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Are we candidates for eventing?

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  • Are we candidates for eventing?

    Hey eventing friends! I'm popping over from hunter/jumper land with a question for you all. (I also posted in dressage....I'm all over the place today).

    My one-in-a-million 14 year old Holsteiner has been a very successful show jumper over his lifetime. I'm so in love with him. However, if he's going to continue doing big jumps, he's going to require quite a lot of maintenance (his hocks tend to bother him in hard work). My trainer and I agree that it may be time for him to find a new, easier job. I have no interest in showing him in smaller jumper divisions, and I don't want to lease him out.

    What about low-level eventing? I mean like beginner novice. He LOVES trail riding, his flatwork is solid (and I like dressage), and we could do the SJ with eyes closed. I think he'd love this job. My question is how strenuous the job would be. Maybe it's no "step down" at all. The point is to preserve the horse, so he lives a long and comfortable life.

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    Here are my criteria for eventing for going BN and lower:

    Do you have a pulse or are you currently dead? (and even that may not exclude you)
    At any point have you ridden a horse?
    Do you enjoy cocktails?
    Can you walk around an arena (both on and off a horse) 3 times?
    Has the horse been ridden at least a few times?
    Does the horse respond to a kick? Pull? Turn?

    Then you are good to go.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by RAyers View Post
      Here are my criteria for eventing for going BN and lower:

      Do you have a pulse or are you currently dead? (and even that may not exclude you)
      At any point have you ridden a horse?
      Do you enjoy cocktails?
      Can you walk around an arena (both on and off a horse) 3 times?
      Has the horse been ridden at least a few times?
      Does the horse respond to a kick? Pull? Turn?

      Then you are good to go.
      HAHAHA! This is so true.

      gertie06 I would take your horse schooling to see if he likes it. The water may be a bit odd for him (splashy, splashy on the tummy is wrong for some horses) until he understands the question but otherwise if he likes trails and jumping I'm sure he will enjoy cross country.

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      • #4
        It sounds like eventing would be a great next step for you guys. The one thing that is a constant whether it is lower or upper level eventing is terrain/elevation (more or less profound depending on area--Area 1 has a lot of terrain). As long as you think that won't be a problem for his hocks, I think you'll become quite addicted like the rest of us!

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Y’all are funny and nice. I like you already!

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          • #6
            We share beer and wine.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RAyers View Post
              Here are my criteria for eventing for going BN and lower:

              Do you have a pulse or are you currently dead? (and even that may not exclude you)
              At any point have you ridden a horse?
              Do you enjoy cocktails?
              Can you walk around an arena (both on and off a horse) 3 times?
              Has the horse been ridden at least a few times?
              Does the horse respond to a kick? Pull? Turn?

              Then you are good to go.
              Going BN is a big deal to a lot of people
              http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                Eventers are great, and lower level eventing is definitely attainable for anyone who can W/T/C confidently outside of the ring, and for any horse that is sound.

                But whether or not you are candidates depends on your/his current level of showing now? You mention he needs a lot of maintenance in another thread to stay sound. Unsound horses can't (ethically) really do any job, regardless if it is a step down.

                I would not think that eventing is "any easier" on the horse than SJ, all things equal, eventing would be harder. You are showing 3x a day at LL events (some are spread out between days), and there is terrain to contend with.. terrain is a big deal, for a horse with maintenance issues.

                If we're talking he's a 1.4m horse, and you want to go BN, sure. It might be physically possible. But if you're showing 3 ft or less...

                Maybe the better question is, "what are my horse's new limitations?" -- a good question to have with your vet, once you figure out why his hocks are bothering him and what kind of maintenance he needs to stay comfortable for a performance career.
                AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Training Cupid View Post

                  Going BN is a big deal to a lot of people
                  I was going to say something similar. I am not offended at all, but I am somewhere around year 5 on a journey of trying to get to a "cross rails and small logs on the ground" level event. My journey has involved multiple horses (some inappropriate to my riding level), multiple trainers, lots of lessons, lots of overthinking, and one broken clavicle. I accept and embrace my weenie-ness, but BN seems like the pinnacle to me.

