How to tell if a discipline is not for you? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-06-2012, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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How to tell if a discipline is not for you?

I am gunna keep this brief because I have to go to sleep, lol.
Basically, I have been jumping since May and I have done Pony Club testing to 2'6, and shown in about three over fences classes. I have been having second thoughts about whether or not jumping is for me. Now these thoughts could just be a reflection of the days I have bad rides, idk. My horse is very versatile and experienced so if I wanted to switch things up I could. I thought maybe I could just jump at home and do flat classes at shows or cross rail/ ground pole courses if I think confidence is an issue.
Anyways, I am starting to write more than a brief description, so my question to those who have switched disciplines, how did you know it was time to switch and how did you go about it?
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-07-2012, 12:03 AM
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I have never switched - I have always been an Eventer, Show Jumper, Dressage Rider, Etc.

But - if your not enjoying it and you don't feel like your making goals which you are wanting to reach then maybe you should consider a change. For example - if you set a goal of 'Jumping 3'ft nicely by the end of the year' and you don't feel youself having the inspiration and willingness to reach your goal.

It's always worth having a change too - if you don't like the new disipline you try as much. You can always change back.

It cannot hurt to try.

Sir Success. Eventer.
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-07-2012, 03:09 PM
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Started Western, switched to English as I got older and horses were only trained english (I liked it better). Then I graduated to jumping, then once I turned 30 I switched to driving then from there I switched to dressage since I felt jumping was too dangerous.

Personally I like dressage since to ride dressage correctly you need to be a very good rider. Riding dressage makes you a better rider overall - dressage teaches you to "train" the horse - which means you can deal with training / berhavioral issues that arrive, when they arrive.

Once you ride dressage well you'll find you ride a reiner, jumper, etc... horse MUCH better than you probably would have had you lacked the dressage training.

If jumping at shows makes you uncomfortable perhaps finding a good dressage trainer might suit you better, and of course it will only improve your riding skills for what ever discipline you decide to follow in the future.

Dressage is for Trainers!
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-07-2012, 03:36 PM
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I've done pretty much everything! Except jumping in a show ring. Out of the trails where no-one can see me, yes. LoL.

I started off trail riding. Got into barrel racing. Didn't exactly have the right horse for that. Switched to pleasure because a good friend of mine did it. But my heart has always been with speed events. I stopped doing pleasure. I didn't have a $40,000 horse to compete on like other people did, and it was too political for me. With speed events, the time clock doesn't lie. I actually hate going in slow circles around an arena.

I've ridden speed events for 8 years and haven't looked back. If I had a nice pleasure horse, I'm sure I'd enjoy it, but it doesn't get my heart pumping like a pattern set infront of me.

My advice, try every discipline that you can. It's broadens your knowledge and you might just find the perfect discipline for you.
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-07-2012, 03:49 PM
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Are you having fun? Is your horse having fun? Care too much about where you place? Too worked up before events? Trying to 'keep up' with friends or trends?

I've done a lot of different things. It does help to have a horse that excels at something to give you the confidence and the desire to keep going.

I competed in distance riding for years. I truly loved it. When I had to put my mare down, I tried it with a couple of other horses and it just wasn't the same for me. It's also a very time consuming sport. I still ride trails at times as if I am conditioning but I haven't competed for a few years.

As was mentioned, there are no room for judgement in the outcome of some events. Speed events are judged by the clock - as are the cattle events I compete in. Horse type, saddle style or the color of your tack is not important to the cows or the clock.

There is no harm in trying new things. Borrow a horse that is good at what you want to try to see if it's for you.
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-07-2012, 04:14 PM
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I have tried several different events over the years. Feel bad for Te as he has always been my ginnie pig.

Anyway once I tried reining I knew it was the event I wanted to do. When you try something and you get a feeling like you have never felt before and you want to keep going then you have found what you want to do.

Some get that feelling from just riding some from just going to the barn and brushing their horses other jumping 3feet some like myself slideing 35 feet. Once you find it you will know.

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post #7 of 8 Old 02-07-2012, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies guys! I think I will just keep mulling it over in my mind. Three disciplines stick out to me, well, kinda four, all ones you have mentioned: Dressage (which I have been kinda learning and planning to show in), speed events (don't know how my horse will be for this, but for starting out, I am sure he could do job, did this a bit for the heck of it on my pony that I sold), reining (my horse was trained a reiner, showed all over the place in the arab and NHRA shows, retired from it at 12) and endurance (it has always looked really intriguing to me, and my horse is half arab, lol, and they say arabs excel in endurance). So yeah, I will keep doing what I am doing for now but keep my options open and consider changing, or at least trying new events. I think I might've just became discouraged from my past lesson, maybe it left a bad taste in my mouth and from there I started to dwell on the negative.
Anyways, keep the advice coming if you have any
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-07-2012, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by nrhareiner View Post
Anyway once I tried reining I knew it was the event I wanted to do. When you try something and you get a feeling like you have never felt before and you want to keep going then you have found what you want to do.

Some get that feelling from just riding some from just going to the barn and brushing their horses other jumping 3feet some like myself slideing 35 feet. Once you find it you will know.
Well said!

I think the question I would ask is if you're having fun. If going to the barn and doing whatever it is you do with your horse is not the highlight of your day, then maybe you should try something different.

I personally haven't explored other disciplines very much because I am in love with dressage. I do intend to try my hand at various disciplines, but I suppose the reason I haven't actively pursued that is because I'm already so passionate about what I do.

"He doth nothing but talk of his horses."
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