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Looking for Eventer v. Jumper

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  • Looking for Eventer v. Jumper

    I'll be shopping for a new ottb soon. Keeping my current because he's the biggest sweatheart and my heart horse but isn't going to be my jumper, he's decided he'd like to be a trail horse instead.

    Anyway I have very little eventing knowledge but think it might be fun as there are a few farms near my new place. I would never do anything higher than Novice so I'm not looking for super fancy and honestly would be more focused on the dressage jumper aspect as CC scares me a little but looks fun too.

    To the point of this post (sorry for the wondering), but when I go to the track to look for a new horse (really wanting a big bay mare) would I look for something different in an eventing horse than I would a jumper? Or is basically the same idea? Should I look at horses that have raced longer distances? Turf/Track? or over thinking this?

    When I picture my perfect horse I picture this (http://www.canterusa.org/index.php?o...ngs&Itemid=282) but she's out of my price range and the trainer isn't budging. Am I in the right idea for an eventer?

  • #2
    Well, you know, you can't really have the eventing with out the cross country

    The mare you link is a nice type and would probably be totally suitable if she also has the brains and the soundness and the bravery. The thing with buying OTTBs, especially ones that no one has put any time into retraining, is that you really CAN'T tell what they want to be or what they'll excel at until they're really going. An eventer may look for a different mover than, say, a hunter, but, really, you're dealing with such a blank slate that you're taking a little bit of a (fun) gamble unless someone has re-started them.

    Yes. A horse that has raced long distances (and well) may hold up better for the long haul and may have a really good gallop. But at the level you're talking about, it might not really matter. But, the basic principles are probably the same thing for any sport horse career- good conformation, decent feet (or the signs that there are decent feet in there somewhere), nice canter, good mind.


    • #3
      If you're not looking to go higher than Novice, you're fine looking for anything that's sound, well put together, and has a willing attitude. If you were looking for a horse to do Rolex with, it would be a different story, but for the lower levels, most horses can handle it! Good luck!


      • Original Poster

        Yellowbritches you're right. And the CC is what's kept me from ever trying eventing! But I've decide that since I'm moving to an area with it, I might as well give it a go and try just for fun. In my much younger days I did BN for fun on my arab but I never did get the hang of jumping "down". This time I won't wing it though. After I put the basics on the horse I'll get someone to teach me properly! And hopefully on a well schooled horse.


        • #5
          At Novice, neither speed nor distance are a concern, so it does not matter what distances the horse has raced.

          What you are primarily looking for (that is different from a jumper) are the brain and attitude for dressage and cross country.

          For cross country, the most important thing is the attitude- willing to try something new even if it is a bit scary at first.

          For dressage, you are looking for gaits, a true 4 beat walk 2 beat trot, and 3 beat canter (not usually a problem with a TB). You also want a horse that travels stright, and is equally flexible both ways. A horse on, or just off, the track, probably won't be straight/flexible, and probably won't have an even 4 beat walk. You need to distinguish between" the horse is so crooked and stiff that it will be very difficult to fix" and "the horse is crooked and stiff, but it appears that time off the track and appropriate exercises will fix it".

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


          • #6
            Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
            Well, you know, you can't really have the eventing with out the cross country
            I can't really wrap my brain around not riding cross country (not enjoying, scared or whatever). It's a horse, they're supposed to be traveling ...... and they want to have FUN too!

            Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
            The thing with buying OTTBs, especially ones that no one has put any time into retraining, is that you really CAN'T tell what they want to be or what they'll excel at until they're really going.
            So true. Once you do some proper learning xc is not at all any kind of scary at lower levels. On drops you have to learn to slip the reins, stay back and do the pelvic thrust. It is all about learning to stay in the middle of your horse and not interfere.

            From what you are saying you might be better to find a horse who knows something first.
            The cue card kid just held up an empty cue card. For a minute there I thought I had lost my sense of humor. --- Red Skelton


            • Original Poster

              My plan is to take lessons whilst putting the basics on the horse, and that's after the obligatory 3-6 months off. That way I have a good plan of attack and probably send the horse for training elsewhere so we aren't learning together, when the time comes. I feel pretty comfortable training a jumper up to 1.5m.

              And I figure if it really isn't for me at least I've said I gave it a go and whatever horse I bought can still do jumpers with me or if by some fluke it really wants to be an eventer I can pass it along to someone. I LOVE a good gallop in a field and that's how I condition my jumpers (we do a crap load of hill work at least once a week), all of mine must be trail sound and safe or they don't stay with me.

              It really is the psychology (and lack of training) at jumping down that just scares the pants off of me!

              As you said I may just change my mind when I get training on a horse that knows what they are doing.


              • Original Poster

                Also if COTH is any idea of what eventers are like in the real world, you guys are WAY friendlier.


                • #9
                  Real world eventers are even friendlier than the ones here!

                  Welcome to the Dark Side!


                  • #10
                    The people are half the reason I stay with this crazy expensive heartbreaking incredible sport!

                    But I understand what you mean about worrying about XC -- even though I grew up going to Rolex every year, I thought that eventing was something only rich people did on giant brave shiny horses. Until I got my heart horse. I had never trusted a horse to try things the way I did him; we had a lightning bolt relationship the second our eyes met and we have had incredible adventures together. He actually brought me to eventing, as we went to a clinic on a whim and that darn Appendix QH lit up on XC day like he was born for it. We've never looked back.
                    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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


                    • #11
                      I love the mare you posted. My type of horse. But Brain is most important. And for that, you really can't tell until you have had them home for a bit.
                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **