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Feeling Snowbound. Pondering the future.

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  • Feeling Snowbound. Pondering the future.

    Here is my basic question... Is it possible to "do eventing" if you keep your horse at home, with no arena and no trailer? I really want to start eventing this coming spring/summer. I have a 3 year old daughter (human!) and I would like to have a second child after this summer, so I feel like now is my one shot to really have some fun with my horse before I get bogged down by two young children.

    My horse is a 12 y/o Appendix gelding, decently well trained (he did a lot of h/j type jumping when he was a 4 and 5 y/o and has done dressage with me). I have done some jumping in the past but was never very good at it (only up to like 2'6").

    Here are our challenges:
    -No convenient arena. My neighbor has a small outdoor arena, about 20 minutes trail ride away, which I can use anytime, but my horse is a LOOOON when he's alone. I do have a small, hilly field I can do "arena work" in, kind of.
    -Not much money for training and lessons. My trainer is awesome in that she will come to me and is tolerant of my lack of facilities, and I feel like I do SO much better when I am getting lessons regularly. I'd love to have her do two training rides and one lesson a week... but can't afford that.
    -Not much time. I have a young daughter and I'm working two jobs and maintaining my little three-horse farm.
    -NO TRAILER. I feel like this is the killer. I can't ship in anywhere for lessons or xc schooling.
    -I will repeat--my horse is a loon. If he's worked regularly, he can be awesome, but riding once or twice a week is just enough to get him fit enough to be a royal pain in the butt when I do get to ride. It's sometimes to the point where I feel he's dangerous and I have to get off.

    Am I doomed? Someone give me some positive vibes. What should my priorities be as far as devoting my time/energy/money/... buy a trailer first? Put money into training first or lessons first? Am I nuts?

  • #2
    Hands down... first put the money into a trailer and tow vehicle (or horse van). Well taken care of--you can use it for years. Plus you may need it for non-competion reasons (horse gets hurt).

    Then put the money into lessons. Good luck...that is a lot on your plate!

    ETA: a person to half lease is a very good idea especially if you are not getting him ridden at least 3-4 times a week.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


    • #3
      I would work towards riding regularly at home, with as many lessons and training rides as you can afford. Talk to your trainer about finding someone who can haul you (or find a commercial hauler). Also, maybe ask your trainer to make some of her rides include riding over to the neighbor's ring....

      But some other options- can you board at a bigger barn? Find a half leaser?


      • #4
        Agree with magnolia that if you could find a half-leaser or teenager looking for more rides, you might be able to get your horse worked 5+ days a week which would cut down on the looniness.

        You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


        • #5
          I'd save all your money for a trailer. Then, everything else will be much easier. If your horse is too nutty to be ridden without input from a trainer, then just give him a mini-vacation until you have the money for a trailer.

          I notice that you said a three-horse farm. Can you sell something? Lease something out?


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by Blugal View Post
            Agree with magnolia that if you could find a half-leaser or teenager looking for more rides, you might be able to get your horse worked 5+ days a week which would cut down on the looniness.
            I like this idea, if I can find a good enough young rider who is willing to do it. I can see this working out well, actually, if I could find someone who would be willing to swap working for riding time... (clean the run-in shed and feed dinner twice a week in exchange for riding twice a week, say). I might actually look into finding a leaser for my DH's trail horse, too, so then I would have someone to ride with! Ooooh, if only I can find the perfect rider(s)...

            Originally posted by goodmorning View Post
            I'd save all your money for a trailer. Then, everything else will be much easier. If your horse is too nutty to be ridden without input from a trainer, then just give him a mini-vacation until you have the money for a trailer.

            I notice that you said a three-horse farm. Can you sell something? Lease something out?
            In response to this, he's not too nutty to be ridden always... just when he's not getting worked enough. Hence the leasing idea being a good one.

            I can't sell any horses... one is mine, one is DH's (and is worth her weight in gold as a sane trail/family horse) and the other is actually not mine, she's a retired boarder. I will definitely put out some feelers for leasers when spring gets a little closer. (Not enough decent weather to ride right now.)

            Ideas on how to find said leaser(s)? It would have to be quite a good rider for my guy... he just wouldn't be safe for someone less experienced. I don't really have a good connection to a barn community since I have my horses at home.


