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You guys are pretty realistic. Throw me back to reality please?

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  • You guys are pretty realistic. Throw me back to reality please?

    This year is supposed to me my year. The year I soak up more knowledge then should be possible and they year my horse soaks up even more knowledge. I want to compete. Obviously its a goal of mine to be really good. Ya'll know I want to be a trainer, but I know that I am not ready and I am starting to think I probably wont be ready when I get done with school either. I have a ton to learn and even though I have worked with MANY horses, I know I am not ready to make a career out of it. I need lots more practice and KNOWLEDGE!
    Anyway, this is where ya'll come in. I know competing is important in gaining knowledge, experience, and a name, but I know training with a knowledgable trainer is equally important. I am lucky enough to be able to have both, but in moderation. I can go to 2 recognized HT this year (which I have never been to) and maybe 2 or 3 schooling HT and lesson once a month starting in march (my horse has Feb. off). Now, I could give up showing (except one schooling show that is close to home and doesnt cost too much and I would be able to lesson more, school xc more, and just learn more. What i wont be getting is the knowledge of competing at a recognized event.
    What would you do? I think it makes more sense to lesson more, but what does everyone think?
    *Paige*
    ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
    R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

  • #2
    While competing is a great way to measure how you are doing, it is not where knowledge of how to do things comes from.

    You go to a competition, you dressage score is a 50, one rail in stadium and one refusal in cross country. You have learned where you stand, but through lessons, you learn to fix your mistakes.

    Competition is important for career development. Getting your name out there and showing people that you really can ride. So if you need to sacrifice lessons to go to shows and will end up not doing as well, you might as well take the lessons.

    Now, I don't know how old you are, so I don't know if 'school' means you are in college or high school. If you are within two years of a reasonable time you think you may start with your career of being a professional rider, come up with a business plan that includes what income you need to put food in your mouth, in your horses' mouths and compete a reasonable amount of time to show the world what you can do. Figure out how you are going to get the money, when you can break even between instructing students and paying bills and how to make a profit.

    In the mean time, take as many lessons as you can.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      School means College. I dont plan on starting my career immediately out of school. I am hoping to take a year long WS position with a well known trainer and then start. I am lucky enough to have great family support and as long as my parents are still around I will have a place to live, food on the table, and my horse taken care of if I cant provide it.
      *Paige*
      ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
      R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

      Comment


      • #4
        Take the lessons

        Take more lessons and go help out at the shows. Better yet, volunteer. You can learn a ton through volunteering at shows and it will help you network and meet people...a good way to get your name known.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ok, I spend lots of time teaching, so this may sound like heresy, but if you have the chance, and you are young and brave, get out there and compete.
          You can take lessons in the winter.

          Why do I think this? Because ours is a pressure sport, and you need to learn how to take the heat, as well as to learn to ride.

          Ideally do both, but if you have limited resources, get into that competitive "crucible", as my friend Woff would say.
          http://www.tamarackhill.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            I think for the reasons Denny stated and others, you should try to show as much as you can. Showing IS training. I've found that by getting out there and riding at a HT I've learned just as much, if not more, than I might learn in a lesson--and so do my horses.

            By showing, you learn to think on your feet. After the day is done, go over in your mind about what went well and what didn't and make a plan for how you can improve what didn't go well. That kind of self-instruction is so important to develop. If you go with a friend, get his or her thoughts as well. I've learned so much just having a riding friend give me an assessment of the day.

            Another thought is to ask your instructor to give you homework to do between your monthly lessons, if you don't already do this.

            Comment


            • #7
              The more knowledgeable of a rider you are the easier it is to take the heat.

              I'm in favor of at least getting more lessons and maybe somewhat less competitive experience for the moment.

              It does depend on how confident you are in the skills that you already have though. If you already have a very solid background and going Training Level or Preliminary Level will be very comfortable, then yes, do the competitive route.

              Comment


              • #8
                What exactly are the 'tests' for HT (Hunter Trials I am assuming)?

                As in are there three phases? Or is is like CT (Combined Training)? What are the heights?

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by BaroquePony View Post
                  The more knowledgeable of a rider you are the easier it is to take the heat.

                  I'm in favor of at least getting more lessons and maybe somewhat less competitive experience for the moment.

