*UPDATE* Judging a horse's potential for eventing?
I'm a H/J rider so I know absolutely nothing about eventing, yet I have this crazy gut feeling my horse is a good eventing prospect. He is an OTTB. He is still very green, but more than likely will not make in the hunter world.
What do you all look for in greenies to determine whether or not they would make good eventing prospects? Despite being out of shape due to some recent setbacks, he still has quite the endurance, a nice stride considering he is only 15.2, very responsive and receptive to cues and signals, can really open his stride or collect it as needed. He is learning to rock back on his haunches (he naturally has that inclination to do so). We are working on collection and getting on the bit, but I think with experience he will be very accepting. I should also mention he is one of the most willing horses I have ever encountered. Definitely a pleaser.
Any insight you all have would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by anmoro; May. 1, 2013 at 10:49 PM.
Reason: addition to thread
Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
You're in Virginia. It's a hotbed of eventing with zillions of very high quality event trainers. If you really want to know if the horse is a legitimate prospect, instead of just wanting to be able to market him as such, you'd make arrangements to work with him and an eventing trainer. A few lessons with an event trainer won't hurt your hunter/jumperness. Eventing is not the dumping ground for the other disciplines, and you might find that both the horse and you would enjoy and come over to visit the dark side.
"I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay." Thread killer Extraordinaire
Do you take him on trails? Across water? Over small logs and through muddy puddles? One of the biggest components is the XC (cross country) course. How is he alone on trails without other horses? Taking a green horse out on a XC course or trail ride a few times can tell you a lot.
Are you aiming to sell him or are you thinking of competing him yourself? If he is reasonably athletic and willing and brave, then yes he will most likely enjoy eventing. As Vineyridge says, a few sessions with someone knowledgeable will give you a better idea of his potential, but most horses with these qualities can safely and happily compete through Novice or Training (3' or 3'3).
15.2 is a much harder sell than 16.2 and there are a lot of nice OTTBs out there-- it's very hard to market a horse like this as an UL prospect without a bit of mileage, and even with mileage the prices for event horses tend to be significantly lower than for hunters/ jumpers.
But to answer your question, I look for brains, soundness, and scope-- pretty much anything else can be learned
Thanks everyone. I'm NOT looking to sell him. I originally bought him as a project but he hasn't had the best past since his breeder sold him so at this point he will grow old with me. The few times he has done trails, he did quite well. He is good with logs and LOVES mud puddles. All the farms where we have boarded did not have trails or much surrounding land.
I don't know of any decent eventing trainers because I have been squished in the H/J box with the lid taped shut for so long! I'm in Southeastern Virginia near the coast. Any suggestions you all have of trainers would be great. I honestly don't know where to even start! It would end up being me that did the competitions. That is, if I can mentally convince myself that solid jumps won't eat me! The stadium jumping and dressage are fine for me, it's the XC that scares the mess out of me! I'll be honest, I'm probably the only roadblock. Any leads you all have for GOOD trainers would be greatly appreciated.
Honestly, he just sounds like a nice OTTB that can go on to do whatever suits. I don't know many people in any discipline that would turn that kind of horse down. His movement and his jump style will dictate whether he'll make up as a nice hunter (but you know that), but, really, what you describe just sounds like a nice young horse who has a good foundation on him. I would buy something like that as an event prospect, but I know lots of people who would buy him for just about anything else.
Unfortunately, I don't think there's a whole lot of eventing down that way. You'll have to come up by me, or maybe down toward Southern Pines if you want to get a good assessment.
Hmm, im more central VA but go to middleburg area for lessons... the only person i have heard of that direction is Jocelyn Kriss (I think tidewater area maybe?). I don't know anything about how she is as a trainer but haven't heard anything bad. I also know Kim Severson was going to the richmond area once a week before she was in Aiken. Not sure how far you are but maybe that could be an option?
Yellowbritches- He is a really good boy, but then again I'm quite partial :-). As far as movement, I'd say he is a 7.5/10. He needs to be challenged in jumping, he gets bored and almost stressed in a ring. Yet another reason that I thing eventing would be suitable. I don't think he would be a bad hunter by any means, but he wouldn't be as successful as some. On the other hand he could probably be a good field hunter, but we don't have much of that around here either. I was at a barn recently for 2 months and left because A) he wasn't happy and B) trainer said "send him back to his breeder, you are too good for a horse like that, he will never amount to anything, and he won't even make it in local hunters". I definitely disagree of course and needless to say we aren't with her anymore.
Sarah88- we are actually in the Tidewater region so I will find out about Jocelyn Kriss. I think I would be so intimidated taking a lesson with someone like Kim Severson I'd probably screw up horribly, but what an honor to have someone like her evaluate my horse.
Here is a link with a very very brief video. Today was the first time he had been jumped since December, and he had been out of work for 3 weeks. This is with a young girl on him and the wind was absolutely ferocious today!
Okay I have to admit when I read your OP I thought "Here we go again..", however, you completely changed my opinion when I read on and saw that you want to event him, and especially after that short video! He has a lovely uphill canter and definitely has the "forward". I think you would have a lot of fun eventing him. Good luck!
Thanks everyone for the pointers! I will look in to those pony clubs. Being boxed in the H/J world for so long I had no idea where to start. We had yet another amazing ride today. Oh, and I was informed by my good friend that had him for a short time that apparently he LOVES the water. He has always been fine with puddles, but she said he has no fear of water, so that is good.
Petstorejunkie- I just can't be that person that says "oh well this horse won't work for what I want, time to pawn them off for something else". I just hate people like that. I am the point in my life where I want horses to be fun and not a chore so why not explore avenues. While I'm not experienced with eventing, how do I know if I'll like it if I am not willing to try myself? I have seen alot of people dump amazing horses because they weren't willing to explore other options, and I myself have picked up some AMAZING mounts because of foolish people like that!
I have heard there are two eventing trainers in this area that have been linked to USPC but I know nothing about them. Tina Bodnar and Sali Gear. Is anyone familiar with them?
Last edited by anmoro; Apr. 7, 2013 at 07:44 PM.
Reason: add one more thing
Welcome to the Dark Side!! We have more fun here (but don't tell the others). Your horse is adorable. It sounds like he's been brave when you've taken him out on trails, which is very important. Definitely look for a good event trainer. Ask at the tack shops and look in local publications. Have a blast!
What a nice horse! Both of you will be fine on cross country. Just imagine the jumps are nothing more intimidating than that brick wall in the video. It's often the wide open space that's most intimadating for horses and riders newly released from the ring.