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jevousaime
Jan. 26, 2011, 06:45 AM
Hello,

For a little background information:

I am not looking at being competitive this year, maybe just later in the season have a little fun at a few local open fun shows. I am more or less just trying to keep it slow. I am gonna work on him myself and later find an eventing trainer when his advances go past my expertise, but there is only one eventing trainer in my area, and I previously had bad experiences with them. Although, I might be relocating, but I am unsure. Should I consider sending him to a trainer for a few months? Or should I try and find a trainer, when the time comes, that I can take weekly or bi-weekly lessons with?

Until then, have any of you got any particular advice on any videos or books I could read?

I am looking into getting a new saddle, but I've got no idea what to get. As of right now, I've only got a cheap huntseat saddle. I have seen these "all purpose" saddles, and understand that they're some kind of a jumping/dressage saddle hybrid. Are these saddles used in eventing? or are these saddles in fact POS's, like I've heard. Do eventers really need 3 different saddles?? Is this something I need to think about investing in? I would rather get a nicer used saddle that is already broke in as opposed to getting a new saddle, especially with my rather low budget. Are there any names that I should look for?

OKay, I think this is all that I can think of atm, my apologies for my uninformed ignorance.

Please just let me know what you guys think. Thanks in advance!

Cheers

sarah88
Jan. 26, 2011, 07:47 AM
if your current saddle fits you and the horse I will be fine. I wouldn't go rushing off buying tons of equipment. I know some people who like all purpose saddles, so they are an option, but they are not my cup of tea..and no you do not need 3 saddles! your current saddle is most likely fine, but if you do want a new saddle I would go in the close contact direction..I use my CC saddle for dressage bc i hate my dressage saddle and I do just fine! If you are going to compete or do xc schooling you do need: a xc vest, astm approved helmet, a medical armband, leg boots for your horse if you choose to use them... As far a trainer, it is tough when there is no one in your area. I would suggest finding a high quality jumper trainer you can work with some just to start off jumping..as far as xc goes I know some coaches will have out of town students come in for 'minicamp' a couple days/weekend/week where you haul out to them and take lessons...just make sure you find someone with a good reputation whose students are Safe and horses seem happy doing their jobs... Most any breed of horse can be successful at the lower levels so i don't see his tail or gait being too much of a hindrance esp. if you just want to have fun. I don't know much a/b saddlebreds but is he gaited? that may be an issue bc you would need to develop a clear w/t/c... best of luck! It is a really fun sport to be involved in!

sheltoneb
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:00 AM
Hi,
My friend showed thru training with a saddlebred. She never got good dressage score, but it wasn't because of his breed. He just wasn't great at it. Good dressage is good dressage and that is all the judges care about. Just work on your basics and getting him to stretch down and forward. I would think any good dressage book would be good for him.

Sending him to a trainer is up to you. Not knowing your background, it is hard to tell if you have the skill to teach him good dressage basics. If you don't think you can get him started well in the dressage or jumping, I would send him to a trainer. If he is started correctly, it will cut down on issues in the future. However, I would take lessons. Particularly for cross country. There is a reason eventers ride the way they do verses riding like hunters.

As for saddles, you don't need three saddles. Many lower level riders ride is one saddle for all three phases. At some point, having a separate saddle for each phase will make is easier, but one is fine for the lower levels. Also, I have never ridden in an all purpose saddle that had the correct balance for anything. You are much better of getting a jumping saddle appropriate for cross country and stadium. You can ride dressage in a jumping saddle.

sandycrosseventing
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:05 AM
Many years ago I had an ASB that did the 3 foot hunters locally in Va. and also did eventing through Novice and dressage through 1st quite easily. He should be a lot of fun for you. Don't worry about the gaits or his tail. Just enjoy him. I know he's grateful to have found you.:)

red mares
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:20 AM
. I don't know much a/b saddlebreds but is he gaited? that may be an issue bc you would need to develop a clear w/t/c... best of luck! It is a really fun sport to be involved in!

If the horse was shown, he trots. "Gaited" saddlebreds are not the same as "gaited" horses (i.e TWH, pasos, etc). Saddlebreds shown in a [5] gaited class are required to W,T & C.

KateWooten
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:28 AM
No ! don't send him to a trainer - stick with him, do it yourself. You are going to need to find out all about the events that you will be doing with him in the next few years, so start going to those events right now - this year - as a volunteer. Get involved with that, get involved with pony club ( no, seriously, I'm 42 and go to pony club - go as a friendly volunteer to start with - you learn so much and meeting all the parents and instructors is invaluable). You will definitely run into the right sort of trainers and instructors at an event or a meeting, surely?

