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Any hunter riders ever do a horse trial/event with their hunters?!?

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  • Any hunter riders ever do a horse trial/event with their hunters?!?

    I've been contemplating taking my horse to a horse trial....I am a hunter rider and that is my focus with all of my horses and what I always show in... However the horse I'm considering trying this with is a lovely mover/jumper, very brave, has a great expression and nice way of going...however he gets tense/nervous when I take him off my property -like for trailering for a lesson or a show....he never does anything stupid or wrong...just can easily get frazzled and be sensitive...I was wondering if doing something different would be a nice change if pace where they don't have to be dead quiet and "perfect" so to speak....

    For those of you that have tried other disciplines ...was it a good thing? Did it help...did your horses find a new calling?

    Curious to hear about it!

  • #2
    I have not competed but I have taken my horse cross country schooling multiple times and I think that it was great for both of us.
    www.equestrianathart.com

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    • #3
      Weeeell, the OTTB that I bought as a hunter is currently the #2 NEH in the country. (he's a jumper/eq horse now).

      It's a good change of pace, even if you don't love it. My old horse, who'd done the 2'9-3' hunters locally, loved a good XC school or a low level horse trial for variety.
      Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

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      • #4
        My pre-children's horse (Back in 2004...) does BN level eventing with me now. Still looks like a hunter over fences and I think he likes it more than hunters. We did the hunters from 2001-2006, i leased him out 2007, "Retired" him 2008-2010, and now he is eventing )

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        • #5
          Yep! We've been doing a bit of everything this year, including some Elementary level events, and even a dressage schooling show, to round out our hunter endeavors. She goes like a hunter, and wants to jump like a hunter, and just doesn't quite have the real boldness you want in an eventer, but it's been good for both of us. She's much better now about going over things that might be a bit looky, while staying in front of my leg. It's been good, too, from a fitness viewpoint, to be getting out more and doing more hillwork. And we haven't had to worry so much about the fact that she doesn't have a lead change!

          We're planning on doing Beginner Novice next year, mixed in with some of the local hunter divisions. It's really a lot of fun, and I find the dressage the scariest part!
          A Year In the Saddle

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          • #6
            Absolutely! Be careful though, you may find it so much fun that you convert to the eventing world...
            That's what happened to me!
            All that is gold does not glitter;
            Not all those who wander are lost.
            ~J.R.R. Tolkien
            http://theimperfectperfecthorse.blogspot.com/

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            • #7
              My last horse loved to do trials and outside courses. The first time I took her to some hunter trials she stopped at the first few fences while schooling because the whole idea was so foreign to her even though we had rode and lessoned outside the ring on a regular basis. She was used to going somewhere else to show and was quite reliable but the hunter trials definitely confused her.

              As I said, she refused the first few fences in schooling and then went on to realize that this was fun. She also went on to win every class we entered and did so for several years until I sold her. Just want to add that other than a couple of George Morris clinics, the hunter trails were the most fun thing I have ever done while riding.

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              • #8
                I didn't show but when I was in law school I boarded my horse near a state park with a ton of cross-country jumps. We would ride over there and jump them for fun. Cross country is awesome...my favorite one was one where you jumped a stone wall, then down two strides over a ditch, then up two strides over a post and rail fence. I felt like I was getting to ride in a big-time jumper derby!

                I was young and fearless and it never occurred to me that jumping around all the prelim options my horse's first time on XC was probably not the wisest. He would have been a great eventer were it not for that pesky "dressage" -- relaxation is not his forte, though he is a brilliant jumper in every way. He is obedient but far from "submissive."

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                • #9
                  Yep! My spooky jacka** of a working hunter is in training for a trial right now! He tries to run out of every jump and gawk at everything at the shows, but when I take him out in an open field and let him jump natural obstacles and gallop a bit, he comes alive! My main focus is still the hunter ring though, so this balances it out for him, and makes a huge difference. If I only jump him in an arena, he gets sour, but if we go out, he is happy to do anything. So if he is good at it, why not compete a little and have fun?!?!

                  And....

                  Event trials are a lot of fun to go to!

                  •friendly people
                  •ride times
                  •cheaper
                  •3-4 days at a trial vs. 2 weeks at an AA show
                  "The best pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die!"
                  ----> Pre

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GoingUp...POP! View Post
                    Yep! My spooky jacka** of a working hunter is in training for a trial right now! He tries to run out of every jump and gawk at everything at the shows, but when I take him out in an open field and let him jump natural obstacles and gallop a bit, he comes alive! My main focus is still the hunter ring though, so this balances it out for him, and makes a huge difference. If I only jump him in an arena, he gets sour, but if we go out, he is happy to do anything. So if he is good at it, why not compete a little and have fun?!?!

                    And....

                    Event trials are a lot of fun to go to!

                    •friendly people
                    •ride times
                    •cheaper
                    •3-4 days at a trial vs. 2 weeks at an AA show
                    They can actually often be much more expensive (more tack, if you really get into it) and most are only 1 or 2 days. The most cost effective thing is to do a local schooling HT that's unrecognized or recognized by a local CTA.
                    Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GingerJumper View Post
                      They can actually often be much more expensive (more tack, if you really get into it) and most are only 1 or 2 days. The most cost effective thing is to do a local schooling HT that's unrecognized or recognized by a local CTA.
                      Haha didn't think about tack, but I already have a dressage saddle and bridle for the horse I mentioned, and jumping bridles and saddles, but if you haven't done a whole variety of stuff you probably would have to invest in some new stuff.

