• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Juggling dressage and hunters - Disaster waiting to happen?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Juggling dressage and hunters - Disaster waiting to happen?

    Just curious if anyone else here dabbles in both dressage and hunters with the same horse?

    My background is hunters - not competitive, just years of riding lessons. I made the switch to dressage 3-4 years ago. My little APHA (paint) mare never seemed to care much for hunters, but really seems to enjoy dressage even if she'll never excel at it.

    Recently, I noticed that the APHA is having a 2-day breed show right here in Northern Virginia! This is the first time there has been a breed show in this area in the 8.5 years since I've had my mare. I simply can't resist a chance to show my mare among her peers and - with any hope - get some show points on her APHA record. The problem is that dressage isn't a recognized APHA class. So... it's back to doing hunters. Not just any hunters either - AQHA/APHA hunters which is in itself completely different.

    I took lessons for several years at a local stable run by a woman active in the AQHA show circuit. I contacted her today about taking a few lessons to prep for the APHA show in June. I really feel like I need to refresh my hunter skills and learn the breed circuit way of doing things.

    I also want to continue with my dressage lessons and showing this year. I really do enjoy dressage more than hunters.

    Do you think I'm going to cause my mare all sorts of confusion working on both dressage and AQHA/APHA style hunters at the same time??? In dressage, we're working on getting my mare to move more forward and work on contact. AQHA/APHA style hunters want slower gaits with minimal contact. By attempting both disciplines at the same time, will I be setting myself up for failure in both?

    I'd love to here stories from those of you who do dabble in both dressage and hunters at the same time. Thanks!

  • #2
    I can't speak as to the AQHA/APHA hunters

    which as you so rightly say are totally different from 'normal' hunters.
    But I have a mare who does the 3 ft hunters and 2nd level dressage and wins at both. No confusion on her part.

    But the stockhorse world is not the same at the English world so maybe you can't. But you could always try and see.
    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


    • #3
      Do it. Have fun. You mare will adapt. It is not that different from eventing, when you are a jack of all trades, expect to be a master of none, but if you derive you happiness in doing lots of different things with horses, then you should do what makes you happy. When I buy a horse that is for "keeps", I try to find one with the mind to do "whatever" suits me at the moment. I never get bored, but I will never be "grand prix" at anything either.

      Comment


      • #4
        I did both with my fancy hunter. We did some tests and he moved so well that we got pretty good scores. A good hunter, trained correctly is perfectly capable of doing a nice first level, maybe second level (if you're dedicated!) test. And it was fun at hunter shows because we could put him in any frame needed. Judge like a horse long and low? No problem. More upright like an equ horse? No problem. It was pretty fun.

        My jumper used to do FEI dressage before I got him. He knew which clothes he had on - jumper clothes (3 ring and a figure 8) or a dressage clothes (double bridle). Horses are a lot more adaptable than people!

        Just don't think that breed show hunter is the same as the Hunter Jumper circuit. At the worlds level it is, but locally? Think 'winglish', or western in an english saddle. Watch a couple of classes to see what seems to be acceptable, and adjust from hunt seat to dressage seat or back as needed, as it seems to change regionally. But one way or another, you'll have fun.
        The truth is always in the middle.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Ya'll seem to have a lot more faith in my mare's ability to adapt than I do. LOL! I really don't forsee a permanent transition into the APHA breed show circuit. This is the first APHA show in my local area in the 8.5 years I've owned my mare. I have no desire to jump back into hunters - just couldn't resist a chance to show among other paint horses and possibly put some show points on my mare's APHA record. I do want to take some lessons with this AQHA trainer just so we don't look like a complete fish out of water.

          Comment


          • #6
            Go for it! Especially if it's just an occasional thing, I wouldn't even really consider that juggling.

            I don't know too much about APHA/AQHA hunters, but I used to occasionally show my dressage horse in hunters for the fun of it and we usually did really well. The flat classes aren't that different from going long and low, and dressage improves their jumping. He's a very dressage-type horse, too, but at local shows we did quite well.

