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How old were you when you started eventing?

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  • #21
    I was eight when I started (through PC). I did what was probably a 2'3 ish event on a 11.1 hand pony that was older than my parents were It wasn't pretty. I think I was 10 or 11 when I did BN for the first time-- it was contingent on getting your D3 rating in pony club.

    Nothing wrong with making her wait to move up if you and the trainer don't feel she's ready. I wouldn't make a huge deal of the dressage, but you want her to be overprepared for the jumping if anything. It sounds like the pony can handle it, but you don't want her to lose confidence. You can always reassess if things go awesomely well over the summer-- maybe let her school some of the xc and do a combined test at BN in the fall or something. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. If you have a local organization that has year end awards maybe you could sign her up for that? That would give her an incentive to stay at the lower level and work on getting better.


    • Original Poster

      They can do some BN stuff now, but I feel she is more comfortable with tadpole level even though she likes to do BN fences. Our local pony club/hunt does a bit too much drinking and driving their rigs home full of kids/ponies for my liking. Otherwise I would love her to be in PC.

      We in FL are very lucky to have FHTA, most schooling shows are members and they have a great awards program.
      Beth Davidson
      Black Dog Farm Connemaras & Sport Horses
      visit my blog: http://ponyeventer.blogspot.com


      • #23
        Originally posted by deltawave View Post
        Started riding at 12-ish (IIRC). Did 4H, hunters, foxhunted, then had to stop multiple times due to no time or no funds. Bought my first horse at age 26, did my first BN Horse Trial at age 31.
        Think I'm in a parallel universe. Started riding at age 10, first horse at 25, first BN event at 30 (I think.) I had never heard of low-level eventing until I watched a friend in a mini event (I was probably age 28)--I thought all events had R&T and steeplechase!
        That's fine, many of us have slid down this slippery slope and became very happy (and broke) doing it. We may not have a retirement, but we have memories ...


        • #24
          Started riding at 44. First schooling HT at 46 (this past summer). Hopefully first rated (BN) HT this year.
          Last edited by caballero; Jan. 16, 2013, 04:31 PM. Reason: edited timeline


          • #25
            Lessons at a hunter barn in middle school for four or five years, when my parents could afford it. Didn't ride except the occasional trail ride for 20 years. Finished grad school, started teaching a friend's kid how to groom and tack up, got back into lessons, owned my own horse (4 yo unraced TB) six months later at 33. Rode my first BN event at 35.


            • #26
              I started riding when I was 5, did my first recognized HT in 1991 or 1992.

              I still distinctly remember my first HT. I had never even been XC schooling with my horse, but we had jumped lots of stuff out in the woods, logs, concrete pipes etc. The lowest level back then was N, so that's what I entered. She stopped at the first jump on XC, it was a coop. I could feel her being like "really? you want me to jump this???" and I represented her, and off we went. That was her one and only stop xc ever.
              Unrepentant carb eater


              • #27
                Rode starting at age 5, but didn't own a horse till I was 26. But actually eventing, hmmm, I was...28. And it took another year before I did BN, I think.
                Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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


                • #28
                  There wasn't really eventing where I grew up. Started riding at 7. Did everything from hunters, jumpers, polo, dressage and even chased some cows. Didn't event until I was maybe 24....started out at Training level.

                  If she isn't able to grab a neck strap and stay out of the pony's mouth....or ride a reasonably close to normal circle (shape wise)....I'd probably not let her move up. I wouldn't be too concerned with her being good in dressage otherwise.
                  Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Jan. 16, 2013, 08:52 PM.
                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                  • #29
                    Good horses are key

                    Started riding at 7 and Just did schooling hunter shows (probably 2'3" max.). When I was 10 I did a couple unrecognized events.

                    At 11 I got the mare that would eventually take me prelim at 14. We did 1 season at novice, 2 at training, and 2 at prelim before we retired her. I was a lucky kid.
                    Yes, I ride a pony. No, he would not be ideal for your child. No, he is not a re-sale project...


                    • #30
                      I think, as far as the dressage goes, for little bitties at BN- as long as they can ride an ACCURATE test, it doesn't matter if they can go on the bit or if it's perfect. If she remembers her test and can make reasonable circles (even if they're big or small), go in her corners, etc, she's probably fine at BN.

                      If she can't remember where to cross the diagonal and her circles are not even close to round, I'd say hold off.
                      Big Idea Eventing


                      • #31
                        I had my first pony ride at age 5.(My father said it was "the most expensiver 25 cents I ever spent".) and started begging for lessons. I had lessons from age 6 to 12. At 12 I got my own horse, and joined Pony Club (GBHPC), so I did my firsr event/PC rally at 13. I did my first USCTA event at age 17, at the brand new Training level.

                        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                        • #32
                          coming in late... started h/j lessons at 6, first pony at 7, joined an eventing-based pony club at 7 or 8. foxhunted, trail-rode, galloped around bareback, took the horses swimming, did stupid kid & pony stuff and it made me into a good rider.

                          i h-a-t-e-d dressage and didn't really understand WHY it was important but i LOVED to gallop around xc & stadium..... and my mounts didn't try to kill me, so my parents let me do it provided schoolwork came first. this was a non-negotiable.