                  Know what I did last night? I cantered a ground pole. Yes, I did. First time on purpose on current horse. Feeling like it was an achievement, yes, I am.

                  With respect to OP, as long as you have not had a fear of jumping solid obstacles instilled in you by trainers in hunter/jumper land, you and your horse should have great fun eventing.

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                  • #10
                    The intent of BN is an introduction to the sport of eventing. As such, the requirements of conditioning and training are not very stringent.

                    In my case, I start my baby horses at BN (my latest jumped all of 4 times before his first BN). I start all my beginner students at BN. And the criteria I use is exactly what I said.

                    My students, first time out, trot the course and fences. They use grab straps if needed. I tell them they can stop at any time they want. Who cares about completing! So long as they have fun and enjoy the time with their horse! And cocktails are always served after.

                    If I can do it, anybody can do it. This is not meant to be a huge hurdle. I think that there is a level of way overthinking what BN is. Remember, there was a time when there wasn't even training level. BN is where you get to work on confidence and partnership with your horse and feel good about doing it!

                    I am offended that one would take offense at a statement that encompasses the underlying heart of BN levels.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Training Cupid View Post

                      Going BN is a big deal to a lot of people
                      It absolutely can be. And trust me....when schooling some of my younger horses...BN fence can look huge!!

                      But for a jumper who has been doing 1.3+m.....other than teaching him ditches, water and banks....it should absolutely be a step down. They do not need to be super fit. You can trot parts and still make time. If the OPs horse figures out the ditches, water and banks....she should be good to go and have some fun with him doing something new but not as physically challenging for him.

                      now if OPs horse will stay sound with it...depend on the horse, footing etc. Many BN event horses need their hocks done (or other maintenance) to do the job comfortably.
                      Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; May. 9, 2019, 03:06 PM. Reason: auto correct screw up
                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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                      • #12
                        RAyers that was the original intent, then show organizers realized it was not filling that purpose for many riders which is why many events now offer Intro (and sonetimes even lower) divisions. It's great that you've never had a student that deals with anxiety or any other host of confidence or other issues but that doesn't mean it is not uncommon. Yes I do find it dismissive to say that "anyone with a pulse" can go BN.
                        http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Training Cupid View Post
                          RAyers that was the original intent, then show organizers realized it was not filling that purpose for many riders which is why many events now offer Intro (and sonetimes even lower) divisions. It's great that you've never had a student that deals with anxiety or any other host of confidence or other issues but that doesn't mean it is not uncommon. Yes I do find it dismissive to say that "anyone with a pulse" can go BN.
                          Ironically, most of my students deal with serious anxiety issues. And I teach them how to overcome that. One of the first things I teach them is that anyone with a pulse can go BN because we ALL have anxiety issues!!!!!!

                          Have you ever read about Pippa Funnell and her thoughts before running Badminton? Or that Matt Ryan used to go to the start box, and would regularly hop off his horse and puke his guts out before running Rolex? In my experience I would do it in the schooling area.

                          My friends and I would joke about feeling like we were about to puke out on course. A dear buddy who did the Erupoean Juniors said it best: "Lean out and beer puke doesn't stain a bay."

                          So no, I am NOT being dismissive. You are choosing to ignore the fact that we ALL have the same issue. You aren't that special.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            OP, I say go give it a try.
                            Take your boy out cross country schooling and see how he likes it.



                            Originally posted by Training Cupid View Post

                            Going BN is a big deal to a lot of people
                            Thank you for saying this and for sticking up for those of us who find BN to be a huge deal. Anxiety sucks.


                            Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                            So no, I am NOT being dismissive. You are choosing to ignore the fact that we ALL have the same issue. You aren't that special.
                            Clearly we are because... The idea of doing BN is petrifying and I have a pulse.
                            Not all fears are the same, clearly. Even if you want to insist they are.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree - take him for a couple of schools XC first, see if he'll go thru water etc. On the plus side getting out of jumpers you won't have as many turns, but remember you'll riding on uneven grass terrain - some courses are better at managing the tracks than others, and depending on the event, dressage and SJ may also be on the grass or in rings with less than ideal footing- so much depends on the venue. So that is something worth keeping in mind.