            I think most horses are capable of adapting to different disciplines, especially if the disciplines are relatively similar like dressage and hunters. My answer might be different if you were thinking about doing western pleasure with your dressage horse, but hunters is no big deal.
            exploring the relationship between horse and human

            Comment


            • #7
              Try it!

              I don't think you will have a problem mixing disciplines at the lower levels.
              I have ridden lower levels of both with the same horse and I think it actually helped. YMMV.

              It's when you get into the higher (FEI)levels of collection in dressage that you *might* experience some problems and have to commit to focus on one or another.

              That said, eventers do a dressage phase and x-c and stadium jumping the same day!

              Maybe, it just depends on your horse and their talents and preferences?

              Comment


              • #8
                My horses do both.

                I have a lovely TB 3' hunter that a 10yo can hunt around a course and get her changes, and with him maxed out at 3' I have switched his specialty to dressage.

                He is finishing 2nd/embarking on 3rd, and I recently started trailering in for lessons at a very nice dressage barn down the road, where the trainer is laid back but all the other customers have big fancy warmbloods, if you know what I mean.

                The horse gets universally good reviews from every trainer he meets, whether dressage or hunter. The current dressage trainer's only caveat was that his neck could be set on a little higher but 'he makes up for it'.

                I told him I wanted to go for our bronze this year and the trainer said, "Well, it will be hard work but the horse can do it."

                Every one and their mother will yammer at you that hunters "ruins" a dressage horse for lead changes and counter canter but my horse, "ruinous" training though he may have had, has lovely canter work and my goals for those movements are at least 7s.

                Meanwhile, being able to hunt relaxed and flowing around a 3' course on a light contact is, I have found, the PERFECT way to loosen him up for a nice swingy back for his dressage lesson the next day.

                ETA
                I also have a coming 5yo young hunter who spends most of his life in a dressage saddle -to the contrary of all of that yammering from the hunter peeps that if you ride your hunter on the contact he'll be ruined as a hunter forever. We are working on establishing a solid First Level, so we spend our days developing a slightly more elevated frame (MY GOD! BUT HOW WILL HE HACK?!), simple changes, lots of legyielding, a little counter-canter loop here and there, and some lengthenings.
                At any point of the school somebody could yell out "HUNTER STYLE!" and with playing out a little loop in the rein and lightening my seat the horse transforms instantly into a nose-poking, flat-toplined hunter.
                The horse is trained to follow the contact and seat where they lead, and if the contact and seat are asking for a little more elevation, that's what he does. If the contact and seat say "Go like a hunter", he does that. If the contact and seat say "Stretch long and low," he does a stretchy circle frame. No matter what saddle he's in.

                I find that the combined program is beneficial. It is frustrating to read so many times on this board people treating the two disciplines as mutually exclusive, and discouraging people from doing both with one horse (and most of the time those people don't do both, they only do ONE and guessitmate forth from there...), when with many different horses I have personally had such a mutually BENEFICIAL experience. The horses love the variety and the cross training really develops them (and me!) holistically.
                Last edited by meupatdoes; Mar. 17, 2010, 01:16 PM.
                The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by CosMonster View Post
                  My answer might be different if you were thinking about doing western pleasure with your dressage horse, but hunters is no big deal.
                  That's just it... AQHA/APHA hunters is basically western pleasure with english tack.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've heard that, but from what I've seen it's not quite the same. They still need to have a true walk/trot/canter, just slower than you would see in open hunters. And you have more of a draped rein, but the horse isn't completely backed off the bridle like in western events. Like I said, I'm not super experienced in it but I have a friend who does QH breed stuff and have been to shows as a spectator with her, and that's what I've seen.

