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Starting a young horse in Eventing:need advise/thoughts plz!

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  • Starting a young horse in Eventing:need advise/thoughts plz!

    I have decided that I'd like to try my hand at eventing as it is a combination of something I enjoy (dressage) and something my horse has talent for (jumping). She has basic training on her but now is at the point where she needs to advance, which I am not skilled enough to do.
    My dilemma is both financial and emotional. I work full time and I'm trying to pay off college debt by the beginning of the year so finances are limited for horse activities/training. I'd like to see her competing this spring, but not sure if I will have the money to put into extensive training. My horse has also been moved 4 times in the last year and a half I've had her for various reasons, mostly do to farm foreclosures/sales. We are finally at a nice private barn with all the amenities to train a horse and I'd hate to move her again if I send her out to a top eventing trainer.

    I'd love for someone to take her on as a free lease and ride her at my farm, or pay someone to come train her at my farm, but is that expense the same as sending her out for training?

    If this were your horse and you were on a budget and had a timeline to show this spring, would you pay someone to come ride at your farm, send her to a trainer for 30 days and hope for the best (and maybe a lucky lottery ticket), or advertise her as a free lease project? If I advertise her how hard will it be to find someone to take the job? I live in a prime eventing area with several local shows and schooling courses, I just can't take her myself because of work commitments.

    This is a forever horse and she needs a job. She has too much potential to sit in the field.

    Any advice?
    Crayola Posse~Aquamarine
    Love vs Money...for the love of my horse, I have no money!

  • #2
    I'm not sure why people are stuck thinking that the only way to train a horse is to send it to some pro trainer for a while? So much of bringing along a young horse is just spending time in the saddle and exposing them to different things. Perhaps setting a timeline geared towards her happiness and progression rather than "I must have her ready for X show" might reduce some pressure? If she's a forever horse, than I would be more interested in enjoying her in the long term than trying to cram her to some show in the short term. I have never really understood the whole "the horse needs a job thing" either -- the horse is perfectly happy sitting in the field for a bit. She's not going to suddenly forget everything and will probably do better progressing slowly, which will only lead to increased longevity of use. Personally, I would opt to have a trainer come do lessons and then practice in between.
    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Empressive Award View Post
      IThis is a forever horse and she needs a job. She has too much potential to sit in the field.

      Any advice?

      If it was my horse...and I was in your situation with a horse I was keeping....I wouldn't worry about showing and train her myself. Save up for some lessons....go to simple affordable outings...paper chases, schooling shows etc.

      And don't worry if it take a bit longer for you to get there...she will not care.

      I get horses that need a job...but that job can be given by you.

      Now if you absolutely don't have time to ride....then that is a different situation. But I've personally found there is always time to ride.....it might mean not sleeping but there is time to ride!
      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
        If it was my horse...and I was in your situation with a horse I was keeping....I wouldn't worry about showing and train her myself. Save up for some lessons....go to simple affordable outings...paper chases, schooling shows etc.

        And don't worry if it take a bit longer for you to get there...she will not care.

        I get horses that need a job...but that job can be given by you.

        Now if you absolutely don't have time to ride....then that is a different situation. But I've personally found there is always time to ride.....it might mean not sleeping but there is time to ride!
        As long as you are competent/comfortable riding a green horse, I agree with bfne.

        "Real Life" got in the way, and my greeny (then a 3 yo) didn't get ridden from July 08 to Jan 09. But then we picked up where we left off. He has done 3 low priced unrecognized competitions this spring.

        Sure, if I had been able to ride then, we would have progresssed further. But we will get to the same place in the end.
        Janet

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

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        • #5
          I'm in the EXACT same position, with a talented and lovely young gelding who was started late (before I purchased him). I know it's going to take us a while to get up to speed, as he is green as a Mountain Dew bottle and I am balancing a full-time job and being a single mom to a 1-year-old boy. But I am determined to stick it out and progress at a rate that is comfortable for both of us. I hope to compete by next year but I won't cry if I don't. I intend to take lessons on him when I can squeeze them in (financially as well as in terms of time) and not stress about it

          Like others have said, your horse won't notice how fast or slowly you advance. Best of luck!

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          • #6
            Oh that is exactly how I started, I liked the dressage AND the jumping and loved the cross country, and it took eight years for my current horse to get to Training! So no hurries! Have fun, take all the time you need, ride when you can, save up as BF said for lessons and clinics, because you will get the most out of your funds in those situations I think with a green horse.
            I would add only this: when you are on your own, schooling, hacking, training -- don't bite off more than you can chew...make the little things really really good before going up to bigger things.....if it looks like it could be too much, it might be. Young event horses must be trained to think they can never be scared by an obstacle - always make them feel big and bulletproof by conquering little things and gradually doing the bigger things. I don't think I jumped over 2 feet for like three years but I have a solid SOLID cross country horse now and he's a spooky thoroughbred!
            Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
            Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Janet View Post
              As long as you are competent/comfortable riding a green horse, I agree with bfne.

              I agree....sorry I wasn't clear. If it is just moving to the next level...which was the impression I got from the OP...and you are short on funds for sending them to training/competiting.....then I would just do it your self and give her the job that you have the time and are comfortable giving her.
              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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              • #8
                Agree. If you have limited funds, keep the horse and get in a program with a trainer where you ride the horse. It may slow down the process but actually it might NOT. Eventing just isn't a sport where you see riders handing over the reins and saying, "give me a call when he's done." I find that unless you are physically a part of the training program that when the horse comes home if you don't have an intimate understanding of what's been done and how it's been accomplished the benefits are very limited--and/or often temporary.

                I've brought along quite a few youngsters, but with my last purchase, a 3 year old, I took him to a trainer for a month before I even got him home. BUT it wasn't you're typical program. She rode him 2 days a week, I rode him under her supervision 2 days a week and I watched her ride him while we talked about what she was doing a couple days a week. (Sometimes I would jumped on at the end to feel something we discussed.) We went home and never missed a beat and continued to build on the experience. It was some of the best money on training I ever spent--not to mention very FUN to intellectually immerse myself in the process and have a sounding board to discuss it all out with. So unless "sending off to trainer for 30 days" is that inclusive of you and your riding it's not the route I'd recommend.

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