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Should I....

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  • Should I....

    Prep the new mare for the YEH 5yr old tests? At the moment she is 4, but VERY green. She does walk-trot......kinda. I think I could have her ready for the 5yr old Dressage test, if I keep on track. However I have a few questions about the YEH competitions....

    1) What is the jumping test like?
    2) Are they all amazing horses ridden by pros, or do you have a few that are nice, but piloted by a "novice/ammy"?
    3) Have you had good experiences with the YEH Series in general?
    4)How formal is it? Are we talking full dressage turnout, or just white breaches, a conservitive polo, and braids(& bath!)?

    Anything else you think is noteworthy is welcome!

  • #2
    You have plenty of time to see how it goes, if you won't be doing YEH for over a year.

    I haven't done it in a few years, but I have seen quite a few. To answer your questions:

    1) The jumping varies widely by facility. At the finals (which I did not do) some jumps will be 3'7 and the test won't be completely straightforward. At the individual competitions it is more like N/T fences, maybe more T in size but N in question.
    2) I did it as an ammy (not quite a novice, but practically when you consider the field). It was mostly pros, but I don't think there was any bias, and in fact everyone seemed happy that everyone else was there supporting the program. I do think that both the caliber of horses and presentation put forth by some of the pros is hard to match, but I thought my scores and feedback were very fair and not at all focused on me as much as the horse.
    3) I'd do it again, with the right horse. It sort of depends on your goals and finances. If money is a concern, doing a novice or training horse trial is probably more instructive for the horse. But at the same time the feedback you get is really neat. My last horse wasn't ready in time, my current one is too old, but I'd do it again if circumstances presented themselves.
    4) The ones I did were dressage turn-out, but it was cold out! Summer ones are less formal.


    • #3
      I've done a few of them and took one horse to the Champs (he was 4th). Really...there isn't much "prep" to do. Dressage isn't about doing a nice test...but showing your horse's potential. So it isn't a huge deal if your transitions are not perfect or halt not square....hell, my big guy didn't always turn to the left when I took him his qualifier. All the ones I went too, people were pretty informal.

      Jumps were easy and straight forward at all the venues I went too. I don't think I ever saw any fences close to max height (other than the Finals)...and everything was pretty simple...but it can vary by venue. Again...it isn't about doing things perfectly but showing a horse's potential. Most of the competitors were Pros...but a few were not.

      I qualified my big horse with one outing in the summer of his 5 year old year (riding him badly myself) and then had a pro ride him in the finals because neither he nor I had been jumping in the 3 months before the finals--he had a minor injury that stopped us doing much that fall (he jumped 3-4 times and went to the finals....having done two novice HTs in the summer....so no, not all the horses there will have been in tons of competitions or had tons of "prep"). I wanted him to go to the finals as an opportunity to get him to a show with a bit more atmosphere.

      To me...I wouldn't be thinking of "prepping" for them. Just train your mare...if she is ready and they fit in your schedule...go for it. But remember...it isn't the same as an HT and they don't need to be schoolled to death. I would do it again with the right horse as well.
      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **