So, as many people know, I have been doing hunters for two years now. I am gearing more towards equitation and jumpers with my new horse, Casper, as he isn't hunter-y like Rusty was. I take lessons once a week with my trainer, who knows tons about the hunter/jumper world...but here's the thing...my friend and I have decided to try a horse trial this summer. It's on our bucket list.
We plan to compete in beginner-novice, quite obviously. My trainer doesn't know a ton about eventing, so we're on our own because there aren't any eventing coaches in the area. So, I have a few questions, and please, PLEASE add any more insight or tips for us.
-What kind of eventing vest should I get? I know it should be certified, so the Tipperarys are out, but what can you tell me about Rodney Powell, Airowear, and Charles Owen? Which is the best bang for the buck?
-Can I ride in a close contact saddle for dressage?
-For a horse trial, do I have to be USEA certified - my horse and I are both USEF certified, and USHJA certified. We plan to do the Catalpa Corner Classic or the Iowa Games.
-Do we need to get our horses boots, and if so, what kind? I know a lot of people use splint boots, but I'm not sure if this is what to use. Do they need hind end boots as well?
-What kind of things should I be working on for dressage?
-Do I need to wear a coat for stadium jumping, or can we wear what people wear in the jumper rings - polos, etc.?
-I assume the horses must be braided for dressage?
-What is a good workout program to start for the horses? I know trotting hills are great, but this IS Iowa... :( ...they will be in shape for the rated hunter/jumper show, but should they be in even better shape for a horse trial?
...and give me any and all advice. I am SO excited to try this out!!! Casper is a steady-eddy and loves to jump, as do I! And he's brave!