                  It does depend on how confident you are in the skills that you already have though. If you already have a very solid background and going Training Level or Preliminary Level will be very comfortable, then yes, do the competitive route.
                  I fell confident enough to get my horse safely around a Novice course. I have schooled training level XC jumps, but a whole course of them, I think I would be over faced. Not scared, just overfaced. I believe I will always have the "I will do whatever you ask of me, Coach" attitude and I could ever imagine being scared of anything. I am just a strong headed person like that, but I dont believe I have the skills to take my horse training and not scare everyone watching! My horse is a saint and would pack me around it though.
                  Our biggest issue I have is training her in dressage. We can do basic stuff that would get us (and has gotten us) good scored (our low is a 27.5, which I am still super proud of), but I believe that was just a fluke and without proper training, I dont think we could accomplish again.
                  I hope this clarifies everything for ya'll to help me more!
                  *Paige*
                  ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
                  R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by BaroquePony View Post
                    What exactly are the 'tests' for HT (Hunter Trials I am assuming)?

                    As in are there three phases? Or is is like CT (Combined Training)? What are the heights?
                    Horse trials, not hunter trials.
                    I know BN is 2'7 and N is 2'11. I think training is 3'6. not real sure. I havent thought as far as training level yet.
                    *Paige*
                    ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
                    R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I recommend auditing as many clinics as you can stand - sitting through as many sessions as you can stand. When you see group after group, you can start to see how different horses and riders react to things and understand the clinician's philosophy. I sometimes get more take home lessons from watching then riding - though I think my horse gets more from the riding part he'd rather eat grass than pay attention...

                      If you can, audit dressage and jumper clinics as well as eventing...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BaroquePony View Post
                        What exactly are the 'tests' for HT (Hunter Trials I am assuming)?

                        As in are there three phases? Or is is like CT (Combined Training)? What are the heights?
                        As Rescue said, "horse trials" not "hunter trials." Yes, there are three phases - dressage, cross-country, and stadium jumping. CT is actually "combined test" (combined training is an older name for eventing), and only includes the dressage and stadium portions. The heights are 2'7" for Beginner Novice, 2'11" for Novice, 3'3" for Training, and on up from there. There are some different parameters for heights allowed on certain elements - for example, at the Advanced level, stadium jumping is up to 4'1", the solid part of obstacles on cross-country can be up to 3'11", and brush on cross-country obstacles can be up to 4'7". The speeds required also increase as you move up through the levels, and the dressage becomes more difficult.

                        Rescue, to answer your original question, I think I am also in the more-lessons-than-showing camp. Sorry, Denny! ETA: I also like millerra's suggestion of auditing!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Posted by Rescue_Rider:

                          I think I would be over faced. Not scared, just overfaced. I believe I will always have the "I will do whatever you ask of me, Coach" attitude and I could ever imagine being scared of anything. I am just a strong headed person like that, but I dont believe I have the skills to take my horse training and not scare everyone watching!
                          WWeeelll, one of the greatest assets a good horsewoman can have is common sense and the abilty to assess yourself accurately. You seem to have that

                          Building up your confidence over larger fences with a jumping instructor who truly understands dressage would be my suggestion. Bigger fences and gymnastics over bigger fences can do wonders for the rest of it. Galloping - foxhunting - trail riding for hours over varied terrain also would be he;pful.

                          Lots of trail riding and hacking is free (except for more oats) and it can give you the experince of getting really tired in the saddle ... it will teach you to just follow your horse ... you will learn to be efficient in the saddle because you will be so danged tired you won't even think about micro-managing your horse. Great foundation for XC later on.

                          ETA: do you have access to a really experienced Advanced Event rider/trainer instructor, one that at least has a good reputation for communicating his/her skills well to students?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Horse Trials. Got it. So, are Horse Trials the new three phase short-format thing that has replaced what would have been CT and 3Day in the old days?

                            I thought CT was always just dressage and stadium and Three Day Event was all three phases, back when the whole thing was USCTA.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by BaroquePony View Post
                              Horse Trials. Got it. So, are Horse Trials the new three phase short-format thing that has replaced what would have been CT and 3Day in the old days?

                              I thought CT was always just dressage and stadium and Three Day Event was all three phases, back when the whole thing was USCTA.
                              Sorry, I cant answer that. I dont remember much from longformat days, since I didnt get into eventing until longformat was about to leave!
                              *Paige*
                              ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
                              R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Any options to be a working student, or indentured servant on weekends to a really good eventing trainer? Lessons are important, XC schooling is important and competition is important. I'm not really sure recognized competitions are worth the money if one is really looking for lower-level mileage, though--I'd opt for more unrecognized over only a couple of recognized if I were in your shoes. The LEAST important things to your long-term goals are ribbons and scores. You can learn ALMOST as much by volunteering and grooming at a Horse Trial, at least in terms of the ins and outs of the sport, the rules, the rhythm and flow, etc. as you can by riding. And course walks are free. I'd look for a trainer to attach yourself to, become indispensable to him/her, and take whatever opportunity you can to go to competitions (as a groom or volunteer), walk courses, school, and lesson. On your own you can ride, ride, ride--no stirrups, in half-seat, and maximize your time in the saddle. See if you can get a ride on a school horse who knows more than your two greenies and do a couple of XC schools that way. And skip the unrecognized HTs. Funny thing about years where everything is supposed to "happen": it often doesn't, and lo and behold, there's a year after that and a year after that and a year after that. I didn't ride in my first event until I was almost 30--the sport isn't going anywhere.
                                Click here before you buy.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Baroque Pony:

