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running back to back weekends

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    running back to back weekends the lower levels. Thoughts?

    It's not something I've done before, but there are a few times this season when two events I'd like to do are stacked back to back. Assuming the horse is fit and sound, is this a reasonable thing to do?

    "The present tense of regret is indecision."
    - Welcome to Night Vale

    Well, I think it is perfectly reasonable. However, I've been told before on this forum that I am not entitled to comment so take free advice for what it cost you.


      I think it is fine at the lower levels. Cantering around on XC for 5 minutes two weekends in a row shouldn't hurt your horse. I've done 2 BN in a row-tiring for me, but my horse had no problem with it.


        I have done this on ocassion at the lower levels and see no problem with it. I think that in areas where the eventing season is short due to climate issues or lack of venues that this is more common a practice.


          I think it sounds fine for lower levels, unless the events are long distances away. If each is just a couple of hours away no big deal, but if you live in an area where it could be full day of trailering to the event then it's probably not a good idea. Factor in the stress of traveling as well as the effort of the level.


            Totally ok and sometimes VERY beneficial for a young, green, or looky horse. A few years ago I had a very green novice horse and a very looky training horse. The novice horse did 5 events in 6 weeks, the training horse did 6 events in six weeks. By the end of it, the novice horse was very schooled and ready for training, and the training horse was ripping my arms out because he had become so bold. I don't recommend that schedule and haven't felt a need for it since then, but it worked big time for both horses. And, it isn't so much the events but what you do between events. Both horses got hacked mostly at home and would do a gymnastic mid week to switch them out of xc mode. It was all very low key and relaxing. No major schooling at all. They also both got a big vacation after that stint.

            The occasional two or even three in a row isn't a big deal at the lower levels. My only caveat would be if they require massive amounts of traveling and/or were multiple day events (most of mine were 1 days close to home, the last one for the training horse was a long haul and several night stay, but he had done that plenty before). Sometimes the traveling takes more out of them than the event.


              Original Poster

              Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
              Totally ok and sometimes VERY beneficial for a young, green, or looky horse.
              That was my other thought--though not so much for the horse as for me! It find it really helpful, sometimes, when I can swing it, to take a couple of lessons in a row and then go off and work by myself on what I've learned for a while...hoping/suspecting that two events in a row and then a break to decompress and do our homework might work the same way.

              We're in Area 1, so the travel is pretty minimal.

              "The present tense of regret is indecision."
              - Welcome to Night Vale


                From a foxhunting perspective, if it's lower level stuff, the horse can take it physically just fine. Mentally might be different. Many, if not most, amateur foxhunters ride the same horse every weekend and sometimes in the middle of the week as well.



                  Go for it! sure to give him a day off/ out afterward
                  breeder of Mercury!

                  remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


                    It depends, on so many things.

                    First, if its only once or twice that you compete back to back, I dont see a problem. When I have done it, I tend to then not go to another one for 3 weeks instead of the usual 2.

                    Second, a lot of people who compete at the ULs will say "sure, its no big deal to canter around a Novice xc course" but the horses they have in mind are probably the very athletic horses they are used to. A young horse that is very athletic and aimed at the ULs will always have a much easier time than your average LL horse of mediocre talent. People seem to forget that sometimes horses top out at Novice or Training, and for them Novice is every bit as strenuous as a 3* is for a horse like, say, Connaught. No matter how fit they are, because that is the limit to their abilities. Not all horses, no matter their fitness level, find the LLs easy.

                    Third, the footing. If both events are run on ground that tends towards very hard or very deep, its harder on them, and they tend to need more time to get back to themselves after.

                    Fourth, the time in the season. When I have done it, its been mid to late season, because my horse is fitter then and in a groove. In the beginning of the season it seems kind of like a shock to send them out back to back right away.

                    Fifth, how far away are they? Going back to back to shows that are 1-3 hours away vs two shows that are 6-10 hours away makes a huge difference. trailering takes so much out of them.