After your first few recognised events you will probably want a dressage saddle, but wait til then. As long as your current saddle is balanced and you can do flatwork in it, stick with that. Then when you're ready, ask around on here for a good, local independent saddle-fitter - often we can save you a bunch of money if we happen to have an appropriate saddle on consignment. (Trying saddles especially in our area is miserable, and expensive, since we don't have tack stores :( )

I doubt his tailset will be too much of a problem at lower levels. For what I do, at BN, you just want him to be relaxed, rhythmic, forward, accurate. You'll have all that :)

You're lucky that he jumps well - mine jumps like a stag. Literally. Kerrr- Ping! All four legs off the ground at the same time, and not always in the same direction. You want to see a funny pic ?

tarheelmd07
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:28 AM
The horse in my profile pic is an ASB (from 5-gaited lines) that I evented prior to his retirement due to neurologic issues. ASBs are versatile horses - and if your guy was brought up in the saddleseat world, you may just have to spend some time doing a little more work to retrain him in the ways of dressage. There's a small community of ASB-eventing folks out there - and there's a very active Yahoo group (asbsporthorse) dedicated to riding ASBs in non-saddleseat disciplines - and there are a lot of folks over there who've been through the saddleseat to dressage or eventing transition.

If you want some motivation...check out http://www.saddlebredsarefun.com/ - it's got lots of photos of former saddleseat ASBs doing their new jobs in different disciplines!

jevousaime
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:43 AM
if your current saddle fits you and the horse I will be fine. I wouldn't go rushing off buying tons of equipment. I know some people who like all purpose saddles, so they are an option, but they are not my cup of tea..and no you do not need 3 saddles! your current saddle is most likely fine, but if you do want a new saddle I would go in the close contact direction..I use my CC saddle for dressage bc i hate my dressage saddle and I do just fine! If you are going to compete or do xc schooling you do need: a xc vest, astm approved helmet, a medical armband, leg boots for your horse if you choose to use them... As far a trainer, it is tough when there is no one in your area. I would suggest finding a high quality jumper trainer you can work with some just to start off jumping..as far as xc goes I know some coaches will have out of town students come in for 'minicamp' a couple days/weekend/week where you haul out to them and take lessons...just make sure you find someone with a good reputation whose students are Safe and horses seem happy doing their jobs... Most any breed of horse can be successful at the lower levels so i don't see his tail or gait being too much of a hindrance esp. if you just want to have fun. I don't know much a/b saddlebreds but is he gaited? that may be an issue bc you would need to develop a clear w/t/c... best of luck! It is a really fun sport to be involved in!

Thank you for your reply! This makes me quite relieved. Not all Saddlebreds are gaited. In fact, the majority aren't ever taught how to gait. The gaited ones typically have a different line breeding, too.

For my boy, his breeding is actually mixed, and he was born with a 3 gaited way of going. He was never gaited. He has a very strong trot! I need to get vids of him up here ^^

May I ask what a medical armband is???

equestrianerd
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:51 AM
It's a little card with your medical details (blood type, allergies, emergency contact info) that slips into a holder on a band that goes around your arm when you're doing XC. They're required at most events/levels (and recommended for all).

I've known a few eventing ASBs, and they seem really cool. :) I'm sure you'll have fun with your guy!

tarheelmd07
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:54 AM
May I ask what a medical armband is???

Here's an example
http://www.bitofbritain.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=002805
you have to wear it during jumping phases at events (well, all recognized events...and most unrecognized ones I've been too) - it has your name/emergency contact info/medical info on the little card that fits in the plastic sleeve...lets medical personel get all your info quickly and easily in the event of an emergency

ThirdCharm
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:48 AM
A student of mine evented a Saddlebred.... he rarely did well in dressage, but it wasn't lack of ability.... he spent the first couple of years with his owner completely being in charge, as in "I'm going to stand in the middle of the ring and kick/rear/buck until you quit asking me to move" and he was a belligerent jerk who never quite got over himself, and his owner never quite got over it either.... she had a tendency to back off and give in. A couple of times I rode him at shows and he got pretty good scores, but you had to spend the first five minutes ploqinf through the cr*p he usually put over on his owner, and he was strong and determined. But he was capable of settling down and putting in a good test.

Jennifer

Janet
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:49 AM
May I ask what a medical armband is???

Here is a link to the Mecical card
http://www.useventing.com/resources/files/docs/c-f-1004-USEAMedicalCards.pdf

Download it, print it out, and fill it in. Then you need to put it inside a clear, waterproof holder, on your arm, outside your clothing.

