I think another reason your trainer is probably reluctant to move up is because a lot of riders have a mental block when it comes to 3'+. I'm one of them. My old trainer never told us the height of the jumps after raising them and would say, "ride them the same way." That's a tough lesson to learn though, and there's no point doing it until you are literally bored at 2'6.
Also remember its one thing to say you jumped a single jump, or a grid of jumps, at 3' or 3'6, but doing a full course of them is a whole different matter.
Again, like Emily (Xctrygirl) and others, none of us are trying to make negative assumptions - we're all just giving you another opinion. I still think it would be a good idea for you to discuss these things with this trainer & your IEA trainer.
I definitely agree with leasing the 18 y/o rather than buying if its possible for the reasons above. Trust all of us, there are PLENTY of horses out there especially in this market who will fit the bill for you (possibly another thing to discuss with IEA trainer who sounds like she has more connections than the other one).
Cute horse in the album...and you look fine. But I guess put me in the camp of pass on this horse or free lease him. Honestly....those are pretty small fences. My fresh off the track...only jumped a handful of times will quietly jump fences like that...and I'm not some fantastic rider (nor is he the only OTTB that I know or have owned that I can say that about). So a horse that slams on the breaks like that...not sure that is an ideal mount as a move up horse (to 3'+) for a rider with past confidence issues....but we don't know the whole story....and perhaps that stop is a rare thing....but most of my horses (all of whom are on the green side right now) would be tripping over than fence, not stopping at it.
There are a LOT of nice horses out there for lease or purchase. I have one of my horses out on a free lease with a teenager. Mare is a packer over 3'6"...can take a joke in stadium jumping (isn't as forgiving xc).
I had her advertised for sale or lease as an event horse or jumper (she's evented up through CCI*). Her current rider called me, did all the communicating with me and set up to come try her. She was 15/16 at the time. When she came and tried the mare...I thought they were a good fit and I had been impressed with her initiative so I agreed to lease her (they cover all her costs). She has taught her rider a lot, and her rider is moving up the levels with her (now showing 3'3" and schooling 4'+ at home)
So I guess my point in this long story is you do need to sit down with your trainer....but also get out there and look for some other horses yourself before making a financial reach and risk on this one. Look in the event world as well as the show world. Look online and make some calls--send some emails. Do not just rely on your trainer(s) (but do get their advice). You may be surprised at what you are able to fine. I just have some concerns that an older horse that will stop at such a simple little fence is saying something about not wanting to do the job and be a move up horse but ultimately, you know the horse and situation far far far better.
Good luck. I would however keep talking with your trainer. It sounds like she has done a lot for you and given how you look in the pictures, she has given you a very nice start....but not sure this particular horse meshes with your goals. And if you buy him...you may be limiting yourself in being able to move up.
OK, I can excuse the barn mix up and the discrepency in the age of this horse between owner who says he is 18 or USEF show records that say he is 21.
I also looked thru your album and can see things that tell me your trainer is probably right, you need a little more work low before you should move up. Work on keeping your shoulder back, butt closer to the saddle and your heels down ALL the time. That's what anchors you should the horse stumble or stop.
That particular horse is slamming on the brakes and squating pretty darn hard from a slow speed and twisting left like he is thinking about spinning back-seen that alot in older, used up Jumpers and that's why they step down or retire, not a good sign. Kind of looks like he knows what he is doing and he is close to unseating you. Shouldn't happen at this low a fence for an intermediate level rider like you are. You are not that bad a rider at all, that's probably HIM, not likely to fix that at his age.
Spend the money on more lessons and if you think another can help you move up better AFTER talking to current trainer? Ride with other trainers but don't buy a horse just yet. Thats the way to get your riding jump started.
Been in the H/J ring 20 years and was western for 30 before that...and I would not buy that 18 or 21 year old horse as a safe move up to 3' and 3'6' because you are not a strong enough rider position wise for it yet...and I am not sure he is safe. Most trainers HATE anything with even a hint of a stop like this one is doing and are right to do so. That's not an ooops, too slow to get over or a missed distance to a simple 2' lope over in his home ring.
I agree with F8 here as well - a 3'-3'6+ packer/move up horse should stop when it's unsafe at 3'6. Not at 2', or even 2'6. That picture of the refusal looks like an old learned trick, which is not a good sign. A 3'6 packer to me, should be one that you could aim at a fence that big (edit: as in the 2' fence, not the 3'6 fence), close your eyes and drop the reins, and he/she would still stumble over it/make some sort of effort.
Originally Posted by findeight
I can tell you that in a few years when that horse is 21+, needs lots of maintenance and is even more set in his ways, you won't be where you want to be, riding wise. Being blunt, but honest here.
I forget to add that the most important quality in a move up horse is they have to take a joke.
If you did make a mistake to that lope over, he should have kept going if he was an appropriate move up schoolmaster. Imagine what that stop would have looked at with more pace to a bigger fence if you make a mistake, as you will many times on your journey:eek:.
Maybe a little confuzzeled trainer is holding you back but trying to sell you this one???? Usually side with the trainers so maybe there is more to this story? Would you care to share the name of this horse via PM to protect privacy on all sides? Many may know him if he did the GPs or elite levels and will know if he was a dirty stopper or not as well as other things owner may not be aware of (unless they have owned him 10 years or more).
The statement you made about your leg improving drastically in the last few weeks makes it sound to me that your trainer is helping you a lot and may not be holding you back as much as you think. I think it's tempting for us to measure progress by fence heights and rated shows, but sometimes our biggest leaps forward can't be quantified this way.
Originally Posted by baileyanne
That said, perhaps moving to a different trainer might be the right thing for you for numerous reasons. If that's the case and this trainer really isn't right for you, it doesn't make sense to me that you think she is the right person to identify your next horse if the two of you are not in sync about your goals.
Sadly, I don't think this is a horse that you should stretch your finances to purchase. I also looked at the album and think the stop was dirty and unnecessary at that height. He should be able to get you out of a jam on a small fence like that even if you rode him in backwards! If you enjoy riding him, I would lease him, not buy him.
Originally Posted by baileyanne
If he's 18 or 21 and had had a long career, he's also going to need some maintenance and that's going to be expensive. He's shelf life as a competitive horse probably isn't going to be that long . . . have you thought about what you would do if you need to retire him in a year?
When I was about your age (which was a long time ago) I remember begging my parents for a horse that would let me move up the levels. But this was a horse that you could trot down to a 4' fence and he wouldn't even blink. If this horse would do that, he might be worth the $ and the $maintenance . . . but not if he's stopping at a 2' fence. FWIW, I didn't get the horse, but I had a heck of a lot of riding him for a couple of months.
Originally Posted by winstonian
This is absolutely true. There have been times where I have moved down to POLES on the ground. Yes. POLES! At first I thought it was a step back, but after spending a couple of lessons on "circle of death" and related exercises I saw tremendous improvement when I moved back to jumps. The difference those few weeks made was nothing short of amazing.
This reminds me of something Brody Robertson (a GP jumper rider) told me a number of years ago when I took a couple of lessons with him. He said that "The fastest way to progress in your riding is to go slow". It sounded counter-intuitive to me so I asked him what he meant. He said something along the lines of how going slow allows you to build a strong foundation, to build confidence in you and your horse so that you can progress faster once you have that foundation. He also said that if you go too fast in the beginning, holes can appear later on that set you back and take more effort to overcome than if you would have gone slow when you should have.