            • #7
              Re: finding half-leasers, ask your trainer--maybe she has another student who is looking, or knows a trainer at another area barn who may have someone looking. And put up a flyer at your feed store. And tell your farrier, and your vet. And see if there are any schooling shows in your area where you could put up flyers.

              And, heck, try the local craigslist.

              Third Charm Event Team


              • #8
                I have my two horses at home (hopefully a third one soon!! but a baby... and that's besides the point) and... at first I didn't have a trailer. And basically.. it sucks not having a trailer. I don't really have a ring.. .but I have a semi-flat area in the pasture to do dressage work, hills and jumps in the field. I am able to ride at home and get some stuff accomplished and found a trainer or two who would come to me. BUT... that being said.. it's hard! It's really hard... It gets boring... it gets frustrating..... but it can be done.

                However... I got a very decent used gooseneck and my monthly payments are only $114/month. Before that I "rented" one from a friend for $75/month. It totally makes life more fun.... being mobile. I can haul out for lessons... to school, to trail ride... to an arena....

                But as long as you have someone to haul you to events, and a trainer that comes to you. It can be done. And finding a friend that is willing to haul you to school and such... makes a big difference too.

                Good luck!!


                • #9
                  I made it with no arena, truck or trailer for four years. Agree with Fleck, though, my payment on my trailer is about $140/month for 4 years, totally worth it. I paid for my truck outright. I still don't have an arena and thought I'd be doing a lot more hauling out to ride since I got a rig, but I just ride in the fields anyway. I've taken 3 horses through N in the last four years with this arrangement and am moving 1 up to T come spring. It CAN be done!

                  Get with a trainer who will come to you (mine was great- we'd ride where ever it was dry enough, how many dressage lessons did we have on the side of a hill??) and hope she has some students you can buddy up with and will haul you in the meantime. My TRAINER hauled me to shows for the last year and a half! It worked out brilliantly.
                  Big Idea Eventing


                  • #10
                    I should add that I have mine at home, plenty of space to ride, though no formal ring. I have several jumps, some informal banks/ditches (thanks to a renovated dirt-bike course), and a huge log dispersed over the property. Makes for some entertaining schooling

                    I find that even with 2' of snow on the ground, I can get enough hacking in to keep mine fit & happy enough that the ~2 lessons at the trainers indoor suffice. However, I am not fit! This is a first for me. Mine is hot, and if I rode him 2x weekly it would be dicey, that's the only reason I mentioned a mini-vaca. Mine gets one periodically

                    So, it can be done, but a trailer arrangement is really the key to making it all work out. Either a friend, or trainer, or trailer loan.


                    • #11
                      Can you ride DH's horse to neighbor's ring & pony your horse? Tie DH's horse somewhere, ride in the ring with your horse & pony back home again? Maybe your horse will be better behaved with his horse friend there for the hack over/back & ring ride.

                      In the meantime look for a leaser/half-leaser who can later ride with you to the neighbor's ring.
                      Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JCS View Post
                        . . . -Not much time. I have a young daughter and I'm working two jobs and maintaining my little three-horse farm.
                        . . .
                        You need that half lessor first, to free up some time. Talk to your trainer, she'd be the first one to know of a horseless person and should have an idea of how your horse goes too.

                        Yes, getting a trailer would be good just for safety and general utility, going to the vet for example, but if you are working two jobs with a three year old presumably at day care you aren't going to have much time to drive it anywhere.

                        Good luck, I hope there is someone out there to keep him fit and focussed and maybe ride with you to the little arena.
                        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                        Incredible Invisible


                        • #13
                          Yes, you do have a lot going on, but if you want to event, you have to just 'go forward' and find a way.

                          Don't know if this will help you - for years, I've schooled my event horses in fields, not flat fields either. I did my flat work in a circle on the flattest part of the field and put stick markers in the ground for dressage letters. I used the field hills to work on me and my horses balance at the trot/canter - plus keeping the rhythm. It was always a pleasant surprise when I evented and got to ride on flat ground - it was so easy.

                          No, this is not ideal. I did go to one riding facility right before an event to test myself/horse. If you can ride to a facility, so much the better. I rode to all my fields and the walks are ideal for warming up and cooling out my horse. Can you get someone to ride with you/be there when you hack to a facility?

                          Good luck and don't give up.