                      To go with your suggestion: combined training! Simple little schooling shows that are actually fun!

                      Heck check out the ACTHA website, one of their events would be fun, and you can win prizes!
                      "The best pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die!"
                      ----> Pre

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have! IT was WAYYY FUN We both needed a change of scenery
                        so to speak, so we went to some local cross country schools to see what she'd think of it. She was quite confused at first - what do you mean GALLOP ???
                        and the uneven terrain took some getting used to but it was a GOOD TIME.

                        we started with a hunter pace - no pressure, you can go in teams jump if you want or not.. and then did a baby novice event at a local horse trials. What a blast we had! THe dressage was very simple and expectations are pretty low, as long as you keep contact, move forward and your horse doesnt fling its head around like a girraffe you'll get a good score. Make sure you have a flat single or double jointed snaffle in his mouth. - no twisted wires or corkscrew kind stuff for dressage.

                        The water on xc is usually very basic-- trot / canter through a puddle or small creek -- something very trail ridish and basic no leaping off banks into lakes or anything like that. .
                        You will need to get a saftey vest or borrow one, even the unrecognized events wont let you school or go xc w/o a vest.

                        DO IT
                        where are you located? maybe I know someone who can point you in the right direction

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've never competed but I've done plenty of fox hunting, hunter paces, and schooling on cross country courses with all of the horses I've owned. Depending on the horse, some were able to go a little more up and forward and then just move back to the hunter ring happy and a little more fresh. Others needed to have everything simplified outside. I had one horse, my childrens hunter, that could either hunt or show, but he couldn't transition well between the two... and this included schooling outside/trails/etc. He didn't need much prep at shows, but needed to be in a program at all times, and his pee sized brain did not take the changes well. That said, he was phenomenal outside... just couldn't then go into the hunter ring without being a nutcase.

                          I would assume it would be good experience for both of you. It'll be a nice change of pace for your horse, and there's nothing saying you can't just take your merry old time doing the course.

                          My large pony hated the coffin jump, but once I got him over it he cracked his back over even the most boring crossrails in the hunter ring for a solid month. That alone was worth it! In fact, when we were chasing points almost all of my jumping between shows was either in a field or in the woods. He loved it. I'll never forget showing up to pony finals in Lexington, KY (back when PF's moved venues each year) and everyone was allowed to hack in the ring before the show started - there were no jumps except for the built-in bank. I watched some of the top ponies in the country slam on the brakes, riders falling off all over the place. I nervously cantered up and my pony could have cared less... I think he was more concerned with me picking to nothing than the bank jump.
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          "While girls schools are notoriously wild, the true party-hearty girl attends Hollins" ~The Preppy Handbook

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've done it with quite a few over the years. I personally think it's great for them to get out and do new things. We used to fox hunt our show horses when I was a youngster in pony club.

                            Obviously some are going to be better at going back and forth than others, but it sounds like the horse you're referring to might benefit from the experience.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              At the lower levels, you can get away with using a jumping saddle for dressage, too.

                              I think it's really good for horses to get out and do other things- it keeps them fresh. Plus, if your horse is used to jumping on grass, then less than perfect footing in the ring shouldn't bother them.
                              Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                A friend of mine does that all the time - as a matter of fact her "hunter" was also a great jumper and also did some eventing - had some issues w/ going thru water initially but that was quickly solved. She also did jumpers & eventing some side saddle and also some team penning

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My 9 year old daughter did one last year with her small pony. She had a blast and although the person who was helping us, gave us the 2011 dressage test, we were able to call it out to her, so they still finished 8th. We do a ton of trail riding, galloping in fields and general torture to my hunter ponies, so they don't batt an eyelash at whatever we throw at them.

                                  My very favorite thing about the day, was the start times! So wonderful to know that you are going at 1:30 and you actually do. Lovey.

                                  Here's a little video of my daughter in the stadium course. I didn't clip him until we went to Ocala, so for the HT, I just gave him a bib clip, so please excuse how funny Mick looks.

                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3-PbMbLAR8

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I take my boy on Hunter Paces, which usually just have coops and maybe a stone wall or two. Over the summer, we were craving a pace with none to be had so went Cross Country Schooling for our first time ever and it definitely had me thinking about doing a Horse Trial!

                                    Here's video:
                                    http://youtu.be/SySJAhb-jT0

                                    I love how he 'locked on' to the sunken road - we had never done anything like it before!
                                    CLIPclop Bodyclipping by Morgan
                                    Serving North GA with high quality clips.
                                    --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
                                    --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by GoingUp...POP! View Post
                                      Haha didn't think about tack, but I already have a dressage saddle and bridle for the horse I mentioned, and jumping bridles and saddles, but if you haven't done a whole variety of stuff you probably would have to invest in some new stuff.

                                      To go with your suggestion: combined training! Simple little schooling shows that are actually fun!

                                      Heck check out the ACTHA website, one of their events would be fun, and you can win prizes!
                                      Oh true! OP, if you're not so sure about XC (or don't have access to a vest... those things are freaking expensive for what they are, if you ask me) just do a CT! They're normally very reasonable (a very nice facility near me does them for $40) and super fun. The stadium round isn't timed, you just have to be within optimum time (same with HTs too, I believe).
                                      Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

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