My Question Is: How?

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My Question Is: How?

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    07-23-2012, 07:14 PM
Question My Question Is: How?

This isn't a rant, rather an exasperation.

My dream is to jump. I have started small and have very realistic expectations, but my goal is to eventually show in jumper classes (not hunters...jumpers.)

I have a very athletic Quarter Horse. I taught him to jump myself, and he's coming along great considering the circumstances. He has been seen by a reputable trainer, and she thinks he has amazing potential. These are my circumstances:

-I bought him when he was 8, and he was very green then. Moved like a bus, was just a pasture rat. He wasn't introduced to jumping until he was 11, so all of these ideas are new to him.

-I board him at a place that breeds and raises Paint horses. The woman used to show and train Western Pleasure, and the only english style would be HUS. She has no experience or knowledge with jumping.

-She has a small indoor arena, which is too small to fit more than three smaller jumps (under 3ft). I generally ride outside. It isn't really an arena, rather a pasture that she only sometimes puts horses in. The size is great, but the footing isn't totally level.

-I ride entirely on a budget. The shows available are expensive, and there really aren't small or very basic shows, that have jumping classes, in Michigan.

-For transportation, we rely entirely on the owner of the barn. It is not financially feasible for us to get a horse trailer, and we'd have nothing to pull it with.

-Boarding elsewhere is not an option, and there are very few trainers who teach jumping. I have had tons of lessons with a trainer up north (never on my horse, always hers), but the costs started piling up and she was trying to pressure me in to buying one of her horses (not an option), and we stopped.

I know I have the ability, and I strongly believe my horse does.

I want to ask you...
How have you guys made your goals work?
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    07-23-2012, 08:23 PM
Time and patience.

The idea is to dream big.

Eventually, you might have the option to move to a better barn, more fitted to your wants and needs. This is where you'll grow. It seems like theres only so much growth to be done in this place.

I realize that I may not reach my actual goal for another 5 years.

Why? Because my mare isn't ready. My barn isn't suited, and my budget is very small. Hopefully in the next 5 years I'll get to where I want to be, but it won't happen in the near future.

You might have to focus on your financial side to get things moving in the direction you want it to. I know it sucks, but money is what gives people the opportunity to school in large arenas with decent jumps, and be able to enter shows.
    07-23-2012, 11:41 PM
Green Broke
Horse riding is an expensive sport, and to an extent that is the answer. Get a good job and then you can afford all you want. As with pretty much any sport, you need money, whether it be through work or sponsorship or parents or whatever, to really have the opportunity to reach the top of discipline. It's a luxury most people can't afford.

Saying that, you don't need an arena or a course of jumps, not really. I personally think the things that will make you successful in show-jumping are not going over the jumps, its all the stuff in between. The turns, stride adjustment, rhythm. Sure, jumping is an important part, but you can do a lot of work towards jumping without needing any jumps at all.

A place near where I used to board used to have a regular indoor, night time jumping competition. It was a tiny arena (at least to me) probably 50x20m, maybe smaller. And the walls were lined with stalls. They would set up maybe a course of 10-12 jumps or so. That course was so tight, and you'd be riding through really narrow spaces but you could do it, and it taught me a lot to ride a course like that.

You just make do with what you have and do the best you can.
    07-24-2012, 06:05 AM
Budgeting, working my butt off, and being proud of every little riding accomplishment I've done. Tracking progress is a great idea
    07-24-2012, 11:29 AM
A few things off the top of my head in answer to your post. I find it helps to make a list of goals-attainable ones mind you-on one side of a piece of paper. Then on the other side I list the things I need to do to get there, I.e. Cut spending elsewhere, improve myself physically, etc. Break it down into manageable steps-if you make the list too hard it'll seem overwhelming. Then get started on getting there, that first step is always the hardest!

Now as far as going HJ, I've got to say that you need to get to a HJ barn that hits the local shows. I know, change can be expensive but being in a barn where everyone shares your passion and rides the same discipline can be very supportive. Just watching others ride and school is a great way to pick up the tricks of the trade. Also, you can possibly hook up with others showing and get trailered out to events that way.

Where in Michigan are you located? Around here (eastern Michigan) lower level HJ barns are quite common and "c" level shows are the norm. Are you looking at breed-specific QH shows rather than open HJ shows? A good resource for finding horse things/barns/events here in lower Michigan is Saddle Up! Magazine | Michigan & Ohio's Monthly Horse Lovers Magazine | Saddle Up! Magazine is a monthly equine publication devoted to Michigan & Ohio's horse lovers featuring classifieds, show & event dates, articles from nationally known trainers a
    07-24-2012, 12:01 PM
Be selective in what you're paying for. Since you can't afford to go to every show or clinic, enter the ones that will either teach you/your horse something or where you have a good chance of getting ribbons. Don't enter shows way out of your league. Honestly I would probably skip the shows and use the money to get more lessons or go clinics. Get everything going well then show.
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