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Making the switch to eventing

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  • Making the switch to eventing

    Since Caleb has told me that he finds it way to boring to be a hunter, and it's looking like I won't get him sold without actual eventing experience, i've decided to suck it up and attempt to get him ready to event. Since my eventing experience stops at my barn's yearly horse/hunter trial as a kid, i'm hoping you all can lend some advice!

    Since i'm poooor, my main goal is to do enough "homework" that when it does come time to actually go to an event, I can step in the ring thinking we can win. Now we all know that never happens, but plain and simple, I don't have the money to do event after event just for practice. Not to mention "was disqualified at his first three events, placed dead last at the next two, and after 4 more months, finally won!" doesn't exactly look great on a sale flyer.

    Caleb is a 5 year old pony and has a pretty solid background of hunter training. Dressage is definitely not my forte, so i've been taking lessons. Even in the short time since those started, he's improved immensely.

    My grand plan so far:
    Continue dressage lessons and go to dressage/ct show in 2 weeks.
    Over the next few months/winter, continue lessons.
    Continue dressage/ct shows
    Winter A shows (jumpers) if the wallet allows
    February show at old barn's "horse trial"
    March possibly event

    It appears that in winning rides at BN, a 70 is a pretty average dressage score. It makes sense to me to be getting consistent scores in that range before doing an event. He's well prepped for the stadium portion. I'm not worried about that.

    I am going to have a tough time prepping for cross country since I don't own a vest. I have one place to school without a vest but they don't have ditches or a 'real' water complex.

    Does it sound like this is an appropriate plan for getting ready for an event without actually going to one? I know at some point i'll have to figure out the XC schooling/vest thing, but i'm hoping that will fall into place in the future.

    I'm currently reading "Training the Three-Day Event Horse and Rider". Any other helpful books to read?
    Last edited by apachepony; Sep. 28, 2007, 01:18 PM.

  • #2
    apache -- I'm sending you a PM since I'm not sure you have my phone number Give me a call and I can give you more tips on the eventing thing (in your area ) that I can by typing here! Seriously...give me a call and I'll give you a couple of suggestions to help you out!

    Oh...and welcome to the Dark Side You might just get hooked!
    ~Drafties Clique~Sprite's Mom~ASB-loving eventer~
    www.gianthorse.photoreflect.com ~ http://photobucket.com/albums/v692/tarheelmd07/

    Comment


    • #3
      Sounds like you have a good plan so far.

      JW though... why not sell him as a jumper? You are already familiar with that circuit and if he has good hunter training, he could go out and do the jumpers tomorrow. Also he will likely bring more money as a jumper.
      http://community.webshots.com/user/CloverExpress08/

      Comment


      • #4
        Do you have places where you can hack out, maybe even canter over trails/open terrain or just plain gallop? If he does well with that and is brave, eventing might be for him. Otherwise, jumpers might be a better market.

        If you have trails where you can set up natural looking stadium fences (use unpainted rails, brush, plywood sheets) you can begin to replicate the feel of XC. That will help you assess the boldness of your horse before facing him with real XC fences.

        Maybe borrow a vest from a friend?
        They don't call me frugal for nothing.
        Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

        Comment


        • #5
          Oh, and check the threads started by GreystoneKC (I think) about switching from hunters to eventing. Lots of good advice in there!
          They don't call me frugal for nothing.
          Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

          Comment


          • #6
            am going to have a tough time prepping for cross country since I don't own a vest. I have one place to school without a vest but they don't have ditches or a 'real' water complex.

            Does it sound like this is an appropriate plan for getting ready for an event without actually going to one? I know at some point i'll have to figure out the XC schooling/vest thing, but i'm hoping that will fall into place in the future.
            Since XC is the area which is "most different" from what you have been doing, I would put that as your first priority- far above more dressage lessons.

            With a horse for sale, a score of 50 on dressage with 0 on XC and SJ is a LOT more attractive than a score of 30 on dressage and 20 on XC.

            You can get a vest for under $100. You can even probably borrow one.
            Last edited by Janet; Sep. 28, 2007, 10:19 AM.
            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).

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Janet View Post
              Since XC is the area which is "most different" from what you have been doing, I would put that as your first priority- far above more dressage lessons.

