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JaneyWaney9 09-24-2012 07:34 AM

I really donít know what I want to do with riding.

I have a 12 year old AQHA quarter horse, who I ride both English and Western. He is primarily English, and is often confused for a TB or even an import. I am 16, and a Junior in high school.
I board at a barn about 20 minutes away, and the owner takes me to shows. These shows have only been local.
I really want to start doing bigger shows. They hold these shows generally 2+ hours away, so transportation would get expensive. I technically have a sponsor for my riding, but none of the programs they have worked out have given me a cent of money.
Iím off to college in a few short years, and I plan on pursuing a degree in Equine Business Management. I have a few universities in mind, but nothing set in stone. I know for sure that I want to be on the equestrian team for the university, and ride hunter/jumper. I have been trained in jumping, but my horse lacks experience.
It is near impossible to jump my horse. The owner gets mad if he digs up the indoor arena, and the indoor is too small to set up even two jumps. There is an outdoor, but living in Michigan, thatís a problem in the winter and when itís rainy or windy. Also, the footing is bad.
Boarding elsewhere is not an option. My mom wouldnít let me, and I have loyalty towards this barn. 
I can always tell that my mom doesnít want me to jump, but this is all I want to do. I have another horse, and sheís a filly. I have considered entering Comet in the AQHA breed association, but with this new filly, it isnít practical. She is registered with APHA. My mom wants me to just stick with the locals, but I donít feel like Iím getting the experience I want so badly.
I have no idea what I want to do. With the show season just ending, I can start training Comet in whatever I want. With the issues of the arenas, and the fact that my mom doesnít really want us to jump, jumping doesnít look likely.

Iím stuck. Any advice? I'm open to anything, except selling the filly.

Corazon Lock 09-24-2012 08:47 AM

Hmm your Quarter Horse sounds a lot like mine! Rusty is better English too, and everyone thinks he's a Thoroughbred.

Could you train outdoors until winter hits? That's what I'm doing. I have no indoor and have two jumps.

Also, is there any way you could trailer to a hunter/jumper lesson barn once a week or even once every other week? That way, you and your horse could get some experience with it.

I'd work on your 12 year old rather than your filly. It's going to take a couple of years at least before she should start jumping, unless you're going to break her when you say "train" (wasn't sure if you meant groundwork or not). Still, she won't be able to do a lot of jumping until she's a bit older and more secure on flat work. Your best bet is to either train outdoors until the cold (maybe in the cold) or trailer to another barn for lessons. Trust me, I live in Iowa, so I know what it's like!

kitten_Val 09-24-2012 08:53 AM

JW, jumping requires lots of flat work. :wink: Plus even then you can set up poles etc. to work on approaching, spacing, etc. If you are interested more in English riding perhaps look into dressage for the time being? I'll benefit both - you and the horse, and as Spring comes you can talk to you mom again about jumping (and you can do it outside).

Copperhead 09-24-2012 10:46 AM

Its a bit unreasonable for the instructor to get mad about tearing up the arena for jumping. The only person who ever got upset about that (in my experience) was someone who never dragged their arena. You couldn't "tear" it up because they were too lazy to drag it. Last I heard, that arena was rock hard, had lakes in it and wasn't a good place to ride anymore since the last time anyone dragged it was about 8 years ago.

Also, I'm going to throw out the possibility that this might be influenced by your mom? I know a girl at my barn who wanted to jump so badly when she was younger, but her mom took her to an arabian barn (and told the instructor she didn't want to see her kid over a jump) and the instructor put her on horses that wouldn't or couldn't jump with the excuse "You can't jump, FiFi is too old" or "Can't start on jumping today, Fred's feet are sore". They went so far as to tell the girl that arabians just couldn't jump, and she stayed at that barn until she was independantly able to seek out other facilities. Now she owns an arab and jumps :-P

I don't really see much around this unless you seek out another barn for instruction. Board there, take lessens elsewhere. The BO doesn't want you jumping in the arena and your mother won't allow you to switch barns.

Jumping is only dressage with obsticals inbetween. If your dressage basics aren't strong, you horse won't preform well. Knowing how to fix problems like diving out, bulking, and running through (amung others) comes from your ground work. You get that basis strong enough and jumping will be a breeze when you start.

JaneyWaney9 09-24-2012 05:30 PM

Copperhead: This sounds a lot like the barn I learned to ride at, which showed Morgans. We were totally new to horses, so we knew very little. I fell in love with this black saddle seat horse, and he was awesome. The owner of this barn said that I couldn't buy him or even lease because he had "bad back legs", which happened to "give him issues" at the most...oddly convenient for her...times. We know now that there was nothing wrong with him, but he was priced lower than the other more expensive horses, and less trained, she wanted us to buy. Bleh.

Thanks so much, EVERYONE, for your replies!

35391 09-24-2012 10:37 PM

Janey - What does your mother think about your plans on going to college? Let me remind you, you are going to be an official adult soon that can make their own decisions. In just a short couple of years, you'll be off to college doing what you really want to do.
Do you have a job and your own car? Making your own $$ and providing your own transportation can really help with making decisions on where you're going to ride/board if you're the one paying for it.
I don't know where in MI you're at, but I know several farms just north and north east of Detroit that have wonderful jumping programs.
Your mom sounds like she's just being protective of you. She doesn't want to see her baby get hurt. And believe me, moms don't like letting go of the reins. If they did then my own daughter would be doing a lot more with her riding by now.
Keep your chin up for now. You have your whole life ahead of you to do what you want to. It will happen quicker than you realize. Good luck :)

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