                    I still think it's worth a try if you want to do the show. You know your horse enough not to do anything that's going to screw her up, I'm sure. Worst case scenario is you just won't do very well, but hopefully you'll meet some new people and have a fun experience. I'd hazard a guess you'll probably do decently, though, especially if there aren't many paint shows in your area.
                    exploring the relationship between horse and human

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      horses can do both if they are properly trained. i did the 2.6ft hunters and i did first level dressage last year. the dressage judges loved my horse. even with me riding in hunt seat clothing saddle and bridle.
                      and for hunters he did very well too. he looks quite cute going around the courses as a hunter. cant tell he does dressage. but i do find that in order to improve my hunter rounds with my horse, he has to stop leaning in on his corners and for that i go to dressage.
                      i think its silly to say a horse has to do one or the other. like meupatdoes said, if i want to be more dressage like i sit up and go into a frame, and then if i want to be more hunter like i loosen the reins and let him strut his stuff. the stretchy trot from dressage has really helped him get a better frame for hunters. my last lesson we worked on shoulder fore. (gasp at a hunter barn!) we did this down one long side while it was being taped and then my instructor said let him loose on the other side and he looked so nice as a hunter.
                      have fun, do both!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        He knew which clothes he had on - jumper clothes (3 ring and a figure 8) or a dressage clothes (double bridle). Horses are a lot more adaptable than people!
                        ditto. For example, lots of horses show totally different gaits under western vs. english tack.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Um the paints I rode were completely backed off of the bridle in the hunter events for the breed shows, BUT that was at very competative stuff.

                          If its a local show, go, have fun, its not a big deal.


                          As far as "training" for it, no, I would not make my dressage horse go through the 'bumping" work after he/she has learned to accept contact.

                          How competative do you want to be in AQ/APHA? If very, then I wouldnt make the horse go back and forth

                          JMO
                          ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                          http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I too have an APHA mare and we do it all- not only the 'breed' hunter under saddle and english classes, but also the western classes. To top it off I also show her dressage and on the 'regular' hunter jumper circuit. I even have plans to teach her to drive. And yes, she does well at it all. The biggest issue I have is headset and contact, but even that isn't huge- she seems to know that western saddle and curb bit= low and slow, dressage saddle and plain snaffle or double= more collected, and close contact saddle and snaffle or pelham= listen to mom and go the speed she wants with the headset she wants

                            Oh, and if you want to earn points without showing on the APHA circuit, look into the PAC program- it's an easy way to earn points! I look for shows that are PAC approved if I'm not going to a Paint show.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post
                              Um the paints I rode were completely backed off of the bridle in the hunter events for the breed shows, BUT that was at very competative stuff.

                              If its a local show, go, have fun, its not a big deal.


                              As far as "training" for it, no, I would not make my dressage horse go through the 'bumping" work after he/she has learned to accept contact.

                              How competative do you want to be in AQ/APHA? If very, then I wouldnt make the horse go back and forth

                              JMO
                              It's a "real" APHA 2-day show - not just a local schooling show. I assume it's a big deal. The facility has stalls for up to 150 horses, so I'm assuming there will be lots of horses coming in for this show.

                              I definitely do not plan to pursue the APHA circuit. There simply aren't any shows held in my immediate area - this is the first one I've seen in Northern Virginia in the 8.5 years I've owned a paint horse. I'm not interested in traveling either even just down to Lexington, VA which is where this show is normally held.

                              I'm doing it for "fun," but I also don't want to go out there and look like a complete idiot either. I try to do everything to the best of our abilities which is why I'm going to take some lessons with a local AQHA trainer beforehand.

                              I do still want to stick with dressage since there is a much bigger dressage community around here - plus my mare seems much happier doing dressage than when I did attempt the local hunter circuit years ago. My main concern is confusing my mare over the gaits and level of contact. My mare does best with light contact and seems to fall apart and scramble without it.

