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Hypotehtically... has anyone learned jumping as an adult

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  • Hypotehtically... has anyone learned jumping as an adult

    and gone to compete at an advanced level?

    I'm basically a dressage rider with hopes of competing at the FEI level one day -- venturing into Eventing Land for fun with my 5 yo mare. And I'm just wondering if we both took to jumping well (she definitely does, her sire is a successful GP jumper and she's got the genes), if we had a viable "career" option here. I know I can learn to do the small stuff, but is there anyone who went from dressage to jumping/eventing say in their mid-thirties or above and got to compete successfully at an advanced? Seems that at "that age" people go from jumping to dressage...

    (And I realize that just because "someone" was successful with this, doesn't mean I would be...)
    "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

  • #2
    Find a competent jump trainer for a solid jumping base/position. A someone who will make certain you have a good, solid, effective position and your mare is using herself properly - see Denny's recent article in COTH.

    If you are both still enjoying, find an eventer who is comfortable working with adult riders and go for it!.

    Welcome to the 'dark side"
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim


    • #3
      I've taught several students to jump as adults. I think their main struggle is usually fitness level - developing the correct muscles to support themselves and stay out of the horse's way while galloping around a course. I say go for it - even if you don't intend on becoming a serious eventer (I dare you not to get addicted ), you and your horse will benefit from the cross training. Good luck!


      • #4
        newbie at 30!

        i didn't even start to learn to ride until 25yrs. eventually when my coach pointed me at an x - and said "go-on!" i thought she was nuts, i didn't do anywhere near upper level stuff, but i made it to PreTraining (3') in eventing at 36ish! my biggest problem was fear of falling off!


        • #5
          I'll answer hypothetically then! LOL! I rode as a kid, mostly dressage, but didn't event till about 3 years ago and I'm 32 now. Now I don't have to desire to go Advanced, but if I did and I could afford to get there, then yes, I think I could do it (and I am being realistic and practical here). It does require either massive sacrifice or massive bank account (and sometimes both) to put in the time and find the horse to get there. But if I had a horse that could do it and funding, then yes, I believe it would be very possible to do as an adult.

          I'm not sure why this sport seems to be getting stuck with the idea that you can only do Advanced if you come up through all the Young Rider business, I think that idea closes doors in people's faces who simply never had or never will have that opportunity. You certainly don't have to be 18 to climb the levels, and in fact, with the experience and added, let's say, rationality that comes with life experience, may in fact be better equipped horsemanship-wise, to do so as an adult.
          Life doesn't have perfect footing.

          Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
          We Are Flying Solo


          • #6
            Well, I did. Learned to jump at 31, ran the Trojan International at 43. I have ridden a number of horses to Prelim and Intermediate. Good horses and good instruction.


            • #7
              Originally posted by TLA View Post
              Good horses and good instruction.

              This is the key at any age....
              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


              • #8
                Originally posted by TLA View Post
                Well, I did. Learned to jump at 31, ran the Trojan International at 43. I have ridden a number of horses to Prelim and Intermediate. Good horses and good instruction.
                Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                This is the key at any age....
                first, last, and always...PLUS, get YOURSELF FIT, then just do it and have fun. Latter is a key concept.
                ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by RunForIt View Post
                  first, last, and always...PLUS, get YOURSELF FIT, then just do it and have fun. Latter is a key concept.
                  Well, looks like I'm halfway there then. I'm at a great competitive barn with a wonderful trainer, and I'm pretty fit (lots of exercise outside of riding). Rolex here I come .
                  "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht


                  • #10
                    I don't believe anyone can become a truly proficient dressage trainer/rider UNLESS you do some eventing (or at least learn to jump properly and gallop across varied terrain, etc.).


                    • #11
                      And then there is the touching story of Walter Gervais, who learned to event as a 'mature' adult under Denny Emerson -

                      Walter Gervais (1921 - 2009)

                      Longtime friend Walter Gervais passed away today at his home at the age of 87. Later in life, after serving 20yrs in the U.S. Navy and 30yrs with Old Colony Bank, Walter decided to take up riding for himself. An avid fan of the sport of eventing, Walter rode with and worked for Denny Emerson of Tamarak Hill Farm for many years. In 1990, at the age of 69, Walter won his first Novice level event. At the age of 75 he completed his first long-format CCI* at the Bromont Three-Day Event in Quebec, Canada. Walter continued to event until 2001 when he retired from competition.