                                  Several years back the USCTA changed their name to USEA. I have been eventing for about 15 years and whether it be a two day horse trial or a true long format 3 day horse trials, they have pretty much always been referred to as a horse trials, though a long format is truer to the name. CT has pretty much always been a combined test, which does not include the cross country phase.
                                  A true three day event would include all 5 phases: dressage, roads and tracks, steeplechase, cross country and stadium.
                                  However, two day horse trials only do dressage, xc and stadium.
                                  I have always known them as horse trials, whether three day or two day.
                                  Hope that clears it up for you. I am not sure why the name changed from USCTA to USEA, but it does not have anything to do with what we call a horse trial or combined test.
                                  Honey Badger don't give a s*#^!

                                  "..a three-day event is not a test of speed and endurance, it is a test of character" ~JW

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I was going to say, free lessons are available to those who scribe, those who jump judge, and those who set jumps *while* auditing. That is also a good way to "make your face known" in the best possible way - people will remember that you were a willing volunteer, helpful, and not looking for a hand-out.

                                    While I agree that there is value to competing and dealing with pressure, I think that in eventing one of the more important things is to learn how to work within a Program with a capital "P". Find someone who has a Program and who consistently brings horses and riders through the Program to compete successfully. This is especially true for your WS stint. You will come away from the year-long learning process a totally new horseperson. You will realize how much you didn't know before you learned the Program. You will be able to take that Program and work on your own and bring horses up the levels with fewer lessons (i.e. spend more of your time on making an income during the difficult start-up years).
                                    Blugal

                                    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Rescue_Rider9 View Post
                                      I fell confident enough to get my horse safely around a Novice course. I have schooled training level XC jumps, but a whole course of them, I think I would be over faced. Not scared, just overfaced. I believe I will always have the "I will do whatever you ask of me, Coach" attitude and I could ever imagine being scared of anything. I am just a strong headed person like that, but I dont believe I have the skills to take my horse training and not scare everyone watching! My horse is a saint and would pack me around it though.
                                      Our biggest issue I have is training her in dressage. We can do basic stuff that would get us (and has gotten us) good scored (our low is a 27.5, which I am still super proud of), but I believe that was just a fluke and without proper training, I dont think we could accomplish again.
                                      I hope this clarifies everything for ya'll to help me more!
                                      Wait. You are only discussing one horse - your horse. How many horses are you riding?

                                      Training/instructing isn't about how well you ride your horse. It's about everyone else's horses. You need to ride as many horses as possible as often as possible, all kinds and temperaments, all stages of training. Are you doing this? You need coaching on what is effective on different horses. You need to be on a journey to accumulating been-there-done-that for as many different sorts of horses and situations as you possibly can.

                                      I agree with you - if your current level is schooling training level xc on just your own horse, you have many miles to travel before hanging up a professional's shingle. Working on just your own horse is not the path to being a professional. It is still introductory to the sport.

                                      Good luck though! I hope you find the path to where you want to be.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        At the levels you are at....there is no real need to show at a recog. event.

                                        They are not really much different from the GOOD unrecognized events.

                                        Where they can be different is in the level of competition. More good riders....so there can be more to learn in the warm up ring, but you can always go to watch.

                                        If you are short on $$$$, I agree competiting is a time you will learn a lot but at your level...you can learn a lot of that at schooling shows. Do some hunter shows, jumper shows, dressage shows...as well as events.

                                        Get to some BIG BIG shows, camp out in the warm rings and watch. Great free lesson watching some of the big time riders in the warm up.

                                        Scrib at some shows (you can learn a lot scribing at a dressage show!).

                                        Audit as many clinics as you can....watch as many lessons as you can....READ everything you can (wish I had done that as a kid)...then go back and re-read them...then go and try it out. Ride...but ride with a plan to learn....that is actually hard work. Ride as many other horses as you can...watch as many good riders (and their horses) as you can...in as many different riding sports as you can.
                                        ** 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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