                              Not sure how often you show jumpers, but you'll probably compete less in eventing as the competitions seem a bit more spread out, and you wouldn't necessarily want to do back-to-back events on a horse - meaning every weekend.

                              So the bottom line, give it a try and also - it's a lot of fun to volunteer at these events so any time you cant compete, volunteer

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Got to stick my 2 cents in. There is a level at which any eventer or wannabe eventer has anxiety and it's a big deal. The level at which that happens is different for each rider on a given day and may change depending on the horse they're riding, where the course is, what they had for dinner last night and a whole range of other variables.

                                But this I know: Having a sense of humor helps! So thanks, Reed for giving me a chuckle. If I ever get to the start box again, I will go through your check list to reassure myself. Cheerio!
                                They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                                Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by frugalannie View Post
                                  Got to stick my 2 cents in. There is a level at which any eventer or wannabe eventer has anxiety and it's a big deal. The level at which that happens is different for each rider on a given day and may change depending on the horse they're riding, where the course is, what they had for dinner last night and a whole range of other variables.

                                  But this I know: Having a sense of humor helps! So thanks, Reed for giving me a chuckle. If I ever get to the start box again, I will go through your check list to reassure myself. Cheerio!
                                  Amen! I think Reed's post was mostly tongue-in-cheek but it's not to say getting to BN isn't an accomplishment. It's a huge one!

                                  If you want to chuckle - I've been trying to get one of my own stupid horses to BN for the last five years. First I had a huge move across the country that derailed competition plans, then my doofus of a horse got hurt in a freak paddock accident and I took my sweet time bringing him back to work (1.5 yrs), then last year which was going to be our banner year, both of my sisters had weddings requiring lots of weekend sacrifices, and now I am the one on layup after an ACL tear!! Maybe 2020 will be our year.

                                  I think BN looks huge on one of my projects... but could gallop Prelim fences all day on my old horse. And it's not about losing the nerve either -- I was able to catch ride a friend's horse a while ago and I still had it

                                  The anxiety (and lack thereof) from mount to mount is a very real thing; not everyone has the same fears or the same goals, and that is okay as long as we are safe and having fun. Kick on, friends
                                  AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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                                  • #18
                                    I think it's also worth mentioning that most eventers I know jump a lot less than most jumpers I know (1-2 times per week vs. 3-4+ times per week)... depending on your current program and your new one, this could definitely help with your horse's soundness as well. For an established horse stepping down to BN, you could very reasonably jump once a week (even skipping weeks here and there), do some flatwork, go on long walks/hacks/trail rides to help your conditioning, and do light trot sets (canters and gallops usually aren't necessary at this level). There's plenty to do, but not much wear and tear on the horse that way.

                                    However, I agree with the posters who have pointed out that terrain should be a big consideration. Do you live out on the plains or up in the mountains? Eventing on uneven surfaces can be much more difficult than jumping around on perfectly manicured specialty footing.

                                    Edited to add: There's also no reason you can't do both eventing and dressage. It sounds like your horse is established as a showjumper, so you'd really just be jumping occasionally to keep things interesting and keep him on his game, and doing a lot of dressage the other days. In most areas, events don't run every weekend... even if they did, your goal of keeping your horse sound means you wouldn't be going to those events every weekend. Throw in a dressage show here and there even if you'd like to event- it's great practice and you're working on dressage anyway!

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      I live in NC. The ground isn't hard at all, but it can be rocky. The terrain is rolling hills.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by gertie06 View Post
                                        I live in NC. The ground isn't hard at all, but it can be rocky. The terrain is rolling hills.
                                        Where abouts in NC? There are a lot of great series that allow you to come out, get your feet wet, and decide without buying into memberships extra. Also schooling days and facilities you can go try and just see how your horse adjusts to terrain and cross country fences. So many opportunities to see, without the cost of an entry fee.

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