              With a horse for sale, a score of 50 on dressage with 0 on XC and SJ is a LOT more attractive than a score of 30 on dressage and 20 on XC.

              You can get a vest for under $100. You can even probably borrow one.


              VERY good advice....

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                I guess I did make it sound like all he's done is ride in a ring. My barn has 600 acres of good varied terrain that I regularly ride on, with a few simple cross country jumps. He's been on hunter paces and other cross country like rides, so i'm not just guessing he'll go xc. He hasn't schooled all the competition obstacles, but i'm confident he'll do fine when he does.

                I also neglected to mention that he's a pony, and there's no market for pony jumpers in my area. If the kid can ride, they are on a horse doing much higher fences, and if they can't ride, Caleb's not suitable. Plus, the pony jumper classes are level 3, which are 3'6 w/ spreads of 4' (if I remember right). At 5 years old, he's just not ready for that.

                I will go check out that other thread.

                Comment


                • #9
                  so i'm not just guessing he'll go xc. He hasn't schooled all the competition obstacles, but i'm confident he'll do fine when he does.
                  For a horse FOR SALE, I'd not be that trusting.

                  Especially since you said
                  I don't have the money to do event after event just for practice.
                  If it were me, I'd put everything else on the back burner and school XC until I had PROOF that he will "go" over competion obstacles. Not "guessing" or "confident".
                  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).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You might want an event trainer to go XC schooling with you-- there are some terrain questions, etc. that you might be happy to have explained. If you post your geographical area someone here on the BB is bound to have a good recommendation.
                    SportHorseRiders.com
                    Taco Blog
                    *T3DE 2010 Pact*

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      XC Schooling!!!!

                      I agree with Janet, any time I have a "horse turning eventer" for sale, the very first thing I'll do is the Big 3 - ditches, banks, and water. I *have* to know how they are going to react to those, b/c you might be talking some serious schooling before you can sell him as an "eventer". In particular with ditches. In that case, all the dressage in the world is not going to help you, b/c there are ditches on even most of the lower level (BN) courses that I can think of (at least in Area II), shoot, there's even a Trakehner on the N course of Carolina Horse Park.

                      I also think there are probably eventers in your area that would be more than willing to go w/ you xc schooling or school one xc for you. I know I would do that for anyone for a few bucks of gas money, or heck, probably even a beer (or maybe two if it's a tough horse! ) *LOL* No need to put a ton of $ out to do this. You don't need a BNT to get on him.

                      JMHO!
                      Do what you like and like what you do!

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by displacedyank View Post
                        a Trakehner on the N course of Carolina Horse Park.
                        Well that would make me pee in my pants!
                        http://pets.webshots.com/photo/11909...55731734kBizVK
                        No thank you!!! *scurries back to hunter/jumper land*

                        I will be taking him as soon as possible to school xc. The only thing they are lacking is a ditch. I'll have to borrow a vest and go elsewhere to do that.

                        I honestly assumed it was a lack of dressage training that would be his biggest turnoff as a potential eventer. I didn't realize it was so important to have cross country experience.

                        Just because I think it's cute :
                        http://www.geocities.com/apachepony8/pt/confojump.jpg

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          OH, no, don't run away yet!!! Yes, that was the Trakehner I was referring to though, unfortunately, it's still there despite the fact that the AEC's have moved! *LOL*

                          No, it's not normally lack of dressage that people will turn away from, b/c that is a perpetual work in progress anyway! Most people want to know that he'll pack them around SAFELY on xc, first and foremost.

                          I think he's absolutely adorable, btw!
                          Do what you like and like what you do!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I second (or third?) the bring-an-event-trainer-to-your-xc-schooling advice (preferably one that has a good reputation with young/green horses). You DO need him to do ditches, banks and water - and there ARE ways to set yourself up for success with these, in particular the ditches and water. The horses that end up having trouble with these are typically the horses that weren't properly introduced (the very first time) to the questions - and there really are 'right' ways and 'wrong' ways of going about that.

                            I would also recommend that you ask someone to bring their been-there-done-that horse on the school, because you may very well want a lead the first time or two over these questions. If you don't need that lead in the end, great, but if you do, you may really regret not having had one to help out.
                            Treat Jockey for Spellbound and Smidgeon

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              First - I'd say to get or borrow a vest, you'll need one to actually compete anyways. You can usually find some used ones for sale if you look in the right places. You DON'T need a tipperrary for 200 bucks!

