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Tadpole 1 day dressage test dilema!

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  • Tadpole 1 day dressage test dilema!

    So... Elliot the 4 year old drafty cross is signed up for tadpole at JBF's unrecognized one day HT in November. This will be his second little unrecognized HT. The first one he did was at Tryon and their tadpole division did an Intro dressage test. The dressage test for Jumping Branch's tadpole division is BN A. Not a big deal, right? Well, it is if you don't canter in a dressage arena yet! I didn't realize that it was a BN test when I sent in the entry (oops!). I'm still planning on going because he needs the experience- jump judges and their cars, and people sitting by the water jump, etc. He bucks and squeals and plays in the canter when we're in a dressage arena- out in the open he's great, especially if he is "chasing" another horse. Come show day what should I do? Just try and get the canter, consequences be damned? Or tell the judge before I go in that we won't be cantering? Oh the joys of having a 17 hand 4 year old!

  • #2
    work on your canter as much as possible at home. The day of the event do a GOOD WARMUP with plenty of cantering to get the "kinks" out as much as possible, Go in, ride your test and do the best you can, try to avoid jumping out of the arena tho! Attempt the canter and you may be surprised!


    • #3
      I really dont have much good advice, but I just wanted to let you know that that will be my boys first HT... even if it unrecognized. My trainer is pushing me to try BN... but I just dont think we are ready, and have had kinda an off month.

      Hopefully we can meet up! I will absolutly cheer for you.

      I have a question, there was a note on the entry form about the XC for tad pole but I didnt know what it ment... something about only 3 fences counting... Do you know what that is about?
      Dutch Harbor 2000 TB gelding
      Unagi 2010 QH gelding
      Cecil Batholomule 2015 Appy Mule


      • #4
        School the canter as much as possible at home and see how he is on show day.

        Let the dressage judge know that he is young and green and may not canter during the test. This way, she knows to just score a 0 if necessary and not ring the bell or something. This also give you an out - so you don't feel 'pressured' to canter in the test if you feel he is incapable.

        I know how you feel - I worked with a young percheron once, we started to work on the canter out in his field because he couldn't even get around a regular arena, let alone a dressage arena. I was asked to help after his owner asked him to canter and instead of turning (this was before she had fenced in the arena) he cantered across the neighborhood!


        • #5
          Ask for the canter then pray and wear a big smile no matter what happens.


          • #6
            No advice to share, except that you won't be alone with a greenie - my son is taking my 4 year old Aussie Stock Horse baby Stella to JBF. On good days she is stunning, on bad days she is. . . . Stella. If my husband is back in country by then we will tag along.



            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by moukoyui View Post
              I have a question, there was a note on the entry form about the XC for tad pole but I didnt know what it ment... something about only 3 fences counting... Do you know what that is about?

              For tadpole there are only 3 required xc fences- all itty bitty, IIRC they are just telephone poles laying on the ground! You have the option of jumping any of the BN fences.


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for the replies! I was half expecting replies to include answers like: "He has ulcers!" or "This horse is abused!" or "He isn't ready to be seen in public!" or "You need to contact an animal communicator!" And on a good note, our canter work today only contained 25% bucking (down from the usual 75%) and I even circled both directions!!


                • #9
                  It's an eventing show. The other eventers will smile, nod, ask how long he's been off the track, then tell their own "I almost didn't live through my dressage test" story. If it were a dressage show you would have been snobby nose banned to sidereinville.


                  • #10
                    My gelding's first event was a recognized BN event. It was also his first time in a "real" dressage arena. He spent the whole time as we circled the arena waiting to go in spooking at the dressage arena fence and judge's box. The only thing that went truly right in that test was entering down the centerline, he was perfectly straight and centered because it was the farthest distance from the scary fence. We survived and even managed to accomplish everything where it was suppose to happen, just not how it was suppose to happen. I was thrilled....we didn't jump out of the arena, I didn't get dumped, and we didn't get disqualified. Needless to say we were last in our division after dressage. We made up some room as other people fell off or were eliminated in the jumping phases. Most importantly we both had a blast and I realized my boy will be more than happy to play at being an event horse with me.
                    So I would say, practice at home as much as possible, but don't stress too much or rush your boy. Just make sure you don't set the bar to high, even if he is being prefect at home. My goals for dressage are always stay in the arena, stay on the horse, and don't get eliminated. Everything else is a bonus, which makes it easier to giggle after really awful test.


                    • #11
                      I know of at least two people who took their recently OTTB's to this event when they knew darn well their horses had no clue about the canter. It is a very fun, low-key show. Just go and enjoy yourself! I did the Tadpole division last year and it was very fun. Stadium is pretty much x-rails and low verticals. There may have been an itty-bitty oxer in there somewhere. As others have said, XC is 3 required fences total (one of which is the water, but you have an option of jumping the logs next to the water). Warning, if your horse is used to running XC and doing stuff, he might be a little confused. My poor beast (who usually goes out with brave people) was befuddled as to why we kept running past all of the perfectly jumpable jumps. I finally gave up and let him jump a few of the BN fences (and I am SO not brave) because I didn't want him to be disappointed.

                      I would love to do it again this year, but I am not brave enough for BN yet!

                      Definitely enter as soon as you can. It tends to fill quickly and I know Julie limits the number of entries.

                      Have a great time!
                      When life gives you lemons. . .say &%^# you lemons! And throw those lemons back in life's face so that it will be afraid of you and won't try that crap again!