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Taking a green horse to finals?

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  • Taking a green horse to finals?

    Not sure if this fits under the "Hunter/Jumper" section or the "Off Course". Anyways, I am looking for opinions. I ride in Zone 1 and will be trying to attend year end finals with my horse this year. She is rather green, and I don't mean pre-green horse that lopes around the ring and is classified as "green" because she really is truly actually green. She spooks, does dirty stops sometimes, bucks after a jump once in a while, gets a little rush to the jumps and get nervous overall. I plan to take her to MHJ (Mass. Hunter Jumper) Finals at the end of Aug. However, MHJ is outside, and MHC (Mass. Horsemens Council) Finals is not. It's a 3 County Fairgrounds. In the indoor there is bleachers and scarier jumps, fans going, doors open with people walking by, the scoreboard is up in the corner, ect. Therefore my trainer thinks it'd be best suited if I take one of her more experienced been there done that horses. For example her Oldenburg has been there twice and is very auto piliot type and her new horse I was riding while my mare was out for the winter was previously shown in the 3' hunters and 3'-3'3" jumpers and has been to indoor shows. So now here is the final question... Do I take my green horse and try, which might result in getting DQ or should I wait a year try hard for me this year with one of my trainer's horses and take her next year for experience?
    Sorry for the story. Thank you.(:

  • #2
    That depends on what your goals are. If you want a ribbon, take a been-there-done-that horse. If you want to take your horse and don't care about being competitive, then take her - but it sounds to me like she is not ready yet.

    Why don't you take your horse to some schooling shows for experience and save the more expensive and competitive stuff for a horse that probably won't let you down?
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    • #3
      You could try to get your horse into the ring at the fairgrounds this summer to see if she'll be ok. The scoreboard won't be up, but there will be the bleachers and people walking by, etc..

      There are two hunter/jumper shows there - Northeast Benefit in late June/early July and the Northampton Hunter/Jumper in mid-August. Not sure if your trainer goes to those shows or if it's even an option for you, but if you really want to take your own horse it could be a good idea to go get into the ring and try it out.

      But from your post, it sounds like your horse can be unreliable - dirty stopping/spooking - and you have to consider if you want to spend all the money to take her to finals and how you'd feel if you got excused at the first jump.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LeenaForever View Post
        Not sure if this fits under the "Hunter/Jumper" section or the "Off Course". Anyways, I am looking for opinions. I ride in Zone 1 and will be trying to attend year end finals with my horse this year. She is rather green, and I don't mean pre-green horse that lopes around the ring and is classified as "green" because she really is truly actually green. She spooks, does dirty stops sometimes, bucks after a jump once in a while, gets a little rush to the jumps and get nervous overall. I plan to take her to MHJ (Mass. Hunter Jumper) Finals at the end of Aug. However, MHJ is outside, and MHC (Mass. Horsemens Council) Finals is not. It's a 3 County Fairgrounds. In the indoor there is bleachers and scarier jumps, fans going, doors open with people walking by, the scoreboard is up in the corner, ect. Therefore my trainer thinks it'd be best suited if I take one of her more experienced been there done that horses. For example her Oldenburg has been there twice and is very auto piliot type and her new horse I was riding while my mare was out for the winter was previously shown in the 3' hunters and 3'-3'3" jumpers and has been to indoor shows. So now here is the final question... Do I take my green horse and try, which might result in getting DQ or should I wait a year try hard for me this year with one of my trainer's horses and take her next year for experience?
        Sorry for the story. Thank you.(:
        I think it depends on why you are going to these finals in the first place. You could take your greenie and give her the experience and maybe increase your chances when you go with her again next year. If you are definitely planning on taking her next year, riding her in the environment can't hurt.

        On the other hand, you could take the schoolmaster and try for some ribbons.

        If it were me my final decision would depend on my experience. If I had never been to these finals before I would take my trainer's horse. That way you'll be more confident if you take your greenie next year. If I were a rider whose been to them before (or something like them) and really just wanted to take her baby for the experience I would go for it.

        I think if you realize *why* you want to go, and what you hope to achieve, youll figure it out

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        • #5
          Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
          That depends on what your goals are. If you want a ribbon, take a been-there-done-that horse. If you want to take your horse and don't care about being competitive, then take her - but it sounds to me like she is not ready yet.

          Why don't you take your horse to some schooling shows for experience and save the more expensive and competitive stuff for a horse that probably won't let you down?
          ...aaand someone else said it while I was typing (and better too!)

          Comment


          • #6
            In my experience, taking your own green horse to a big scary show can end up being less fun than it sounds. I had a 4-year-old that I took to his first show away from home, and now I understand why my trainer always took babies and didn't show them - just walked them around and schooled. While it wasn't a disaster, the combination of him looking at all the new sights and me having the usual show nerves didn't make it much fun in the end. Then it turned out he hated being braided in his stall, wasn't used to the sand hitting the wall of the arena, got nervous in a crowded warm-up ring... all things that would have been ok if I hadn't added the tension of going in the ring and having to put in a round at least good enough to not get DQ. If you're really ready, give it a try, but if it's a new show to you and you want to get a ribbon, wait a year and you'll enjoy it a lot more.

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            • #7
              I know this is an old thread I am reviving, but I was just wondering what the OP ended up doing. I was doing a search on MHC and stumbled across this topic. I took a green horse to MHC final this year knowing I would be competitive- just for mileage and to be better prepared for next year. I wasn't able to get to either of the other shows at the fairgrounds due to schedule conflicts. Just wondering if the OP was in my shoes too .

              FWIW, I was happy with my greenie and thought she handled it well, and was happy I brought her for the experience. She was spooky in the open eq, but really stepped it up in the final and the worst thing that happened in the final was that we missed a change behind.

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              • #8
                If you are ok with going in the ring and giving your green horse a schooling ride, by which I mean a ride that isn't about the finished product or you getting a ribbon but is 100% in service to the horse, building her confidence, making her more made, and having her end up with a positive experience, then this could be a good opportunity for you.
                You go in the ring, ride like a trainer, and develop the horse's horse show skills without regard to your placement.

                So in that case you don't really care if she stops at the first jump as long as she tries again and then makes it around. It doesn't matter if she spooks in the corner as long as she gets by that spot the next time she is on that shortside. That is a successful school, but not a succesful bid for a ribbon.

                If you are going to get really upset if she stops because then your chance at finals is blown, and won't be able to keep it a confidence building experience for her because she "let you down," then I would really skip taking a greenie into a challenging environment. This is nothing on you, it can be really difficult to maintain zen in a high pressure environment that was really expensive to get to.

                Basically it is two different rides you would be doing, and it is up to you which one you want to do.
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                • #9
                  FWIW--I took my green horse to our local finals this year. It was an A show, held at a big venue (Lamplight), so plenty to look at. It was his second show and my first show in about 15 years.

                  I showed him in the schooling hunters and baby greens and did not expect to be competitive, which we weren't. HOWEVER, it was fanastic experience for both of us and was a great confidence-builder. Plus, having him at a show for 7 days went a long way towards getting him more 'broke'--you really can't beat that kind of mileage.

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