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Changing "riding" disciplines....

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  • Changing "riding" disciplines....

    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.

  • #2
    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: 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.
    I am not allowed to look at breeding stock.
    Or babies. Or CANTER, et al.

    ESPECIALLY not CANTER, et al.

    Comment


    • #3
      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.
      I LOVE my Chickens!

      Comment


      • #4
        There's nothing that says you can't do both

        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
        Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
        Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
        New edition of book is out:
        Horse Nutrition Handbook.

        www.knabstruppers4usa.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Best View View Post
          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

          Comment


          • #6
            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.
            "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                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
                www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                chaque pas est fait ensemble

                Comment


                • #9
                  I figure the best thing to do for ammies... Is to figure out what you and your horse are good at and do that.
                  ==================
                  Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!

                  http://reriderandpony.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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...
                    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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!
                      "Hell, when I move my things go in boxes and I always make sure and bubble wrap my dog feces so it don't get broke." runwayz

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Apologies for digging up an archaic post but I find this very interesting.

                            I am finding myself excited to do flat work for the past year. While it has it's own battles, of which I always find great support here and around the barn, I find it more rewarding than jumping.
                            Jumping is thrilling yes, but it just doesn't give me the same satisfaction as accomplishing that you have been working up to.

                            Not to mention, I found myself working on a couple oxer exercises last night and I thought, this is kind of freaky... and I mean the jumps were not high, but 2'9 was looking.... eh...like death approaching .


                            I can really relate to the poster. I feel anxiety over swapping to dressage as my focus. It feels like it is the 'ultimate' decision but like another poster stated, 'it is not a marriage/divorce'.
                            http://dotstreamming.blogspot.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by InsideLeg2OutsideRein View Post
                              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.
                              Indeed. Having shown/made up hunters (but done other things, English and Western, too; including fox hunting and eventing), I recently bought myself a dressage horse. She's a vehicle for my learning to make up one of these... and to add to my horsemanship and skill as an effective rider, generally.

                              I chose this discipline, in part, because I can get better help in Dressage in my area than I can in Hunters. In addition, I can afford the lessons and the horse I need now for dressage; I can't afford the horse and showing I'd need to help me take my Hunter-making to the next level. And I can't find the help I'd need to make that possible/the money-spending worthwhile.

                              And if/when I can find someone who will teach me how to make up an old style vaquero bridle horse, I'll do that. I think doing that after I have learned allotta dressage will be great.

                              But the bottom line is this: Ride in the discipline that gives you access to the best instruction you can find. That's such a better use of your time, money and effort that riding with less-skilled trainers just to stay in a given discipline.
                              The armchair saddler
                              Politically Pro-Cat

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                Indeed. Having shown/made up hunters (but done other things, English and Western, too; including fox hunting and eventing), I recently bought myself a dressage horse. She's a vehicle for my learning to make up one of these... and to add to my horsemanship and skill as an effective rider, generally.

                                I chose this discipline, in part, because I can get better help in Dressage in my area than I can in Hunters. In addition, I can afford the lessons and the horse I need now for dressage; I can't afford the horse and showing I'd need to help me take my Hunter-making to the next level. And I can't find the help I'd need to make that possible/the money-spending worthwhile.

                                And if/when I can find someone who will teach me how to make up an old style vaquero bridle horse, I'll do that. I think doing that after I have learned allotta dressage will be great.

                                But the bottom line is this: Ride in the discipline that gives you access to the best instruction you can find. That's such a better use of your time, money and effort that riding with less-skilled trainers just to stay in a given discipline.
                                Fabulous insight, thank you!
                                As with my area, dressage is abundant, great hunter trainer's are not.
                                http://dotstreamming.blogspot.com/

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Just do it. Switch. Enjoy your riding. It's why you got into it in the first place. Just have fun. You only go around once, but once is enough if you do it right.
                                  "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I'm another in the camp that says why not do both If you still like doing the smaller fences there's no reason to give that up, and adding dressage work to your repertoire will give you something new and challenging to work on while also improving your horse over fences. I'm doing both right now with my youngster and it's amazing how much the dressage work helps his jumping AND the jumping helps his dressage work.

                                    Comment

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