You can get an purpose-made armband to hold it, from USEA, BoB, or any one of a number of other places.

Here is the actual rule.


EV113.2. MEDICAL CARDS. An approved and completed medical card is required any time while
jumping. It must be enclosed in a transparent, waterproof carrier. It must be securely
attached to the competitor’s upper arm on the outside of the competitor’s clothing. It must
include any relevant medical history, injury (particularly to the head), drug allergies and current
medication. Athletes are responsible to record all injuries on the card. Failure to wear
one’s own medical card shall be penalized by a fine of $100. (Payable to the Organizing
Committee)

It is a good idea to stick a copy of your insurance card in there too.

jevousaime
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:44 AM
No ! don't send him to a trainer - stick with him, do it yourself. You are going to need to find out all about the events that you will be doing with him in the next few years, so start going to those events right now - this year - as a volunteer. Get involved with that, get involved with pony club ( no, seriously, I'm 42 and go to pony club - go as a friendly volunteer to start with - you learn so much and meeting all the parents and instructors is invaluable). You will definitely run into the right sort of trainers and instructors at an event or a meeting, surely?

After your first few recognised events you will probably want a dressage saddle, but wait til then. As long as your current saddle is balanced and you can do flatwork in it, stick with that. Then when you're ready, ask around on here for a good, local independent saddle-fitter - often we can save you a bunch of money if we happen to have an appropriate saddle on consignment. (Trying saddles especially in our area is miserable, and expensive, since we don't have tack stores :( )

I doubt his tailset will be too much of a problem at lower levels. For what I do, at BN, you just want him to be relaxed, rhythmic, forward, accurate. You'll have all that :)

You're lucky that he jumps well - mine jumps like a stag. Literally. Kerrr- Ping! All four legs off the ground at the same time, and not always in the same direction. You want to see a funny pic ?

These are such great ideas! So are you suggesting that aside from volunteering and getting into the "culture," that I jut find a trainer to work with whenever I am ready? I think weekly adjustments make sense, and maybe a professional telling me what I should look into working on, etc. Plus, constructive criticism is good, yes?

Regarding his jumping, at first, he seems quite timid at anything new. But every day I ride him, he learns more and more often to trust me and think in my head instead of his own. I think it is a great characteristic of his. He has a beautiful jump, and really gets those knees up!

jevousaime
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:47 AM
A student of mine evented a Saddlebred.... he rarely did well in dressage, but it wasn't lack of ability.... he spent the first couple of years with his owner completely being in charge, as in "I'm going to stand in the middle of the ring and kick/rear/buck until you quit asking me to move" and he was a belligerent jerk who never quite got over himself, and his owner never quite got over it either.... she had a tendency to back off and give in. A couple of times I rode him at shows and he got pretty good scores, but you had to spend the first five minutes ploqinf through the cr*p he usually put over on his owner, and he was strong and determined. But he was capable of settling down and putting in a good test.

Jennifer


Saddlebreds are really easy to spoil! LOL. they definitely have a mind of their own. You can tell if you go to an ASB show. So many horses screw up in the ring because they're just plain bored. W/T/C round and round a ring is way to easy for this breed. You can definitely tell if they aren't trained properly IMO.

jevousaime
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:49 AM
The horse in my profile pic is an ASB (from 5-gaited lines) that I evented prior to his retirement due to neurologic issues. ASBs are versatile horses - and if your guy was brought up in the saddleseat world, you may just have to spend some time doing a little more work to retrain him in the ways of dressage. There's a small community of ASB-eventing folks out there - and there's a very active Yahoo group (asbsporthorse) dedicated to riding ASBs in non-saddleseat disciplines - and there are a lot of folks over there who've been through the saddleseat to dressage or eventing transition.

If you want some motivation...check out http://www.saddlebredsarefun.com/ - it's got lots of photos of former saddleseat ASBs doing their new jobs in different disciplines!

I have ran across that website, but never really looked at it in detail. Thanks for the reminder!!

Your horse looks great at xc! Your pic and the pics from the website certainly have given me inspiration. Thanks!

netg
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:52 AM
With the dressage basics mentioned multiple times, I just want to reiterate the stretching forward/down which was mentioned. You'll be surprised - his neck will actually change shape from correct long and forward stretching! That will also help build up his topline and help him move in a way which will make everything else you do easier for him.

He sounds like a neat horse who is lucky to have found you! Good luck with him - and please post videos!