                              Also, at BN the most they'll have is a water run through. Just find a stream or even a large puddle near you and practice trotting through it. If he doesn't seem bothered, he'll probably be fine

                              As far as ditches go - I have a ditchy mare, and before I was boarding at a barn with their own ditches I made my own. I spread out a black cooler and put small poles on either side, my horse was more terrified of those then of any ditch we ever saw! You can also do something similar with towels or a tarp. I've seen horses figure it out right away and have no problem with stepping in the "ditch", but my mare (granted, she is a irrational TB mare) is still afraid of them!
                              Hell hath no fury like a chestnut thoroughbred mare .

                              http://serendipity.zrkonium.net/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Go splurge on a vest...they are useful when breaking horses as well anyway!

                                For ditches...you can start by simulating one in the ring. Use a dark (or it doesn't really matter) tarp. Large tarp. Fold it up so that it is less then a foot wide and as long as possible (usually I think ours are close to pole length). Pile two poles on top with standards on either side. Jump poles from trot until he does it calmly. then role the poles so each on is on the edge of the tarp. Jump again until calm. Then open up the tarp to make it a bit wider with the poles on the edge....jump again. Keep repeating until the tarp is rolled out to about 2.5-3' wide. If he is happily doing that, it will help for the ditches.

                                Not a sure thing, but if you can't get them over the tarp (which is also good for teaching them about liverpools)....you may have a real battle about ditches.
                                ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by displacedyank View Post
                                  Most people want to know that he'll pack them around SAFELY on xc, first and foremost.

                                  I think he's absolutely adorable, btw!
                                  Especially when it comes to a pony which will most likely be for a child. I agree that he's super adorable as well. Definitely focus on XC!!! That is the difference between horses that are eventing material and non-eventing material.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Good advise born. I've got a tarp and some 1x4's that i've been meaning to make into a liverpool. Even more incentive to get my butt outside with the hammer.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Why are you so determined to sell him as an eventer if he's never even cross country schooled? Why not just sell him as a hunter if that's what he's good at?

                                      Eventers buy horses BECAUSE they are good at cross country usually, not because they can jump stadium and do dressage. That's the easy part. Cross country is the important thing to us usually, like the others said. I would cross country school as much as possible because that's what eventers want to know, is the horse really brave? Has he schooled ditches, banks, water etc? Any horse will jump a log in a field (usually), it's the tough stuff that matters when selling. Definitely bring a trainer, especially if you're never schooled cross country before. It's a lot different than jumping in a ring and even than jumping out on trails and stuff (especially when it comes to said obstacles above)!

                                      Also, why bother bringing him to A shows in the winter if you're not going to sell him to that market? With the money you spend at an A show, you could do an event instead (and give him more of a competition record) even if you have to sit on the money until spring to do it.
                                      "Real magic can never be made by offering someone else's liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back. The true witches know that." ~ Peter S. Beagle

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        I'm selling him as an eventer because he doesn't have the style to be a hunter and he doesn't have the desire to be a packer kid's pony that hunters insist on having.

                                        He was bred by pwynnnorman to event. He wants to event. I started him in hunters because it was what I was familiar with, we have a lot of hunter shows in the area, and it was a good all around start to training. He's telling me he doesn't want to do that anymore, so i'm doing my best to help him out with that, rather than force him to do something he doesn't enjoy.

                                        He schooled banks, water and a variety of small cross country jumps when he was 3. He's continued to school whatever is avaliable. He just hasn't schooled a "real" cross country course yet. I grew up with a cross country course that I frequently took advantage of. I do understand how to present him to xc jumps in a safe, confident fashion.

                                        I would take him to the A shows over the winter because *I* want to do jumpers. Since that falls in line with what he needs to know as well, it seems like a good outing. I can trailer in for the day (about 20 minutes), so i'm not shelling out my life savings for stalls. Plus, if it turns out that the eventing crowd isn't interested in him, that leaves him with some more jumper experience to fall back on. There's a big gaping hole in shows from November to March if I don't take advantage of the A shows. It's not the end of the world, but winter is awfully dull.

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