I don't know if I am looking for guidance or support or just a few put your big girl panties on and be thankful you have a job and a few horses but here goes.
I used to be really involved in h/j land (mostly jumper land) but due to sore knees and a move that really took me far away from good training I have mostly gotten out of it. I don't miss it much, but I do miss the challenge of training and testing you and your horses ability on an at least semi- regular basis.
I have been doing some serious trailriding (think 15-20 miles a day and camping overnights) which I do enjoy and in the areas I ride in there are certainly some challenges. There are mountains, rivers, bridges and you do have to keep your horse at a good level of fitness to do these rides even if you are mostly walking. However I still feel like I miss the competion/training for something specific type of thing.
I still work on things like adjustability, hopping logs, side passing and general good control of my horse but I don't always feel like I am pushing myself or my horse to the level I would like to. Ride with out stirrups hahahaha yea right, two - point for a little while, well maybe sometimes, any type of schedule as to what we are trying to accomplish...nope.
So I guess I am looking to others that have found some fun and some challenge in other disciplines.
I have a lesson scheduled with a reining trainer tomorrow. I am really not opposed to any discipline with the exception of western pleasure (sorry folks just doesn't seem like fun to me)
My biggest problem may be location, there is one really good eventing trainer near me, but I am not sure my knees could hold up to the jumping and galloping required. I guess I could have my knees replaced though
Thanks for any advice, butt kicking, etc
I moved from hunter to dressage. I started in dressage to improve my horse but fell in love with the discipline for itself
And my knees are craptastic, never an issue with dressage.
Basic dressage to 2nd - 3rd level well benefit a trail / endurance horse. Lendon Gray, who occasionally posts here, has a client who uses dressage to improve her endurance horses way of going 9 self carriage)
it is a fun discipline and really quite challenging to do well.
The shows are fun too and you get your own private riding time, quite a change of pace from hunter / jumper shows
The cattle sorting/penning type activities are gaining popularity around here. Some competition, but also have a lot of fun on the practice nights. Horse needs to be flexible, work off your legs, but any breed is "capable" of pushing a steer. You may not win, but it IS DIFFERENT than other horse activities! Depending on your group, you probably can use English saddles for just practice sessions.
It is on my list to do when young horse gets better at riding skills. We had calves, so he knows cattle. However a surprising fact is that horses can TELL COWS APART! So we may have to work on that if he is afraid of NEW cows!!
Competitive Mounted Orienteering is a fun activity, can be done as a single or group. We have a couple groups in our Michigan/Indiana area that have rides almost every week someplace. You have to locate the targets, mark the codeword, and fastest time with all codewords wins in the various catagories. We had a lot of fun when we went, I let son be the "finder" with the compass. We actually did all right, found all the locations of the targets in the State Park. Other folks were very nice, helpful in learning to use the compass, very encouraging. You could use your Trail stuff, camp overnight, have some competition, get the horse fit for speedy hunting. Some of those folks are crazy fast at finding the targets. We were more about just going riding, with targets just fun to locate. We got in two rides hunting different targets on the weekend. Would go again.
A search might turn up some groups near your area, to find CMO rides to attend.
Since you're enjoying the trail stuff, why not endurance riding? I flirted with it briefly for one summer as a kid - didn't want to do it for realz but wanted to prove that my OTTB and I could indeed complete a 25-miler.
"The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief
Wow thanks guys for all of the ideas! There are a lot in here that sound like fun.
Red Mares I live in Covington, VA which is about 1hr or so north west of Roanoke, so the sticks basicly
Bugs I did reining as a kid and have always had a soft spot for a nice reining horse so I figured I would check it out and see if I still thought it was fun, I will let you know after my lesson this afternoon.
I really like the idea of the mounted orientiering to, that could really be fun.
My main trail horse was used on cattle before I got her, so maybe I could find my inner cowgirl and try that. Any more info on how sorting/penning works? Do you need to go with an established team?
It could be fun to try some roping! I've always wanted to learn to rope and now that I've decided to put dressage on the back burner for a while (horsey absolutely despises ring work) I think I'm going to try it. I imagine there is quite a bit of challenge to it!
when some friends of mine went to team penning (I just watched, long story) practice nights, it was basically you'd make people aware you're a novice and then a couple of other people there usually offered to go in with you and show you how it works. You have to have three at a time, and at least at the place we went, they were pretty tolerant of utter beginners. Usually two people from our group went in with a more experienced person the first few times.
Just wanted to update you guys on my reining lesson. I had a blast!!! I got to ride a schoolmaster, you know the type of horse that tells on you ALL the time hehe. If I did it right, he did it right, if I didn't he didn't.
Great lesson, lots of fun, will be going back for a second. Not sure if it will be the love of my life yet, but I have to say it was fun.
I agree with whoever suggested reining! At the USPC championships this summer I got to play with a reiner for a little bit. Boy was it fun! I love dressage and I enjoyed my time in the western ring, so it's my idea of a good time. If I ever win the lottery, I will by myself one very fancy dressage horse, and one very nice reiner.
I keep saying I'm going to try reining, had such high hopes my little kiger X would be a good prospect for it...but nooo he wants to be a lil english jumper pony. Now I want to try anyway. Look what you started!
Owned by a Paint/TB and an OTTB.
RIP Scoutin' For Trouble ~ 2011 at 10
RIP Tasha's Last Tango ~ 2010 at ~23
RIP In Sha' Allah ~ 2009 too young at 5
Yup-- go sit on school masters of different disciplines and see what you think.
I second the suggestion that you look into team-penning/cutting. A friend of mine who grew up in Hunter World "defected" to Cutting World and lent me a made horse to ride with some guys for a round of team-penning. She said, "Watch out... once you sit on a horse that does this job, you won't want to go back to jumping." She was about 70% right.
And Ranch Versatility competitions are growing, too.
Ask yourself what you want in a discipline: Something for you to get better at forever and ever? Something that puts you in a new relationship with a horse? Something that connects you to like-minded horsefolk?
Really, the world is your oyster... even if you live in the sticks but don't mind trailering.
I grew up with Morgans doing hunt, western, saddleseat, and driving. In college I did a lot of jumping and then dressage. I just moved to Texas and took my first cutting lesson. I am totally addicted!!! Not to mention you can actually make some money after all is said and done
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I've always been interested in classical dressage but always seemed too stiff for me. Enter Western Dressage. The old timey stuff. Trail riding is fun but I need more of a challenge. Starting colts seems to be on the way out, too. My mind is remembering the old body and the old body isn't cooperating. So, the Western Dressage gives me something to think about and work towards.