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-   -   New to Eventing! Tips/Advice? (http://www.horseforum.com/eventing/new-eventing-tips-advice-128445/)

Nicole 06-25-2012 06:33 PM

New to Eventing! Tips/Advice?
 
Hey everyone! I apparently registered with the forum a while back, but never really posted. SO, I am here to introduce myself (officially this time).

I have a 14 year old Appendix (Arizen) that I've owned for 3 years now. This summer is the first time we've gotten to school cross country and I am hooked! I've been wanting to get into eventing for years, but have never had access to a cross country course. The barn I'm at now has a large field and some schooling fences.

I've been riding for 15 years and Arizen and I have been getting our bearings back in the jumping arena after focusing on our dressage for the past 5 years. Any advice or tips for the new eventer that you wish someone had told you?

Thanks!

Strange 06-25-2012 07:45 PM

Just have fun!
The people who do the best are the people who are enjoying themselves the most! It's all about the experience, not the ribbons or about how fast you can move up the levels. You'll know when you're ready to move up.

Be extra attentive to your horse's legs and feet and condition, condition, condition! I don't care if a horse is going beginner novice or advanced, proper conditioning is important from the lowest levels all the way to the upper levels! And don't just get your horse in shape, make sure you're getting in shape too! If you're both fit you'll find things to be that much easier to master!

Nicole 06-25-2012 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Strange (Post 1565844)
Be extra attentive to your horse's legs and feet and condition, condition, condition! I don't care if a horse is going beginner novice or advanced, proper conditioning is important from the lowest levels all the way to the upper levels! And don't just get your horse in shape, make sure you're getting in shape too! If you're both fit you'll find things to be that much easier to master!

I love this advice! I actually wanted to post another thread about conditioning programs and what techniques people have used successfully with their horses. I have been trying to build my mare up unsuccessfully due to two foals (under her previous owner) and a busy work schedule. This year, I found a great rider to help me get her ridden consistently. Arizen is very athletic, and I can see her muscle building. However, I feel like I am too timid with her conditioning program to move her up and really push her to the next level because I recognize that her tendons and bones still need to strengthen. For someone just starting out, I'm wondering how many minutes of trot/canter should we work up to in order to successfully navigate a beginner course?

I just recently switched jobs to one that will give me more time at home, so I'm excited to get myself back in shape as well as my horse! We definitely have the fun part down. We're having a blast!

Strange 06-25-2012 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nicole (Post 1565878)
For someone just starting out, I'm wondering how many minutes of trot/canter should we work up to in order to successfully navigate a beginner course?

Personally, I'd work up to doing 10 minute trot sets twice a week and a day where you do two, 3 minute canters. So, for example, your weekly schedule could look something like the following -

Monday - Day off
Tuesday - 10 minute trot + hack
Wednesday - Flat lesson/school
Thursday - 3 minute canter + 2 minutes walk + 3 minutes canter
Friday - Flat lesson/school
Saturday - Jump lesson/school
Sunday - 10 minute trot + hack

Obviously you wouldn't just jump into this kind of schedule, you'd work up to it. Trot sets and canter sets are most effective, in my opinion, if you can do them over hilly terrain. If the ground is really, really hard I'd suggest just doing it in an arena to save your horse's feet and legs, or if you for some reason can't do them in an arena when there's hard ground I'd soak or pack your horse's feet afterwards. This kind of schedule would easily get your horse fit enough to run a beginner novice course, and even a novice course, though for novice I'd probably add a third 3 minute canter to the above schedule.

The idea that horses can be "too fit" and get "too high" is ridiculous to me. I'd rather have a horse a little more fit than required for the level than a horse that isn't quite fit enough.

Nicole 06-26-2012 10:47 AM

Thanks! This is really helpful. I think we could definitely get her to this level fairly easily, and this gives me a much better idea of the fitness level we would need to be at to start doing a full course in a competition.

I'm hoping we can start competing this year, but not having a trailer makes things difficult. If not, there is always next year.


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