Better to stick with one discipline? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 01-20-2010, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Better to stick with one discipline?

I just want some opinions: Is it better to stick with one discipline (even if it's not really your thing) until you're really good at it, or is it better to try everything and see what you like?

I've been jumping for several years and I've thought of switching disciplines many times. I did a little dressage before that and really liked it but then I needed to find a new trainer and I thought I'd try jumping while I was at it. However, it doesn't really give me the rush that I thought it would, which is why I did it in the first place, and while I can do it, I'm not really a natural at it nor do I really enjoy it that much. So I'm thinking of switching back to dressage, but I'm not totally sure yet. I even thought of something western, but I wouldn't even know where to start there. I also trail ride, and I have to say that I find a full out gallop through a wide trail or a field much more exhilirating than my jumping lessons. So, I guess I'm looking for something fun, but that I can feel like a connected team with my horse. What would you do? Thanks.
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-20-2010, 12:53 PM
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I wouldn't say better, easier maybe to stick to one discipline but not really better. It gets a little difficult to switch sometimes, especially if you go from say hunt to western pleasure becuase you have to teach your body to re position itself but in the long run, I personally think you become a better rider. I made the switch about five years ago. It brought back the passion for me because suddenly it was all new again.

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post #3 of 14 Old 01-20-2010, 12:59 PM
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[QUOTE]I just want some opinions: Is it better to stick with one discipline (even if it's not really your thing) until you're really good at it, or is it better to try everything and see what you like?
[/QUOTE]

Heck no. Try one till you find one you like. Don't force yourself or you wont like riding anymore.
I've done
Jumpers- up to 2.6 showing
Equitation- extensive schooling
Hunters- extensive schooling
Dressage- a few schooling
CT- once

I've ridden H/J/E most of my riding career thus far. I've only done a few CT and dressage shows, but those are my favorite, but I can never seem to do well showing. For me what I love to do I'm the least schooled in. Nothing wrong with that, I just need more work there.

I am not a huge fan of hunters, but I'll show them to get my horses some expereience showing, since I know what I'm doing at those kind of shows. When I am comfortable with a horse I'll switch over to showing what I really want to- CT. While each discipline looks very different they are all interwined, and they don't stand independent of each other if you dig deep. They all have some basic common factors.
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-20-2010, 03:43 PM
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Get your finger in every pie you can possibly reach. It will do nothing but good for both your riding and your horse.

I regularly compete in:

ASH shows
ASH Challenges
Campdrafting
Mounted Games
Sporting
Jumping
Eventing
Dressage
Polocrosse
Hacking

And I also do, just for fun and general riding:

Trail riding
Stockwork
Bridleless
PC rally days

Seriously, there is really no drawback, it will make your riding life much more fun, and will make for a more well-rounded horse and rider.

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post #5 of 14 Old 01-20-2010, 04:59 PM
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Don't do a disipline that doesn't give you the thrill you get from others!
Doing different activities will benifit both you and your horse!! You should really enjoy what you do - you only live once so why do something that your not 100% enjoying!
I love showjumping, cross-country, dressage, showing and general hacking! I focused on eventing because it's what I want to do and the adrenaline rush is amazing!!!!
Do what you enjoy:)
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-20-2010, 06:30 PM
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I think it's better on both you and the horse to be trying different disciplines all the time. Cross training is excellent for horses, I like to put the dressage horses over small cavelletti and cross poles once a week, and also like to do a lot of trail riding to break up the routine a bit. I find they respond far better and seem much happier in the arena than horses who never see the outside of the arena rails. They are also better behaved out at competitions because they've been out to see the world. Not these strict dressage horses that absolutely cannot go out anywhere else because it will ruin their training!
Definitely try bits and pieces of everything. I really stronly suggest though, that you try to stay with dressage for a while, do a good dressage schooling session at least twice a week and try to have your horse working at elementary level. It will help you in any other discipline that you choose ;)
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-23-2010, 09:51 AM
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The more the better! You never know something you learned from one displine could really help you out in the next.
Right now I have ridden
Western
Huntseat flat
Alittle bit of dressage
Gaming
Bareback

This next year im going to start riding
Saddleseat
Jumping

So try it all you can only get better!
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-25-2010, 12:39 PM
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I started out in Western first barrel racing and then pleasure/trails. Pretty soon though I started to lose the spark and just rode. Now I'm taking dressage lessons and I love the thrill of the ride. Yes, I still ride Western sometimes but its when I'm in that dressage saddle...thats when its all perfect.

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post #9 of 14 Old 01-25-2010, 01:41 PM
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If my kids wanted to do jumping I would make them do at least a year of dressage before they ever went over a jump. If they wanted to do Team roping I would want them to spend time learning reining. Sometimes you need to do things to build a foundation to be competitive in the chosen discipline.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-25-2010, 08:54 PM
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I say go for it! Go out and try as many as you can. You won't know what you like or don't like until you try it so if you're not happy with what you're doing now, don't do it, easy!
Even once you have found what you like, I find it's really nice for both you and your horse to still do something from time to time to keep things fresh. Good luck trying things out
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