                              There won't be any major tack changes. I currently have an Albion AP and dressage saddles. Both saddles have the same exact tree and there isn't a huge difference in the way the two saddles seat me. Plus, I'll be using the same bit I use for dressage - a loose ring Sprenger.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by TSWJB View Post
                                my last lesson we worked on shoulder fore. (gasp at a hunter barn!)
                                Frankly, at any good h/j barn, the dressage work is just part of it. Shoulder in, Haunches In, leg yield, half pass, counter canter. Any h/j horse worth his salt had better be able to do it all.

                                Many years ago, my long time trainer worked for Jimmy Williams. He required that they show in dressage shows, and take a dressage lesson once a week. So, it's not exactly a new idea.

                                I think the idea that the disciplines aren't compatible comes from ignorance more of the other side more than anything. It's only at the upper levels where the muscle structure and carriage becomes so defined that conflicts happen.
                                The truth is always in the middle.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by mypaintwattie View Post
                                  Oh, and if you want to earn points without showing on the APHA circuit, look into the PAC program- it's an easy way to earn points! I look for shows that are PAC approved if I'm not going to a Paint show.
                                  Just looked on the APHA website - nothing in the PAC program really local to me. The closest thing is about 1.5 hours away and I'm not willing to travel that far. Paint horses just aren't that common in Northern Virginia.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by wendy View Post
                                    ditto. For example, lots of horses show totally different gaits under western vs. english tack.
                                    I have friends who do both paints and quarter horses. Once, for a lark, we put a western saddle on my hunter. Interestingly enough, he broke from the whithers, dropping his head down with a straight neck, instead of coming through his back. All of a sudden I had the picture of a western pleasure horse in my big moving TB. It was pretty surprising, and he wasn't overly thrilled with it, but I learned a lot!
                                    The truth is always in the middle.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Here is a link to the show bill - http://www.centralvirginiapainthorse...rg/events.html

                                      It's the June 5-6 show - held about 20 minutes from my barn.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by paintlady View Post
                                        It's a "real" APHA 2-day show - not just a local schooling show. I assume it's a big deal. The facility has stalls for up to 150 horses, so I'm assuming there will be lots of horses coming in for this show.

                                        I definitely do not plan to pursue the APHA circuit. There simply aren't any shows held in my immediate area - this is the first one I've seen in Northern Virginia in the 8.5 years I've owned a paint horse. I'm not interested in traveling either even just down to Lexington, VA which is where this show is normally held.

                                        I'm doing it for "fun," but I also don't want to go out there and look like a complete idiot either. I try to do everything to the best of our abilities which is why I'm going to take some lessons with a local AQHA trainer beforehand.

                                        I do still want to stick with dressage since there is a much bigger dressage community around here - plus my mare seems much happier doing dressage than when I did attempt the local hunter circuit years ago. My main concern is confusing my mare over the gaits and level of contact. My mare does best with light contact and seems to fall apart and scramble without it.

                                        There won't be any major tack changes. I currently have an Albion AP and dressage saddles. Both saddles have the same exact tree and there isn't a huge difference in the way the two saddles seat me. Plus, I'll be using the same bit I use for dressage - a loose ring Sprenger.
                                        Should be ok for a one time thing The apha hunters are on a loose rein, some have "contact" but thats long definately strung out more than the dressage contact.

                                        Some of the APHA horses have the movement to really do well at both since most judges place movement above all if you have SOME kind of headset. Depends on the venue, AND the judge, but most trainers favor the bump on the mouth tactic with lots and lots of backing or pivots to get that loose rein work.

                                        They really get moving in the pro classes at the world, but locally they seem to shuffle still and go like the west/hunt horses of the old days.

                                        My last nov/ammy class in AQHA was on a mare that did dressage, she was 17.2 and passed every horse at our slowest amble lmao, I had to take quite the back seat in placings.

                                        The first thing the trainer wanted was me to get her off of the bridle, I couldnt do it, it was too unfair.
                                        ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                                        http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X