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Would you rather train in a field or a ring?

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  • Would you rather train in a field or a ring?

    I am debating building an arena soon.. I know eventually I will need one, but I am wondering if I am better off training in a field. I feel like because my eventer grew up only being ridden in a field she is braver and has a better sense of how to handle riding on uneven terrian, but then I have crazy mare who I think would be better off being ridden in an arena for the time being because she is.. crazy and I dont feel like we ever accomplish much in the field and I have to take her across the road to the indoor often!
    Just wondering what everyones thoughts are.
    *Paige*
    ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
    R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

  • #2
    It sounds like you would benefit from having both a ring and a field. To be successful your horses should be confident in both the field and the ring, and the only way to really be able to work on that confidence is to be able to work in both.

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    • #3
      I Prefer using a field - sometimes the confines of an arena can become a crutch - I've had horses have a very hard time maintaining straightness without a wall to "lean" against.

      If you need to practice in a smaller space, you can always make a smaller "arena" in your field.

      But that's just my opinion
      -Jessica

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      • #4
        Why not have both! If you are able to have both an arena and a field to train in, then I would add an arena.

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        • #5
          Another vote for both if possible. At my barn we have only an indoor and a grass field. There is a significant portion of the spring and fall where the temperatures are nice enough that I REALLY want to be outside, but the footing in the field prohibits this. I really, really wish we had an outdoor at those times...
          ~Nancy~

          Adams Equine Wellness

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          • #6
            Both if possible!

            When I started back as a re-rider I had a trainer who taught in a field because it made for braver students who could ride over uneven ground.

            There's a lot less opportunity for that here, and I feel I'm a poorer and more cowardly rider for it.
            "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

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            • #7
              Ideally, both. I ride in two big fields, and that's great for encouraging forward and making use of the slight dips and slope to the land. But when I find myself forced to compete within a 20x40 meter rectangle and haven't practiced in one, it is, shall we say, detrimental to our dressage scores.
              Click here before you buy.

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              • #8
                Both is best. I have a large, flat arena with stonedust that is great for dressage work and for riding when the weather is not the greatest. It drains much quicker than the field next to it and my mare is not slipping in mud.

                While a horse should be able to do dressage in a field, it is easier to introduce new concepts or work on a particular movement without the worry of the horse rebalancing to go up or down the hills.

                Grass can also be slippery in the early morning or after a rain, where arena with proper footing would not. While the horse should learn to run around on grass, when they are jumping a new height, doing grid work that can be challenging or learning something new in their flatwork, extra slipping can hurt their confidence.

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                • #9
                  right

                  be better off being Exactly right! I did it for 14 years; however, if you will be starting young horses, or having customers tyrig horses; they will be much more confident in a ring
                  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

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                  • #10
                    Ring....but if you have a field you can always ride in there. But if you get a ring you will happy w/ it!!!

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                    • #11
                      Unless you live someplace like Aiken or FL, where the footing in the fields are almost always good, rain or shine, I like to have the benefit of both worlds. There are just times where a field isn't going to have good enough footing to get anything meaningful done (like right now for us). Be it ice covered, slick as snot and muddy, or hard as concrete. By having a ring you have basically consistent footing all year round, which means the day the field is too muddy but you have an event in a week, you can still get a ride in.
                      Amanda

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                      • #12
                        both! I almost always ride in a large field, but an arena is REALLY helpful for practicing dressage! Especially for us geometrically challenged.

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                        • #13
                          I rode in a field for years - except when it was mud season, or had just rained, was hard and slick in the summer droughts, or was frozen. When I put in the ring (same location, so surrounded by field) I could ride in the rain, within 2 days of the snow melting in the spring (not wait weeks for the mud to subside) during the summer. Dramatically increased my days where I could train especially in the spring. I still use the field but the ring is primarily where I ride. Also, the footing in the ring is more easily repaired (you drag it) than if you mess up the field.

                          You can train with only a field, but it's easier in a ring.

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                          • #14
                            In my current situation I would take a field over the ring we have any day! I love having a ring, but current barn owner made her ring by dumping sand over dirt that hold water for quite awhile (as she lives on the river)... needless to say when it rains.. it just becomes a total mud pit. And is putting a dressage ring in the exact same way... in the last grass riding space.
                            I assume you're going to be building your ring correctly... in which case it's always nice to have an actual ring to practice in. I grew up with a ring, but it was unfenced.. which I now prefer to be honest. It had nice even footing, but wasn't a perfect shape and had no fence so it also had that "field" feel.
                            Custom Painted Brushes: spcustombrushes@gmail.com
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                            • #15
                              Both, if you can. If I had to choose, I'd pick ring, mostly because I have a grass field that I presently use as a ring and it has crappy drainage, and if it gets torn up it stays that way for a long time. The footing in there isn't nearly as consistent - can't ride when it's wet, etc.
                              ---
                              They're small hearts.

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                              • #16
                                Whenever possible, I school out in the fields. I find that it really pushes me to ride accurately and think about my riding in terms of "every step" and not the "long side/short side/long side/short side" zone I can get into while riding in a ring. It also gives my mare the kind of mental stimulation that keeps her fresh; the field we usually choose to school in is the highest point on the property so we see the horses in other fields, cars going by on the road, etc.

                                However, the ring has its benefits as well and I wouldn't really want to do without one.

                                I say you should build both

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                                • #17
                                  Field.
                                  Lori T
                                  www.calypsofarmeventers.blogspot.com
                                  www.facebook.com/LoriTankelPhotography
                                  www.facebook.com/LTEquine for product updates on the lines I rep

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                                  • #18
                                    I grew up just riding in a field. I also was in a situation where I just had a ring for a bit too.

                                    A ring is "nice to have" but a field is a must. My current (and ideal) situation has both. I do my dressage work in a ring but the rest of the riding is in the field.
                                    The rebel in the grey shirt

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                                    • #19
                                      If you have to choose one, i'd choose field. You can get landscape timbers and create a reg sized arena in the flattest part of your field. That way you can still work within the confines of an "arena" but still get the gymnastic benefit of the slightly uneven terrain.
                                      www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                                      chaque pas est fait ensemble

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                                      • #20
                                        It's at times like this that I really wish I had an all weather footing ring. The ground is frozen solid with waves of mud tundra and icy snow and I have been unable to ride for weeks because the footing is either frozen or muddy and slick.

                                        My vote: small ring within the field.

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