                          if she's safe & sane, and the pony seems to be, my vote is to let her try it when her jumping is where it needs to be. the dressage will come later.
                          And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."


                          • #33
                            I should be clear....that when I said she needs to be able to ride a circle (reasonably)...it really isn't dressage that I'm thinking about but her control for jumping.

                            I still don't really like dressage (but do appreciate it more)
                            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by eponacowgirl View Post
                              I think, as far as the dressage goes, for little bitties at BN- as long as they can ride an ACCURATE test, it doesn't matter if they can go on the bit or if it's perfect. If she remembers her test and can make reasonable circles (even if they're big or small), go in her corners, etc, she's probably fine at BN.

                              If she can't remember where to cross the diagonal and her circles are not even close to round, I'd say hold off.
                              Agreed. a couple of years ago, I was teaching a kiddo (older than this kiddo, but new to riding). He had a game little pony and was a fearless kid over fences...but he was a boy, and his pony wasn't dead easy on the flat. At his first little CT, where he did a BN dressage test and like a 2' stadium, I wanted to throttle the judge when she told him after his test that his adorable pony was inappropriate for him and he should be doing Intro. The kid did 20ish meter circles where he was supposed to. He crossed the diagonal where he was supposed to. The pony did his transitions just about where he was supposed to (maybe a step or two early or late, but hardly running off with the kid!). So, the pony wasn't nicely on the bit, may have made a face in a downward, and maybe bending to the inside was not their thing, but they were safe, fairly accurate (more so than a lot of adults I've coached), and they stayed in the ring. I was happy. Parents were happy. Kid was happy...until the judge spoke to him.

                              Don't worry about the dressage unless they are truly not getting the figures and transitions done.


                              • #35
                                I did my first starter HT about a week after turning 12yo. Did another one a year later at 13 then did "Pre-Training" ht's and modified jumpers as a 14yo and then recognized training as a 14/15yo. there was no BN or N level when I started. And b/c we lived so far away we only did 2ht's int he spring and 2 hts in the fall per year. That was my "season" lol.

                                For your own daughter, do what you feel comfortable. I know I will if and when my wee one wants to show.


                                • #36
                                  this is so encouraging I started at 17, went through 23 when grad school and an expensive big city forced me to sell. i am counting down the days till i graduate med school (that'd be 28 months now, and I still blame deltawave) and I am already looking for my graduation gift ie my next eventer! I just feel so old, like it's going to be hard to get back into it. I feel better about it now

                                  ETA: sorry to hijack, I'll add that IMO the pony doesnt have to be perfect on the bit to let her go BN. I think if an experienced trainer thinks they are ready after schooling xc and sj then whats the harm? You don't want her to get burned out on dressage. Safety is the most important thing, and if they don't win she will have had fun and have things she probably wants to work on (then dressage isn't SUCH a drag, lol). And cute points are a real thing. Have her in pigtails and cute as a button and that will go a long way!!


                                  • #37
                                    I started riding at 9, did my first w/t dressage tests within 6 months. I did my first season of BN at 11. Moved up to training by 14...and then got a new greenie who hated XC....tried BN with that one a couple times all with E's. Sold her due to that and going away to college. Went to college and rode IHSA and now I'm back...but have another horse now who I bought as a weanling while in college. In the last few years I was able to get her out at the 2' level at mini trials a few times....but HOPEFULLY we'll actually do more now that I'm at a place that I can get reliable trailer rides and get back in the game now that I'm 27yrs old! I haven't completed a recognized horse trial 13 years so we'll see how it goes haha.


                                    • #38
                                      I started riding at 7, joined Pony Club at 12 and did my first event at 12 Pony Club was the best thing that ever happened to me!


                                      • #39
                                        I've got a pony who does dressage like this:

                                        and jumps like this:

                                        And the kid could care less about dressage, but rides an accurate test. She's going BN and will hopefully move up to N this year (pony does need to be a LITTLE more round, but we're working on it.) She's 13 and has a great time. I don't push the dressage. It'll come. She's been in the ribbons at most shows she's gone to.
                                        Big Idea Eventing


                                        • #40
                                          My daughter started eventing (maybe what your calling tadpole) last year. She is going to be 9 in April. We did 4 starter trials last year. Each time she improved on something. The first time she went out to do her cross country she cried after about the 3 jump for no real reason. She thought the pony was looking at the pond and going to take her in it. Then another time she was eliminated at fence 1. She made it through the next two XC trips from beg to end but trotted A LOT. We will continue to do the introductory or tadpole level until she is cantering 90% of XC or where appropriate to do so safely.

                                          Her dressage was and still is a mess. She lessoned at a hunter barn so really never had a ring to practice in. I ended up hauling her to a few dressage lessons but they were instructing her at the pace of a kid who lessons there every week and we needed cram sessions. She basically learned her dressage test in our living room. We are moving to an eventing barn soon so I'm excited for her to get some real dressage instruction.

                                          The starter trials we've done have had at least 10 riders under 10 years old I think. Just estimating from how tall the kids are.
                                          If I put as much effort into my relationship as I do charging my phone, I'd probably be much better off.