JER
Jan. 26, 2011, 12:51 PM
I have an ASB mix -- he's SB x Belgian x TB -- who foxhunted for eons, evented to P and was also an excellent showjumper up to 4'.

He has a very high head carriage and this is how he goes. I just focused on the parts of his body that actually mattered. But that also meant accepting that his dressage scores were not going to be good (he was extravagantly uninterested in dressage). He was very well-schooled, however, and placed well at T and above because he was so good in the jumping phases.

jevousaime
Jan. 26, 2011, 06:17 PM
With the dressage basics mentioned multiple times, I just want to reiterate the stretching forward/down which was mentioned. You'll be surprised - his neck will actually change shape from correct long and forward stretching! That will also help build up his topline and help him move in a way which will make everything else you do easier for him.

He sounds like a neat horse who is lucky to have found you! Good luck with him - and please post videos!

Thanks for letting me know how important stretching forward! Can you think of any particular exercises or training techniques I could do that might particularly help him?

I will do my best to post a vid soon. unfortunately my time and laziness gets far too out of control a lot of times, especially in the winter when I should be hibernating! LOL.

GotSpots
Jan. 26, 2011, 06:26 PM
Also check out www.discovereventing.com - there's LOTS of answers to your questions there about what you might need and to learn about the sport! You might also consider joining USEA (www.useventing.com) - even if you're not going to compete recognized there's a non-competing membership that gets you access to their super magazine which has a ton of helpful information in it plus great articles so you can start learning about the sport.

And seriously, the sport's about all sorts of horses! There's this very cool ASB who is the prettiest palomino/roan/rust color - I can't describe it but it's gorgeous - who is going Novice or Training in Area II and who does a really lovely job.

jevousaime
Jan. 26, 2011, 06:30 PM
Also check out www.discovereventing.com - there's LOTS of answers to your questions there about what you might need and to learn about the sport! You might also consider joining USEA (www.useventing.com) - even if you're not going to compete recognized there's a non-competing membership that gets you access to their super magazine which has a ton of helpful information in it plus great articles so you can start learning about the sport.

And seriously, the sport's about all sorts of horses! There's this very cool ASB who is the prettiest palomino/roan/rust color - I can't describe it but it's gorgeous - who is going Novice or Training in Area II and who does a really lovely job.

SO helpful of you! Thanks!

My horse also has an interesting color.... from afar he looks like a bay, but then you noticed he doesn't have the black bay horse stockings. Then when you get not so far away from him you noticed that his mane and tail is some kind of black flaxen. The black does however overtake the white streaks, but they are definitely noticeable! But look black at first. I am not sure how to classify it LOL.

FatDinah
Jan. 26, 2011, 06:32 PM
This is what I have done with Arabs who also tend to be head up, especially if they were ridden saddleseat.
Set some ground poles, 4-6, about 12 feet apart. You may need to adjust spacing longer to his stride/size.
Trot over them with a looser rein, not flopping but relaxed, and he will likely automatically start stretching his neck down and lifting his back up.
You concentrate on keeping him straight with your legs and try to be as quiet and balanced above him as you can.
Experiment to see if you need to get off his back in a 2-point to encourage him to lift his back.
Eventually, you can lift the poles up like little cavalletti or use little crossrails.
This exercise will also help you improve your seat and balance and when you start jumping him as he'll be used to a gymnastic (set of jumps to encourage roundness).
I'd ride himout, not in an arena, with company if you can as much as possible because he probably associated the arena with saddleseat training.

columbus
Jan. 26, 2011, 07:03 PM
There will be a lot of training to undo and alot of body type to overcome. If he was Country Pleasure he was a longer frame but if he was trained to be a 3 gaited horse you need to free him from his conditioning over time.

The training to be a 3 gaited horse is the opposite of low level dressage work. They shorten the frame and hold it high, creating tension, and balance on the bit. He needs to lengthen his topline and frame and let the tension go...lift his back and let his back swing. It will be harder because Saddlebreds are bred to travel as up necked as possible and their training never rewards lengthening their frame. Also the way of life for show Saddlebreds is to create tension.

His life of confinement and then being ignore will mean he is very poorly muscled...unfit for riding in general. Take your time to redevelop a suitable frame and develop fitness. Long and low...as long a contact as you can get him to reach for. Trail ride long, dressage practice and lessons long, cavalettis long and low. I wouldn't worry about jumping till late summer fall and then more as a trial ride with obstacles. His natural tendency will be to shorten and raise his head and neck and lower his back when ever he gets tense...you want to teach him long and low is better and set a new conditioning mantra in his brain.
The great thing is he will be an avid student, the hard thing will be he will try too hard and if he doesn't understand he will go to the high head low back fall back position. Good luck. Love Saddlebreds. PatO

Alianna
Jan. 26, 2011, 07:20 PM
Welcome to eventing!

