dressage or barrels? feeling pressured

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dressage or barrels? feeling pressured

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    06-22-2014, 10:11 PM
dressage or barrels? feeling pressured

Im really struggling with this.

Im 17 and bought my first horse 6 months ago she was drugged and the first several months were hell!!!

We are finally getting through it after working with her daily and I even managed to bring her to 4h camp this weekend!

My goal is to someday train her on barrels but during camp I had 2 well known local dressage trainers pull me aside and told me that my.horse has unbelievable potential in dressage.

One even offered to buy her. When I said no she asked if I would be willing to let her train her for free in exchange for being able to bring her to shows?

I mentioned this to my BO and he got really excited and told me I should have her trained in dressage and get a different horse for barrels.

I also go to school with this girl that jumps and does dressage, we dont
Get along well but she too has been pestering me to get her in an english saddle.

I can't afford 2 horses. I've never ridden english, and have no interest in dressage....

But I feel like as a horse owner I should want to bring my horse to her full potential. And after everything we have been through, after all the nasty things I have been told about her, I just want her to excel at something.

I've been told she belongs on a truck headed to Canada, that she wasnt worth the bolt it'd take to shoot her, that she had no potential....

I don't know what to do....
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    06-22-2014, 10:22 PM
Do what you want to do.

Does she have potential to be a barrel horse? Probably be. Start training her on barrels and if she likes it, continue. It's only if she doesn't like the job you give her that you need to rethink your plans for her.

It doesn't matter what everyone else says or thinks. She's your horse and you can do as you please with her. Are you wasting her potential? Not if she's a happy, productive member of society.
    06-22-2014, 10:26 PM
I think you should train her in both if possible you might be able to do both dressage and barrel racing it has been my passion to barrel race with my horses and I also think dressage is a possible thing to do but if they are offering free training then you can try it see how you like it and you don't have to fully commit and see how your horse takes the training too. Just do what you are comfortable with but with free training I would just try it out and if you don't like it then you can pull out and do barrel racing.
    06-22-2014, 10:27 PM
At this moment she is actually scared of barrels...its hard just to get her in the arena if the barrels are set up.

She was ran on them without any training, when that caused her to go physio they drugged and sold her to me :/

We had to restart her training, once she's a little better broke and not as tense I was planning on slowly reintroducing her to barrels.
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    06-22-2014, 10:29 PM
You might be able to do both but with free training I would try it out and see how you like it.
    06-22-2014, 10:31 PM
Ok that sounds like a good idea and I would go with that idea if it is what you want to do.
    06-22-2014, 10:31 PM
I'd be wary of someone offering "free" training in exchange for being able to take my horse to shows. I assume the trainer would be trailering your horse to shows. What happens if the mare is injured while in the trainer's care? What happens if the trainer isn't as great as you think and ends up doing similar to your horse as was done with her barrel training?
    06-22-2014, 10:32 PM
Do what YOU want. Horses are suppose to be fun don't let anyone pressure you to the point your no longer having fun. That said dressage is good for the horse and the rider so you would only benefit from it and you may even like it. If not you can always stop but at least you tried and don't have any what ifs. Secondly who says she can't do both. My best friend competed in everything western and English on the same horse. It's your horse so your choice. After all you're the one riding and caring for her at the end of the day. Do what makes you happy.

Forgot to add: beware of free training. Training cost money. An experienced trainer is very unlikely to offer to train for free. But if you did find the extremely rare one consider it like winning the lottery. Free QUALITY training is that rare.
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    06-22-2014, 10:33 PM
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If she was hyper enough to need drugging then barrels might not be the right thing for her but there's a big difference between that and dressage. What breeding is she? Have you considered cowboy or western dressage to start with as it wouldn't be such a big change for you in terms of riding style and tack
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    06-22-2014, 10:43 PM
We have no idea on her breeding. As my neighbor puts it I could write a book about this horse lol She has quite the story.

These dressage people have been in my 4h program for many many years. They both have large training barns. All the english people in my county take lessons from them. So im not worried about her in their care.

The training wouldn't be for me just her at one of their barns. They would show her. I wouldnt be very involved in that scene...
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