Eventers probably need brave horses, right?

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Eventers probably need brave horses, right?

This is a discussion on Eventers probably need brave horses, right? within the Eventing forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Should i take my nervous horse xc
  • Do you need a brave horse for cross country

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    09-28-2011, 12:59 AM
Eventers probably need brave horses, right?

I've had my girl for less than a month so I still don't really know her that well. I have noticed, however, she can be pretty nervous/flighty. I'm not that practiced with handling spooky horses, but I've just been handling her in a matter-of-fact, "there's nothing to be scared of you silly animal" way, and it seems to be helping a lot. My goal is to event at some point (not anytime soon), and I am concerned with how she would handle cross-country or maybe even stadium (bright jumps OH MY GAH). Did any of you start out with nervous horses? Did they improve? What did you do?

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    09-28-2011, 06:25 PM
I wouldn't worry too much about your horse being a little flighty. With a confident rider, most horses can be trained to manage their fear. My advice would be to work her into it slowly. First get her confidence up on trailed and out hacking. Then move onto hunter paces which is basically XC with optional jumps. If she likes those two things, chances are she will like eventing.

When I first got my OTTB, I had no idea what he would be interested in, so I did what I mentioned above. It became very apparent that he loved both trail riding and hunter paces, so eventing turned out to be a great fit. I have taken a good few years teaching him to manage his fears rather than reacting to them, but it paid off once he figured out that XC is much more fun than scary! Just this past year he's transformed into a "lets do it" monster.

Just feel her out. She'll tell you what she's interested in.
    09-29-2011, 06:37 AM
ALL horses improve with practice, practice, practice. If she likes it and you like it then why not? I'm thinking if I have to try mine. She's on hot/nervous side, but if it won't work - it won't work.
    09-29-2011, 07:19 AM
Green Broke
My horse is SUPER flighty and spooky and we still go clean at Novice every time out :) Give her a chance over fences. You'd be surprised!
    09-29-2011, 08:58 AM

Having a brave horse can be good and bad. My coach's old three-star horse is probably the spookiest mare I've ever met. God forbid you gallop past the beginner novice log on your way to the huge advanced ditch and brush! That log, man there were trolls under it for sure. As soon as she locked onto the jump she was headed towards, all was well, but GETTING there was the hard part.

Sometimes, brave horses can be a little more reckless, in my opinion. If you're getting a horse that's 'brave' you also need to make sure they're clever and careful with their feet, or you could end up in some very nasty situations. I'd say the ideal type of jumper for cross country is scopey, clever, trusting, and bold. Bold does not equal brave. To me, bold is a horse that may take a peek but as soon as you put the leg on they move up to the spot you put them at and jump.
    10-25-2011, 07:19 PM
Oh no way! My gelding is an appendix qh, i've had him since he was almost a yr. And he was a nervous nelly in the beginning and still is today. We both started eventing together at the same time (coming from the QH world) and it's amazing what a good trainer, patience (which i've learned is most of it) and consistancy will do for you. If you learn to be confident going towards a jump or even going past the kids hanging off the fence near the dressage arena then you'll be fine. Sure, they'll freak out on occasion but it's life and horses do spook. Just ride through it and wear your helmet :)
    10-25-2011, 07:24 PM
Originally Posted by Strange    

Having a brave horse can be good and bad. My coach's old three-star horse is probably the spookiest mare I've ever met. God forbid you gallop past the beginner novice log on your way to the huge advanced ditch and brush! That log, man there were trolls under it for sure. As soon as she locked onto the jump she was headed towards, all was well, but GETTING there was the hard part.
Ha ha, my horse did that a few shows ago. He looked at every fence except the tiny one he was supposed to jump. Like you said, once he was locked in we were good. It makes for a good point though. No matter what you do get, you're going to have to actively ride and be able to manage situations effectively when you start doing XC. Sure there are auto pilot ones out there, but most will have a sense of humor in one way or another. In this case, confident rider goes a long way toward developing confident horse no matter what you start with.
    11-03-2011, 09:51 AM
Primo is such a chicken. The world is out to eat him, except when he's got a job to do.... aka jumping. If you're confident, your horse will feed off of you.
We get in a zone, all there is is the course. Honestly you have no time to be scared, you're too busy trying to not get lost, not get run over or run anyone else over to worry about spooking. Lol.

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