few in a dressage saddle. :D

Melyni
Dec. 20, 2010, 03:42 PM
not at the lower levels any way.
Most of my babies do both, up until they are either sold or show so much talent in one area that we begin to specilize.

I have one mare who did Tr/1st/2nd then did the hunters for a year or so at 2'6"/3'0", and then came back to dressage and is now doing 2nd/3rd.

She won the CBLM Championships at 2nd level this year so you can't say doing the hunters spoilt her dressage any.


I don't jump my PSG horse anymore even though he loves it, because he gets way too strong when he jumps and I have a hard enough time holding him anyway, no need to encourage that tendency.

It gets hard to remember to sit up and back enough for the dressage at first, but you soon adapt.


You don't have to close the door on either discipline.

YMMV
Yours
MW

goeslikestink
Dec. 20, 2010, 04:13 PM
I have made the decision to move from the hunters back to dressage. I had ridden dressage for a number of years because the horse I had at the time was not happy jumping.

I then decided to return to school and sold my horses. During that time lots of things changed in my life and the horses returned. This time I thought that if I was going to buy a horse, I was going to make sure I bought a hunter so I could jump! Now that I have been doing the hunters for the last 6-7 years, I realize that I miss the dressage.

I am getting a little scared at the bigger fences and it is not so much fun anymore.

To anyone who moved from one discipline to another, any regrets, any advice... I have not told my trainer yet... That is the next big task.

your life your horses you do as you please and unless your married to your trinaer its no biggy they will get over it

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Dec. 20, 2010, 07:55 PM
Not me, but there's a lady at my barn who got into dressage in her late 50s after doing the Arab circuit for most of her life -- she got her silver medal on the first warmblood she bought (and not a fancy one at that, but nice tempered, hard working mare). She trained the horse herself from a greenbroke 3 yo to I1. The one thing that I see with her success is investment in the BEST lessons. Not just your local dressage instructor (who may be the best, but you know what I mean ;)), but BNTs that work for you (not every BNT will work for every rider either). There are trainers who can lift you EVERY lesson, find one of those. I learned that form her, unfortunately don't quite have the same resources, but I do what I can. :)

Best View
Dec. 22, 2010, 10:32 AM
Thank you to everyone who responded. I am excited to get back into having fun and not being scared. I am really comfortable over the little fences but I want to challenge myself more and I think I can do that with dressage rather than putting myself throught the anxiety of jumping.

Petstorejunkie
Dec. 22, 2010, 03:28 PM
It's not like you are ending a marriage and can't go back.... it's a matter of how much tack do you want to own :lol:

Chaila
Dec. 22, 2010, 03:33 PM
I figure the best thing to do for ammies... Is to figure out what you and your horse are good at and do that.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 22, 2010, 03:40 PM
Why don't you lease for a while? There are lots of very nice horses out there for full or part lease right now, and you can see whether you really want to go 100% down the dressage road.

There are many other options...

Yowsa
Dec. 23, 2010, 06:25 PM
Agreed you can do both! I cross train all our dressage horses - so if your comfort is low jumps - start dressage and you can still do low jumping as another alternative now and again (or more frequently, if your heart desires!)

Life is to short to not take the chances, go for it!

sadlmakr
Dec. 23, 2010, 06:43 PM
You are paying the trainer for the services they provide. You do not need to be afraid of the trainer.
If you choose to change riding styles do it.
What makes you happy is the thing to do.
I know many who have been H/J people all their lives and now are doing Dressage. No big deal.
Do what you find joy in doing.
JMHO
sadlmakr

Smithereens
Dec. 27, 2010, 10:25 PM
I was in almost the exact same situation: went back to dressage after 10 years of mostly jumpers, and have not been this happy and relaxed in my riding in as long as I can remember! Once I accepted the change and commited, it was like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Telling all of my HJ friends was the hardest part! I am a competitive person and want to keep improving and climbing the levels, but the bigger the fences the more anxious I got, and having started in dressage years ago (made the switch when I went to college and rode on the hunt seat team) it seemed like an obvious switch. Not saying I never will jump again, but I have to say that I'm not missing it at all! PM me for more details and we can trade stories!