Which discipline should I switch to?

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Which discipline should I switch to?

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  • 1 Post By EdmontonHorseGal
  • 1 Post By Ninamebo

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    02-09-2014, 11:03 PM
Which discipline should I switch to?

I'll try to keep this as simple as possible. It may help it to read this thread of mine to get more of the backstory:

Should I stay at my current stable or move to this other one?

I'm either moving to a fancy dressage barn in a few weeks (but I have to give the woman the answer in the next two-three days pretty much), or staying where I'm at. Horsey is very happy where she's at, facility is not great. I love the barn, but the riding ring isn't good. It isn't properly maintained -- not watered when it gets too deep, so we depend on the rain.. If it gets rained out, it doesn't absorb the water properly or gets easily frozen over if its cold.. etc.

I don't think it's realistic for me to continue doing dressage where I'm at. It's just not. Lack of training, lack of facility, and it's too much stress for both of us. I'm either going to move and continue with the dressage or stay where I'm at. I have a 6 year old (almost 7) with minor osteoarthritis.

FYI as far as dressage with her arthritis: I texted my vet today and he said he's going to review her records and let me know how strenuous of a workload she can be put under, which is good. But in the past both he and his colleague have both said that dressage would be good for her, and the more work (keeping healthy limitations in mind, the better). Keep in mind -- this sounds a lot worse than it is. I know my horse and she is actually in extremely good shape!

Anyway, if I stay where I'm at, I have to be flexible. Work with the weather, do a discipline that doesn't require too much stress for either of us, and have fun. I've had dreams of showing her, even doing local county or schooling shows, but we've never gotten there.

If I decide to keep her where she's at, which discipline should I pick up? I'm not going to excel in dressage at this place, and frankly, I don't want to do it anymore here. I want to do something that I would be able to do myself (without consistent outside training) and progress with her. She is a quarter horse, so keep that in mind. :)

Right now -- I'm mostly lost. I don't know what our purpose is. I don't know what path to take, and unfortunately, I only have about 3 days max to decide... I was actually hoping to have the decision made by tomorrow.

And I'm not selling the girl. She's my best friend, and even if I have to retire her early, she's not getting sold.

Thank you :)
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    02-09-2014, 11:40 PM
You didn't say what choices you were considering.

Since you already have some time invested in Dressage and may move to dressage barn anyway, why not stick with it?
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    02-10-2014, 12:00 AM
The fundamental training you have learned for dressage can be applied to other disciplines. Not sure that moving to a more pricey dressage barn is answer when you have a horse that is limited to advance,just based on the arthritis & breed type. Sounds like you want to do some competing,try your local open shows. You can do variety of events your English flat classes{HUS},western pleasure,trail,equitation,horsemanship,SMS . You may find them fun & better suited for your horse.

Your current barn may not have best riding facilities & yes looking for better place is something probably in your best interest. Rushing into a move to commit to dressage barn ,I would not do until you are more decided on what is best option for you & your horse. I'd Take the time to evaluate things & look around at other places.
    02-10-2014, 12:11 AM
I would move to the dressage barn. It has better facilities which your looking for, you said you want to do dressage, so why not go there? Is their any reasons why you wouldn't want to go there?
    02-10-2014, 01:44 AM
How about take a year to decide what you want to do? Switching disciplines also may mean switching tack (depending on the discipline), so saving up money for a new saddle, etc may take you time anyway.

This year, just have fun with your horse! Go on trail rides, play in the arena. Teach her tricks. Perfect any lateral movements you may have been working on. Maybe go to a fun schooling show or two and enter the w/t/c type classes. Nothing strenuous, nothing fancy. Just have fun!

Then decide if you want to switch disciplines.
clairegillies likes this.
    02-10-2014, 05:45 AM
The following is just my opinion and could be right or wrong depending on your opinions, bear that in mind.

I agree that keeping a horse in good steady work is good for keeping the osteoarthritis under control. I think that regular turn out very much helps with this too and I think you said the fancy dressage barn don't have much of place to have turn out?
I love that you love you mare and want whats best for her, and you also want to pursue some dreams you hold.

me... I think that if you started to follow a programme like Quantum Savvy or Parelli, (these natural horsemanship programmes do lead to dressage as you progress) you would have all the time to decide what discipline is best for you and your mare, it would mean you can have tasks and projects to follow that allow you to work round the 'less than ideal' area you have at the place where your horse is happy.

if you totally loved the dressage barn you would be there already without asking, I think the fact you are asking means deep down you know it isn't right.
its a nice opportunity for sure but I don' t think its for you.

I hope things all work out and I feel you very much love your horse and I like that.
    02-10-2014, 10:31 AM
I had my horse for ten years before we officially chose anything, I guess. I had a simple English and western saddle and we did whatever we felt like doing that day (usually I was too lazy to even bother with the saddles and just went bareback)

At local shows we did all the showmanship, English and western classes. At home we would practice jumps, pole bending, go on trail rides. Any time there was an extra spot in the trailer to an event we'd be up for it. I call my guy well rounded. I am extremely lucky because he will do anything for me- a really trying horse.

So, why not try a little bit of everything? You don't need to make a decision right away. And even if you do, it doesn't mean you can't do other disciplines also. Keeps things interesting.
EdmontonHorseGal likes this.

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