As far as your saddle...a lot of people say "All purpose-no purpose" and I do agree. However, my first probably ten years were spent eventing in my all purpose old Kieffer saddle, and I never had a single problem with it. At the low levels, no one cares what tack you have, or your horses breed...you are out to learn and have a blast.

Don't worry about too much and just go out and have fun. Read the rule book, start out low and enjoy yourself and your horse!

retreadeventer
Jan. 26, 2011, 07:34 PM
Yes, I think a Saddlebred is a wonderful breed and your horse sounds like he loves you! I would be attentive to saddle fit on this horse especially if he was overweight and out of shape. The cheap Indian-made type of all purpose saddles often sold by the online tack retailers are not good saddles for creating good riding positions or helping a horse stretch down. However, a saddle is a big investment, and it will keep you well for many years. Make sure you fit in it, and that your horse fits in it and it can be changed as he changes shape and gets fit. Good quality even used will last you a long time and is cheap at the price.
Good luck and do have fun.:)

netg
Jan. 27, 2011, 09:59 AM
Thanks for letting me know how important stretching forward! Can you think of any particular exercises or training techniques I could do that might particularly help him?

I will do my best to post a vid soon. unfortunately my time and laziness gets far too out of control a lot of times, especially in the winter when I should be hibernating! LOL.

Lateral bend - teaching him to bend correctly on circles, allowing you to control his hind end and shoulders. This will progress to mini leg yields on a circle, pushing him in and out, then real leg yields, and adding in shoulder fore, working up to shoulder in and haunches in.

My mom's horse is a Friesian/Andalusian cross who hadn't been ridden in about a year, lacked a lot of balance, and liked to do a giraffe neck any time she thought about anything. We do lots and lots of circles, keeping her from dropping her inside shoulder (she's a drop the inside shoulder and spook type), and go forward when she relaxes laterally - and the head reaching down and out is really just a symptom of what she's doing right with her body.

Horses with lower natural head carriage tend to fall on their forehand with long and low, but horses with a naturally high head carriage tend to have to lift their back to go long and low, at least in my experience. Many people on this board will tell you that you HAVE to have contact at all times, but I have found it works as well or better to allow the horse a looser rein as it's reshaping muscles and learning a different carriage, then gradually introduce contact on top of that. Side reins set low and long can also help encourage that downward stretch when longeing.

SmartAlex
Jan. 27, 2011, 10:03 AM
Often the biggest challenge in teaching an ASB long and low is their light mouths. In ASB world, they are trained to come up to that curb, then back off it putting them just a tad behind the bit. When you start stretching down, they will dump over behind the vertical. "Seeking the bit" is a completely foreign concept.

Lots of walking. Lots of ground poles.

Then the second challenge you will have is their inherent tendancy to become giraffes at a show and revert to show horse mode. They are bred to throw their heads up and look. It's not their fault at all. So don't be discouraged if the first time you take your horse out in public he forgets all of the work you've done and sets himself and comes into the arena like it was Freedom Hall. If you survive the first 20 minutes, he will remember what you taught him.

D_BaldStockings
Jan. 27, 2011, 03:22 PM
You might enjoy reading through this blog from a 'down under' eventer who has Saddlebreds. over 2 years worth of entries, lots of fun going on!

http://bloomsburystud.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2009-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&updated-max=2010-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=22

DangerousDevo
Jan. 28, 2011, 10:14 PM
I foxhunted/dressaged/low level evented an ASB for many, many years - I just retired him a year ago. They are wonderful horses that love to please and are a lot of fun to work with.

You've gotten some good advice so far - as a former park horse, he knows w/t/c, but is canter depart will be backwards from what you need for dressage- he's probably used to tipping his nose to the rail, which is counterbent. Work on slowly straightening him out in the depart and eventually he'll catch on.

All the advice about poles and stretching is spot on - he's been cranked up in the bridle and it will take time and patience to build up his back so he can stretch down and forward.

His tail will likely straighten out on its own - it will take time, too. Don't worry too much about what people think - eventers are a pretty accepting group. The first time I took Mac to a schooling event, a group of women trotted by me and asked what kind of horse I was on. I told them he was a saddlebred, and the leader of the pack said " 'bout time you saddlebred people showed up!" LOL.