What to do first??

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What to do first??

This is a discussion on What to do first?? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    • 1 Post By DancingArabian
    • 1 Post By Kayty

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        08-19-2012, 04:59 PM
    What to do first??

    I just got a new horse about 3 weeks ago. She is an OTTB (off the track for 10ish months) and 4 years old. She is definatley NOT show ready yet and I don't expect her to be. I want to eventually do eventing with her and I was wondering what kind of show would be best to start with.
    Should I just jump into eventing and do an event at intro with her, or start at a little hunter/jumper show?
    My trainer and I think she will be ready to show by the end of September at the latest. There are local events on October 21 and November 11 (The Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy Farm). Before that, there is a hunter show on October 7 (Saddleview Bts and Bridles).
    I don't really think that doing an event would be best to start off with because there is so much going on, but I've never been to a hunter show before, so I don't know what it's like. She has to start somewhere :)
    My horses are in Union Bridge Maryland, so if you know of any good places to try a laid back schooling show that would be great
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        08-19-2012, 05:02 PM
    Also, If you know of any good places near me to go cross country schooling with lots of low, not scary things that would be great too :)
        08-19-2012, 05:32 PM
    Why wouldn't you start with low level Dressage? She's going to have to do Dressage anyway when she starts eventing.

    Sandy Lytle runs a Carrots & Cookies Dressage and Jump schooling show every month - she starts the jumps at "speed bump" level, LOL. Her ad for August's event is here: August 2012 Equiery -- If you join her e-mail list, she'll send you the flier every month.

    The Equiery should be your first place to look for anything involving riding disciplines. Their website is The Equiery – News & Views. They have a 2012 directory of cross country schooling courses in MD here: XC Schooling Courses
        08-19-2012, 05:54 PM
    Thank you so much!! I didn't even think about dressage because her right lead canter is still a little iffy, but maybe intro test a just for experience :)
        08-19-2012, 06:06 PM
    Originally Posted by Ashsunnyeventer    
    Thank you so much!! I didn't even think about dressage because her right lead canter is still a little iffy, but maybe intro test a just for experience :)
    Just do walk-trot tests then. It's better to keep it SIMPLE to get her started. You're not just getting her to do the tests, but getting her to do them well, away from home, in a new place, etc.
    Ashsunnyeventer likes this.
        08-19-2012, 06:54 PM
    Ash, you can go to CCEC for free cross-country course (jumps there are quite low): Carroll County Equestrian Center

    Another place I can think of is Serra Valley Farms (I believe you can pay and use their XC course).

    Here is the full directory of XC: XC Schooling Courses :)

    I know Waredaca has eventing shows (although it's a bit of drive from Union Bridge). Or you can just check schedule on equiery.com.
        08-19-2012, 08:40 PM
    I would definitely start with a local, low level dressage competition. Being a fairly fresh ottb, you odn't want to blow her brain. At the moment, she is under the impression that going out anywhere, means she has to get excited and run really fast.
    I'd be taking her anywhere and everywhere, in a controlled environment. Take her to friend's places, to a trainers place etc. and just ride her until she thinks that going out is boring and nothing to get worked up about.

    The last think you want to do, is take her out, have her go off her rocker, and end up giving both of you a bad first experience.

    I'd also be really focussing on her flat work- if her canter work isn't great I wouldn't even contemplate jumping her. Get the flat work very strong, then start jumping her. Otherwise you end up with a horse who's confidence gets hammered becase they're not balanced and strong enough to cope with the demands you are placing on them, which also fries their brain.
    themacpack likes this.
        08-19-2012, 10:36 PM
    Thanks for the tips :) I took her to Laurel Hills for XC schooling when I was trying her and she was pretty good. I just wanted something low key and relaxed so she can get used to seeing other horses, but not racing them. As of right now, I only jump her about once a week and only for a few minutes at the end of a ride. The right lead canter is getting easier to get and I think it's just a matter of muscle strength. I took my other horse to Serra Valley today and the water complex was disgusting!!! So that's out of the question. CCEC looks nice, maybe I can get a group together to go there :) I definatley want her out hacking by herself and calm when other horses are being ridden before I try anything, but she seems like a quick learner so it shouldn't be long...

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