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Starting an older horse in a new sport

This is a discussion on Starting an older horse in a new sport within the Eventing forums, part of the English Riding category

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        03-07-2013, 10:12 AM
      #11
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hisangelonly    
    Okay I have some "scary" things I can put out. I'm sure I can find a lot of that stuff. And my neighbors have logs I can drag to my house. How would I make a water jump without the footing being slippery?
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    I have never made a water jump myself, so I am not sure... I hired out our state equestrian centre (it was about $30 from memory for the day and about an hour long drive to get there) and used theirs for training as well as making the most of training days at pony clubs. I also used creeks, rivers and the beach to get him used to water in different scenarios.

    Maybe dig down into the side of a hill, so you will have a gradual slope in to the water and a bank out? I did a quick google search and there are a few things on there that look promising.
    For footing, over here we use riversand, crushed concrete or road base/cracker dust.
         
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        03-07-2013, 10:31 AM
      #12
    Foal
    There's not *just* cross country competitions unfortunately. Sometimes you can find derby type shows with stadium and cross country combined into one course, I've done a few of those and they are a lot of fun. Two-phase or combined training shows are fun too, you do dressage and stadium and they combine the scores to find the winner, so it's more of an eventing format.

    Shoes will help if his feet are a little tender barefoot, but keep in mind when you put shoes on you will be taking away the natural grip their hooves provide. If you are just starting out and doing small jumps it probably won't be an issue, but just something to be aware of. If you're riding on hard ground or in wet grass he may find it a bit more slippery with shoes on than if he was barefoot.

    Some hesitation is natural when a horse is jumping a new jump or trying new things. The best thing you can do for him is be really quiet and supportive with your riding and body position. Eyes up, shoulders back, leg on, just really positive riding, your trainer will help you with all of that. If you're a confident rider, your horse will become more confident. And it's very common for horses to look or refuse at new or different jumps or courses. That's why the riding positive is so important, so the horse learns that it might be new or different, but they jump anyways.

    It's really important to just take your time introducing all the cross country jumps and questions, always going with your trainer and having a schoolmaster to help lead your horse over new things helps a ton. It will just take time, but it's a ton of fun regardless of what size jumps you are jumping!
         
        03-07-2013, 10:31 AM
      #13
    Yearling
    Okay anything that won't absorb water I guess. Lol. I don't know how much it is to use a course here. I'll bet my trainer can tell me though.
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        03-07-2013, 10:38 AM
      #14
    Green Broke
    My mare is 20, this will be her first year eventing. I have done jumpers and dressage with her and some hunters as well. I just always evented my other horses and left her for stuff that is inside a ring as she really is a bit of a hot headed scatter brain with slight adhd moments lol. However this year I figure heck why not! So I am going to be taking her to a couple of schooling sessions then we are going to hit up the cross country this year. My goal is to have her pre training by the end of the year but I will be happy if she goes entry consistently.

    Mare is a bit spooky and she will look at new jumps. I just sit up, use my leg and a soft hand and ride confidently to the jump. If I am confident she will be confident. If I hesitate she will stop. Just keep your eye up, sit up tall, leg on and ride to the fence. If there is a bit of a hesitation where you think your horse will stop just give a tap with the crop and ride forward.

    Most importantly... have fun!
         
        03-07-2013, 10:38 AM
      #15
    Yearling
    We will be using shoes with grip. The slipping was my first worry lol. I thought there were cross country trials? Maybe those were just schooling events I was seeing. I know I need to work on my confidence. I work on small jumps and cross rails in my friends arena and everytime I take him to a jump I think "FUN FUN FUN" instead of "PLEASE DON'T HESITATE". Lol. I really like jumping and it is fun and I can't wait for him to jump without questioning. Right now we are just jumping things at a trot. Maybe going at the canter would help?
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        03-07-2013, 10:42 AM
      #16
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NBEventer    
    My mare is 20, this will be her first year eventing. I have done jumpers and dressage with her and some hunters as well. I just always evented my other horses and left her for stuff that is inside a ring as she really is a bit of a hot headed scatter brain with slight adhd moments lol. However this year I figure heck why not! So I am going to be taking her to a couple of schooling sessions then we are going to hit up the cross country this year. My goal is to have her pre training by the end of the year but I will be happy if she goes entry consistently.

    Mare is a bit spooky and she will look at new jumps. I just sit up, use my leg and a soft hand and ride confidently to the jump. If I am confident she will be confident. If I hesitate she will stop. Just keep your eye up, sit up tall, leg on and ride to the fence. If there is a bit of a hesitation where you think your horse will stop just give a tap with the crop and ride forward.

    Most importantly... have fun!
    I guess I am just so afraid he will stop and I will fly forward! Or that he will duck out of it. But like I said I try to think fun fun fun! Haha. Or I try to sing a song to calm my mind down. It's so neat how they feed off the riders energy. Sometimes that energy just isn't the best lol. Do you have your 20 year old on any joint supplements?
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        03-07-2013, 10:43 AM
      #17
    Green Broke
    Ride them at a canter but make sure your eye is up. If you have any thoughts in your mind that he will stop, he will. Ride every jump like you know he will go over it. A lot of it is you. If you have any thoughts that he might stop your body language will tell him you are not sure. Even if its just in the back of your mind.

    Also have your farrier drill holes in his shoes and pick up a stud kit. They are like $40 at Greenhawk.
         
        03-07-2013, 10:45 AM
      #18
    Foal
    Going faster usually makes any problem worse in my experience. If you're having some problems at the trot, they're not usually going to get better/easier at the canter. Once he's trotting things nice and forward, straight and confident over the jumps, then I'd start adding the canter. Start by trotting over a jump and cantering away nice and quiet, then add a second jump a few strides after the first jump, so you can continue on and canter nice and quiet over the second jump. Once that's super easy and you're doing it nice and straight every time, then you can build from there.

    What do you mean by "shoes with grip"? Eventers often get holes drilled in the shoes so they can add studs for more grip based on the footing. Is that what you mean?
         
        03-07-2013, 10:46 AM
      #19
    Yearling
    I figured it was mostly me. :p I'm goin to have to ride more...lol. And yes the studs are a great idea!
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        03-07-2013, 10:47 AM
      #20
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by albertaeventer    
    Going faster usually makes any problem worse in my experience. If you're having some problems at the trot, they're not usually going to get better/easier at the canter. Once he's trotting things nice and forward, straight and confident over the jumps, then I'd start adding the canter. Start by trotting over a jump and cantering away nice and quiet, then add a second jump a few strides after the first jump, so you can continue on and canter nice and quiet over the second jump. Once that's super easy and you're doing it nice and straight every time, then you can build from there.

    What do you mean by "shoes with grip"? Eventers often get holes drilled in the shoes so they can add studs for more grip based on the footing. Is that what you mean?
    Okay yes that makes sense to build up to the canter. There's shoes that have a grip at the toes.
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