                    Sixth, it can be hard to improve on things, because you really only have 5 or 6 days between shows to school. So if your horse isnt going really well going into the first show, you dont really have time to correct anything before the next one.

                    Just some things to think about. Its not bad, necessarily. I personally hate to see people doing it regularly, because of many of the above reasons. But for certain horses in certain situations it can be good or bad.


                      In general, I don't think it's a bad thing, as long as it's occasional. I don't worry at all about the physical stress of competing below say Prelim--my horses work WAY harder at home than they do at a show--but the traveling, being kept in strange, tiny stalls, etc. are undoubtedly a source of stress that I try to stay aware of.

                      If the two shows are close to home and the weather is good, I don't mind doing it, but I prefer to space out competitions if possible for my OWN sanity!
                      Click here before you buy.


                        I just took my new guy to three in a row in April/May- one BN and two Novice. He was perfectly fine with the schedule. Each event was about one hour away, so travel time was minimal. I did give him five days off afterwards (which was probably a mistake because he is a very hot Tb and all that time off just revved him up even more ).


                          i did a prelim 1 day the week before the ocala one star in april [not the ideal but i realized my horse wasnt qualified at the last minute!] and he was sound and happy after ocala [he was also super on xc and stadium to probably because we had that little bit of extra practice]. im sure unless your horse is prone to unsoundness or old it would be fine. and like someone else mentioned its great for experience


                            Wow, six events in six weeks? That seems like too many to me. It can be mentally and physically exhausting to a greenie. I always say, just because the events are offered, doesn't mean I should do them all. I'm glad it worked for you YB, but that seems like alot of pounding. I do a back to back maybe once a season. In my area, it is rare that the footing will be perfect enough to justify doing six events in a row.

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                              and so?

                              Did you do it?
                              breeder of Mercury!

                              remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


                                We are doing it for the first time this year and were a little nervous, I'm going novice and the consensus seems t be that it is OK. Good luck.


                                  Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by Carol Ames View Post
                                  Did you do it?
                                  Me? Check back in July! Tomorrow is opening day for the first event of the first pair that I'm looking at.

                                  "The present tense of regret is indecision."
                                  - Welcome to Night Vale


                                    I ended up doing that this past weekend. It wasn't an ideal schedule for my horse (or me) but it was the two best events for our situation. I wanted to do a nice but challenging novice as our first time out for the season followed by a good training move up course. There is a great local event near me (Cobblestone) that has the nice novice course and then May Daze was the good training move up. Unfortunately, they were scheduled a weekend apart. So, I did a 1-day on Sunday and left for May Daze on Thursday. I rode dressage and stadium on Friday, x-c Saturday. I was concerned about my horse--she is older and can have her arthritic days. We completed both successfully. I gave her yesterday off and took her for a hack tonight. I thought she'd be tired, but she was full of it. So we trotted around and ended up working (which wasn't my plan--I was just going to walk her). I think I may have gotten her a little TOO fit. But it was great to know that she felt just fine after our back to back stint. Now it will be about a month before we do our next event.

                                    So, I think it's fine 2 weekends in a row, I don't know if I would ever do 3 in a row. That's a lot for a horse (not to mention all the packing, unpacking and laundry for the rider!!)


                                      Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                                      From a foxhunting perspective, if it's lower level stuff, the horse can take it physically just fine. Mentally might be different. Many, if not most, amateur foxhunters ride the same horse every weekend and sometimes in the middle of the week as well.
                                      So, YES, you can run your horse in a HT back-to-back weekends! It's MUCH less effort for them than foxhunting once or twice a week. As long as your horse is fit for the level, and doesn't get stressed by the trailering and being at the show, you shouldn't be worried.

                                      I'd only get concerned about back-to-back weekends at Intermediate and above, or Prelim more than 2 weekends out of 6, on average.
                                      Yvonne Lucas
                                      Red Moon Farm

                                      "Practice doesn't make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect." - Jim Wofford

                                      "Some days you're the dog, some days the hydrant." - Jim Wofford